Many clients and business colleagues have heard me use the term “Above the Fold” as well as quoting stats for screen sizes and resolutions. Why do I care so much and why should all web site owners care about this?
I care because it can mean the difference between success and failure. If your most important sales tools are hidden, you are unlikely to make the sale. Its a dog eat dog world and you have about 5 seconds when someone comes to your website to grab their attention. If attention grabbing details are not on that first screen, bye bye- your prospect is gone.
We’re a little bit lazy- we web surfers. We don’t like to scroll. So pitch your most important stuff up at the top of the page. Make it easy for us to find. And no, my screen is not the same size as your screen. Just because you have yours set up to fit an entire encyclopedia volume, doesn’t mean the rest of us do.
Current stats: 78% percent of web users have screen resolutions of 1024×768 or less. How big is that? Well, if you have 10 icons or more down the left side of your computer desktop on your monitor– you are in the minority.
Screen resolutions obviously continue to advance as new technology and bigger screens comes out, but you might notice- there is still a practical limit. We can only read words that are so small! In fact, if your target audience demographic consists of people of more advanced age, they will be skewed toward the bigger elements and larger fonts– therefore LESS fits on their screen- maybe an 800×600 resolution (16% of web users).
So keep this in mind when you’re writing web copy, placing promotions, placing your contact information– anything that is necessary to make the sale!