A long time ago, when the world was black and white, and people used phrases like "Gad Zooks!" and "Jimminy Cricket!", the general populace used to get their information from folded sheets of paper. They would usually pick them up for just a few pennies a day, catching up on the latest baseball scores, stock market numbers and international intrigues. These wondrous inventions were called newspapers.
The really important information would be printed in big bold text above the fold. It caught viewers attention, and sold more newspapers. It was good, profitable design.
Fast forward to today, and newspapers are on the decline.
But what isn't on the decline is the idea that all the important stuff needs to be above the fold. Lots of web designers will tell you that if you want to communicate any information to website visitors, it should be on the screen, no scrolling required. They would have you believe that the average website user is a neanderthal who can't turn the wheel on their mouse or hit the down arrow on their keyboard.
It's time to retire the "above the fold" concept, at least in reference to websites. If "Above the Fold" myth was true, websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and just about every major news portal would have collapsed a long time ago.
We are now 25ish years into the life of the internet. Website visitors can scroll, and it doesn't require that much effort.
But I can hear the voices of web designers crying out, torches and pitchforks in hand, "How will anyone find information that's buried way down the page?"
The key here is to focus on great design and clear navigation. If your site is well designed, the important information will stand out. If your site has clear, easy navigation, website visitors will find what they are looking for. These should be the true priorities of a web designer. And judging by the current infinite-scrolling-hero-region trend that I've seen in web design over the last couple years, these priorities are slowly taking hold.
Long live the scroll wheel! Long live great design!