I am the Fold

February 7 2015

I don’t usually keep my cards close my chest, but I was very excited about building a little web app to counter the recent, and in my opinion, misinformed talk of the importance of “the fold” in web pages.

Update

Iestyn Williams has made it happen at iamthefold.com!

I’m not going to get the opportunity to build this thing any time soon so please feel free to take the idea and run with it because I’d love to see it come to life rather than sink into the abyss of my Someday list.

The idea

A one page website that saves the height of the user’s viewport on page load to a database, draws a line at this value (in the form of an HTML element — a 1px high div will do) and that’s it.

The cool part is that it will show you the lines drawn by every user to have visited that page1.

That’ll prove in a nice visual way if there is such a thing as the common fold, let’s leave it up to science!

Added fun

Feel free to ditch this part. I thought about a tongue in cheek Spartacus analogy calling the app “I am the Fold” with a searchable Twitter hashtag #iamthefold which would show a list of Tweets containing the user’s screen height and a link to the app.

It would be an effective way of demoing to clients and others that there is no such thing as a common page fold. The array of Tweets with different pixel values and the page itself with lines sporadically drawn depicting different viewport heights through the power of random will hopefully make the point.

So take it or leave it. I’m certainly not going to get a chance to make it happen any time soon and I’d feel bad letting the idea rot when it could be of some use to others.


  1. If it becomes a performance concern I had considering capping this at the last 100 or 200 users.