Monday, April 16, 2012

The Fold: So 20th Century

The fold is dead. Long live the scroll.

Hierarchically defining stories by their street appeal, on a newsstand or in a coinbox, is a tactic we know today as linkbait.

When commercial internet experiments started, their page layouts memorialized the coinbox shaped newshole from what was already a dead medium -- only they didn't know it then.

Back in the late 20th century, with narrow bandwidth and low resolution monitors, that choice almost made sense. But that was a long time ago.
Here in the 21st century, engagement is the goal, and the digital page layout rule is scroll, baby, scroll.

Three digital purveyors --, and -- present their content with differing degrees of density, complexity and reading levels to different audiences, but they share one common approach: their pages send users hierarchically scrolling from big stories/packages/images/movies to lists of headlines and links.

Sandwiches of aluminosilicate glass and stainless steel that fit in our hands are our window to the world now, not a coinbox or a newsstand.  The metaphor of the fold is now as antique as the medium whose metaphor it was. 

If you have more than a screen's worth  of content, show it.

No comments:

Post a Comment