The ‘fold,’ is defined as the area of the page which a user can see without scrolling down. There is a lot of controversy online about the existence of the fold (Its size differs greatly depending on screen resolution and browser), but there is no need to get into the specifics of where it exists. The concept of the fold is all that matters, and the logic behind it is excruciatingly obvious.

The user sees the top of the page first.

Incredible, eh? In other words, the canvas of your first impression lies in a box just a few hundred pixels high at the top of the page. You need to make the most of this space, and get all the necessary ingredients of your successful first impression into this space.

How Can I Make the Most of This Space?

It is very easy to overdo it, and try to fill as much as possible into the space. The key is self-discipline; put in what is needed, and forget everything else. Consider a warehouse; the building is best used with its contents filed properly in shelves and boxes, with a good amount of space to move around. Of course it’s possible to fill the corridors with many more boxes, but in doing so, you make it much harder to move around and get at the contents of the warehouse at all. The same is true for your blog, if your adverts, promotional copy and sign-up forms are getting in the way of the blog and page titles, you’re wasting your time.

There are a few tricks that you can use though; all based on the fact that you have more horizontal space than vertical. For instance, you could have a logo on the left, and then use the space on the right for a large slogan (Like here on Pro Blog Design), or a search bar and RSS details. You could even use the space to stack your most valuable adverts in a horizontal row.

Just ensure that you don’t go over the top. Copious whitespace is as crucial as any other design element.

What About the Rest of The Page?

The good news is that readers do not have anything against scrolling down the page. Of course, they will only do that under two conditions:

  1. You have convinced them that this page is worth reading.
  2. You give them an incentive to scroll on.

We have already talked about creating a good first impression to ensure that your page is given a chance, but how do you encourage a user to start scrolling through your page?

The answer is to give the reader a taste of what is to come, but show clearly that what they are seeing without scrolling is not finished. For websites, that might mean that a series of news bulletins continues down the page, but for a blog, it is much simpler. You merely give the reader a taste of the article, only a paragraph or two, and by reading that, the user will know to scroll onwards if they enjoyed your introduction.

So, have a look at your own blog. How much of the latest entry can be seen on the first glance?

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