When presenting a new interface or design our clients often spend a lot of time talking about above the fold content and its always an interesting debate, like most areas of subjectivity we try to let data lead the way.
Above the fold content is an interesting concept, the rise of mobile has led to many websites adopting loading techniques such as infinite scrolling and as such scrolling has become common convention. On average we own over three devices connected to the internet and regularly use these devices in tandem.
Whilst the term ‘above the fold content’ is perceived to be a bit old school, the content users first see when they land on a page is still extremely important, and this should be optimised across devices.
We often see in our client’s analytics that bounce rates are higher on mobile devices and average session duration is less, it may be an obvious one, but we are more susceptible to distraction when browsing on mobile devices and we check in and out of them around 85 times a day on average!
So, using custom events from Google Tag Managers scroll depth trigger we analysed over 20,000 sessions across a random selection of clients and we found that 85% of users scrolled past the first viewport, 55% reached half way down the page and 45% scrolled to the bottom of the page. The statistics reaffirmed our initial thoughts that a high percentage of users scroll past the first viewport, but even more interesting when a user scrolls half way down the page, over 80% scrolled to the bottom.
In summary, yes, its important to have presentable and engaging content above the fold, but it’s not essential that every single USP, brand message, benefit or call to action appears above the fold Recently there has been some interesting discussion around ‘Progressive Disclosure’ on LinkedIn, this is the concept of presenting a user with content that they need ‘right now’, adding further information and contextual depth to a page the further you scroll is likely to yield a more engaging user experience.
This study is clearly in its infancy and we are hoping to add further data sources soon from session recording and an ongoing survey.