Good website design borrows at least two ideas from newspapers:
- The headline and
- The area “above the fold.”
Of these two ideas, I think that the issue that gets less attention is the second idea “above the fold.” When you buy a newspaper from a stand, it is usually folded in half. You do not see the bottom half until you pick the newspaper and turn it over. Since newspapers want you to pick the newspaper up and buy it, the “best content” and the “biggest headline” for that edition goes into the top half of the sheet, “above the fold.” If they put the best ideas below the fold, you would be less likely to pick up the newspaper. Another important point is that, even with all that space, a good newspaper limits the number of articles that start “above the fold.” They do not want to clutter your mind.
Websites should use the same marketing principles.
The headline is still one of the most important things on your website. People can absorb a good headline without really stopping to read it. If you have a good headline, they can grasp what your website will be about without really seeing anything else on the page, just like a newspaper.
The website’s main headline must be “above the fold,” which would be whatever shows up when a visitor views the website. On a desktop, you can generally get a lot more space above the fold much easier than on a mobile device because of the screen size.
Since we cannot predict exactly what each visitor will see, the most important stuff goes in the upper left hand corner. The least important stuff goes in the bottom right hand corner. (Browsers cut off the content at the bottom and to the right when the page first loads.)
Unfortunately, many current websites were designed with fixed margins that assumed the visitor would be using a large desktop computer, causing a lot of content to be cut off on a mobile device. To further confuse things, different phones and mobile devices show different viewing sizes.
Consequently, the best mobile ready website designs use the following marketing strategies
- A well written headline
- A very focused message,
- A clean, clutter free layout, and
- The most important stuff in the top left corner.