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July 23, 2015

Scrolling habits downplay "the fold"

There's an ongoing debate among web designers about content placement on webpages and the so-called "fold."

The fold takes its name from the newspaper world, which should already tell you it's an outdated concept: Content printed above the point on the newspaper where it gets folded in half gets more attention, because the content "below the fold" goes unseen as the newspaper sits there on your tabletop, nightstand, sofa or lawn-chair.

Quaint concept.

Web people have pulled the concept into the modern age by declaring webpage content that's immediately visible in your browser without scrolling is "above the fold," with many going as far as saying anything worth presenting on the web need to live "above the fold."

If you can't already tell, I've never put much faith in the fold. I've always thought a good analogy was a book. People understand they need to open the cover and turn a few pages to get to the content when they read a book. That's how books work.

I've always maintained people understand they'll need to scroll — and are willing to scroll — to get to the content when they visit a website. That's how websites work.

Now there's research that says I'm right. Here are just a couple tidbits:

  • Data analytics firm Chartbeat analyzed 2 billion visits and found "66% of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold."
  • ClickTale used heatmap analysis to examine 100,000 pages and found people used the scrollbar 76% of the time. And 22% of the time, they scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page.

Don't get me wrong: Your most important content should always come first. Why wouldn't it? And, yes, content needs to be valuable and relevant in order to compel users to scroll down for more.

But can we stop pretending that if users don't see something on their screen the moment they hit a webpage, they just aren't going to see that content at all?

Hey, are you still reading this? So ... I guess you scrolled, huh?


June 30, 2015

Meet the new boss; same as the old boss

You might have heard Microsoft is retiring its much-beleagured Internet Explorer browser in favor of a new one called Edge.

This week the new Edge logo was added to the MS Windows 10 preview, and it looks kinda familiar.

Here's hoping what's under the hood of Edge is more different from Explorer than this new "E" is to the old "E."

See the new logo


May 14, 2015


A new web server vulnerability called VENOM was announced yesterday, but customers of Signal's web hosting are safe.

Virtualized Environment Neglected Operations Manipulation (VENOM) can affect so-called "virtual" machines, many of which may operate on a single physical server. The bug can allow a ne'er-do-well to potentially escape the confirms of a compromised virtual machine and gain unwarranted access to the physical host, as well as the other virtual machines it runs.

Though it was revealed yesterday, VENOM apparently has been a potential issue since 2004.

The good news: Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud provider Signal uses to host our clients' websites, said yesterday, 'there is no risk to AWS customer data or instances."

A variety of other cloud providers yesterday announced plans for patches to protect against the problem.


January 23, 2015

Signal launches Four Seasons SIR website

Yesterday Signal helped unveil a website for the new Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Four Seasons is a new entity created from the merger of Lang McLaughry Real Estate, Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and Vermont Country Properties Sotheby's International Realty. The new company has a total of 23 offices and more than 220 sales associates across Vermont and New Hampshire.

Signal worked with Virtual Properties to develop the new site.

Visit Four Seasons SIR


January 22, 2015

Signal launches new Caspian Arms website

Yesterday, Signal made live a new website for Caspian Arms Ltd.

The Wolcott, Vt., company is a manufacturer of high-end pistol parts founded in 1983.

The new site offers a modern, responsive interface for pistolsmiths to browse, search and purchase hundreds of parts and accessories.

Visit the new Caspian Arms site

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