UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 456 December 17, 2009

New Google app shows how much of a website's content is "above the fold"

Google Labs has cooked up another interesting tool, called Browser Size. It demonstrates how much—or, sadly, how little—of a website is visible without scrolling. Enter a site URL to see an overlay of what percent of users will be able to see regions of the site "above the fold." This is affected by screen resolution, of course, but also by the size of the browser chrome, the size and number of toolbars installed, and other considerations.

UX Magazine Browser Size demo

I was pleasantly surprised to see just how much is actually above the fold for 90% of users: roughly 975 x 500px. I'd be interested to see a different overlay in this tool that, rather than showing how much is initially visible to a user, shows how likely users are to view a given region. Of course the closer to the upper-left the region is, the greater the probability, but what about the content below or outside the fold? This would make clearer the magnitude of the importance of content being in a certain position. And something that's below the fold vertically is more likely to be viewed than something that the user has to scroll horizontally to. It'd also be useful if you could select parameters about user demographics and system specs to see how the visibility of page content changes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

User Profile

Jonathan (@first_day) is a tech-focused jack of all trades and the editor-in-chief of UX Magazine. He is also the author of Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software, published by O'Reilly Media. Through its partnership with UX Magazine, Jonathan is also a senior advisor to Didus, a recruiting and career development company focused on user-centered professionals. As well, Jonathan is Managing Director, Product Strategy & Design for Dapperly, a fashion-oriented software product startup, and he is the Principal of First Day, a small private equity and consulting company. From 2005 to 2009, Jonathan helped found EffectiveUI, a leading UX strategy, design, and development agency focused on web, desktop, and mobile systems.

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Comments

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Interesting to see percentage wise viewports and browser size, however, they should basically say that anything beyond donate now is useless area unless you have a big screen monitor, perhaps not even then. The app at best is basic; I wouldn't use it, too general and obvious. Does not take into consideration other dimensions or positions to be useful.

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I was looking for a similar app only about a week ago. :) Thanks for the link.

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This is great, though does it have to look like a toddler designed the overlay?

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Also see Blasting the Myth of the Fold by Milissa Tarquini:

http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/blasting-the-myth-of

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If you'd like some more information about this, Google just posted an article about Browser Size on their official blog.

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Sadly this is not site specific. On my website for example I know that more than 80% of my visitors have a screen width of 1024 or more and most of them have 768 or more height. (And the others are netbooks, I think, which are not the typical users and know how to scroll as they have to more often.)

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Yes, very interesting.

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Ah, just found this on their Labs page:

Ever wondered what parts of your site can't be without scrolling? Browser Size shows you what portion of users can see a give spot on the screen. This is not screen resolution but the area available to the browser - as gathered from www.google.com users.

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But, thereisnopagefold.com ;)

No, but seriously, this is interesting. I'm actually collecting screen resolution and viewport dimension data on that site to do this exact thing, although the results would obviously be skewed towards the primarily web developers/designers visiting the site. And, I was more curious to find an average of the difference between resolution and viewport, in an effort to gain some clarity on how most users browse the web - ie. with their web browser maximized to fill their screen, or to fit a specific width.

Any idea what data they're using? It would be awesome to see this as an addition to Google Analytics.