Lately I've noticed an increasing amount of folded corners as UI and/or decorative elements on several web pages. However, it seems most of the sites seem to differ in what they want to convey with them.

I've seen sites or designs that use folded corners to:

  • Mark an element as important.
  • Mark a large link as visited.
  • In the site's top corner, link to an external site.
  • Act as pagination, suggesting the folded element folds away revealing new content.
  • Just look nice and more "3D".

As a user, I don't know what to expect when I encounter folded corners on a site. Are there any cases when folded corners should be used - and UI hints to make them less ambiguous to the user? How about when to absolutely not use them?

  • 2
    "Act as pagination, suggesting the folded element folds away revealing new content". I saw this done on a food packet recently. I'd had to guess at a cooking time before I realised that the little icon was trying to suggest that I lift just the lower half of the label to reveal the cooking instructions...
    – PhillipW
    Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


I haven't see many of them, but here are my impressions from the link you gave:

If it's on the top, I see it as a visual design element that probably doesn't mean anything. If it's on certain elements but not others, I have to think (usually a bad thing) about what it means based on the context.

If it's on the bottom right, though, it immediately makes me think of a book turning to the next page, and so I try to click on it to see more content. On the web, though, this usually isn't a good experience because it just acts as a link, but I expect it to complete the metaphor (as on iOS) and have a page-turning animation.

  • 1
    I agree, a page in a book is the strongest association for me too - at least as long as the fold is deep enough to let additional content from the next "page" show through. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 14:21

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