I’ve always advised nonprofit communicators to put key content up top on website pages, so users don’t have to do anything to see (or act on) it. It’s part of my “make it easy for your base” philosophy. In other words, your want to shape your nonprofit website to generate the actions you need.
So I was thrilled to discover the hard data in website usability guru’s Jakob Nielsen latest research findings: Web users do scroll down to the next “panel,” but only after investing 80% of their focus on what was first visible on the page. That means that content below the fold gets only20% of users attention. In a time of overall attention deficit, starting with 20% isn’t enough.
But but defining the fold is a real challenge: This approach works only if you know where the fold is. And that differs widely depending on browser resolution, screen size and other demands on onscreen vertical space. For those who use your site via smartphone, all bets are off.
My advice to your organization is do what you can to place key content in the first and second paragraphs on every web page — that’s first on the writing for the web success list anyway, to increase content digestion. Your thoughts? Please email me or comment below.
P.S. Here are three more right-now website revisions your organization should make.