There is no fold on a [web] page

over 9 years ago from

Is there a better name for "the fold" in the digital context? Has anyone coined a term for this? You know, considering this is a computer interface and not paper – where the term literally came from.

Can we call it "the scroll"? A throwback to paper but it still relates :)


  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    Why un-coin it?

    It's a fold. It's there. Let's deal with it.

    Let's take the origin; a newspaper. Newspapers can't be scrolled, but they can be un-folded. This action is remarkably like scrolling on a web-page, which is why we're "stuck" with this analogy.

    But is it really that? Are we "stuck" with it? Or is it exactly the right wording? If what you have above the fold is utter crap, people won't scroll. They'll just leave. I'm talking "utter crap" here, but this also goes for pages which just seem to end at that exact spot.

    So why is "the fold" our enemy?

    Mainly because of miscommunication. A newspaper doesn't try to get everything above the fold either. They don't put their ENTIRE portfolio of articles above the fold. They pick the part that makes people pick up the newspaper and unfold the bugger.

    THAT'S what we should do. We need to put the awesome bits on top, the exciting ones. Get people excited.

    And of course, we make it look like there's more. That's where we're different; we're the internet, and we can make it look like a page ends halfway through the screen, which is another topic entirely.

    So let me ask that again; why un-coin it?

    4 points
    • Mike BaileyMike Bailey, over 9 years ago

      "They don't put their ENTIRE portfolio of articles above the fold. They pick the part that makes people pick up the newspaper and unfold the bugger."

      Love it and totally agree!

      1 point
    • Ryan Devenish, over 9 years ago

      Yes there are similarities, hence people using the term, however the constraints are entirely different in that they're dynamic to each user. For some there will be no fold, if they have a taller monitor or a higher resolution. For others, the fold is obstructing nearly all of the content.

      The other commenters who used the term "view" in various ways are more accurate in description. I believe this accuracy can be important in communicating the point I stated above, alone, if not others as well.

      I'm not saying "fold" is an enemy. I'm saying its an inaccurate description that could be worth revising.

      0 points
  • Jim JonesJim Jones, over 9 years ago

    maybe we should call it "first view".

    3 points
  • Thomas CharbitThomas Charbit, over 9 years ago

    In french we call it "the Waterline". I think it is a nice metaphor even if it doesn't really relate to to digital context.

    1 point
  • Jason FrasierJason Frasier, over 9 years ago

    Its a good point, I think there are two issues you are brining up: 1. Should the concept of a "fold" exist 2. IF one is True, then can we call it something more applicable.

    I think the notion of a "fold" isn't an issue as it previously was. Most people know to scroll a page. But there are some patterns that inform the user that there is more content on a page. Specifically, if you have a horizontal section that spans the entire width of a page at the bottom of a viewable page, then that could be perceived as the end. However, if you break up that strong horizontal with a column then it becomes less of an issue.

    As for what to call the "fold" how about defining the viewable section as the Viewport?

    1 point
  • Axel ValdezAxel Valdez, over 9 years ago

    I don't see why using "the fold" is wrong.

    How do you call your mouse? a wireless pointing and clicking device? or what about web pages?

    0 points
    • Ryan Devenish, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

      You'll notice that no one has mentioned the term as "wrong." However, as I stated in another comment, I'm asking if there's value in refining the term because, as an example, depending on device, there may or may not be any "fold" which is completely unlike newsprint where there's standardization in size and layout, making a guaranteed fold every time.

      I'm unsure, but I assume magazines don't use the term "fold" for articles that span multiple pages.

      Re: mouse Poor example. It has no context in this discussion.

      Re: web pages Yes! (the title of this discussion hints at this) I think this one could be up for refinement for the very same reasons.

      0 points
  • Ryan RushingRyan Rushing, over 9 years ago


    0 points
  • Ryan Devenish, over 9 years ago

    I'm seeing a trend with the word "view"… I like.

    0 points