What's above your fold?

Mercury News pageLess then 10% of this page from the San Jose Mercury News contains news. (click for a full-size view: I lightened the non-news elements for greater visibiliity). The remainder is advertising, logos, navigation, house ads, and unchanging content (e.g. the stock chart).
I was pretty tough on Jakob Nielsen’s awful pie chart showing how much space each page element occupies. But he’s right to raise this issue. Jay Small raises this issue in his newsletter, taking on all the mandatory elements that bubble up from various parts of the publishing enterprise. Meanwhile, Nathan Ashby-Kuhlman says you must be able to deliver your content in multiple layouts, and that this should be a necessary feature of any decent content management system if you’re going to communicate what’s new about the news.

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