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.
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)
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.