Inbound Marketing & Sales Development Inspiration

The Fold and Flash

Posted September 1, 2009
2 minute read

It’s certainly a joke that I personally could seriously consider myself the “numero uno” in the business in my own fair city. I imagine there are folks that have been involved in Web Design processes in one way or another since they were babies. Web Design is however a constant learning curve as things change so quickly, we all have to keep up with the latest and greatest. In our daily interactions with other developers and designers, one hears about how practices used by one particular designer differ from those of another. Although end clients seem satisfied by the site produced, some questions still remain about some of these differences in practices from a processes point of view:

Existence of the “Fold”:
Some of the comments seemed to push pretty hard against the idea that the “fold” isn’t important anymore (whatever your monitor resolution might be), yet Jakob Nielsen’s references tell us that it is important. If even a rough ballpark of 70-80% of users don’t scroll (Prioritizing Web Usability), doesn’t it make sense that we should focus more effort into ensuring the important content is above the fold (the fold size being whatever you’re lowest target demographic is using, browser wise). It’s not necessarily important to have the entire page above the fold, but for example important “Calls-to-Action” and perhaps important information pertaining to what the site is about (descriptive text and what have you). Of course when it comes to building a site purely for the purpose of displaying something more creative/art based for example (when you aren’t necessarily trying to sell someone something) maybe the idea of the fold goes out the window.

Best use of Flash:
The argument that we should steer away from using Splash pages may have become more accepted simply from the viewpoint that users want to get to the meat of the information they are looking for. The question is, at what point do we think it is or is not acceptable to use Flash whether it’s purely for creative purposes or for the purpose of better explaining something with an animation? One way of looking at it is that for the purpose of accessibility it is becoming more appropriate to use text/html when possible (thus allowing readers for the blind etc. to process the page). One wonders if there is also a degree of frustration from users when they are forced to interact with a flash app of some sort to find the information they are looking for (sometimes the use of Flash for example removes the ability to use the back-button). The site used to be built with Flash and then for whatever reason they made the decision to replace this site with a non-Flash based one. I’d be interested to know if their reason for the switch was to optimize usability or if they just happened to go the non-Flash route for their own unrelated reasons when creating a new site.

Topics Website Development

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