Google have developed a cool new tool that shows what a “typical” user sees when they visit your website if they choose not to scroll.
Your browser size determines whether we need to scroll up or down to see content, and Browser Size gives you a visual estimate of what people can see on your site, and whether they need to scroll to see your content. The assumptions are based on Google’s own data of it’s visitors’ browser characteristics.
Of course your business may get more visitors with high resolution monitors, or lots of visitors using mobile devices, but it is useful starting point when considering your web design.
My own website is being redesigned, and here’s my report:
Take a look at the content that 99% of people can see, and the content languishing where only 20% of folk can see it. It is my Web Review service that is positioned badly where folk can’t see it. Time for a redesign, eh?
This tool may over simplify matters, but the principle of “above the fold” is one of those basic truths in web design that we should all swear by.
“In a newspaper, the most important story is featured on the front page,” comments Google Senior Software Engineer, Bruno Bowden. “If it’s a really important piece, then it’s placed ‘above the fold,’ which means you can find it on the top half of the first page — the bottom half is folded behind and isn’t readily seen when you first look at the newspaper.”
“The same concept applies to browsers as well,” he adds. “There’s no clear line for “above the fold” on a browser — there are many different sizes of monitors, browsers are not always full screen and other things like toolbars can take up space. “