“You’re not reading every article, you’re reading across articles,” said Kyle Outlaw, group experience director and UX expert at Razorfish. “Images help you to quickly scan what’s going on. That’s where images and headlines are really coming together.”
Digital media and its first native audience might not have killed the broadsheet-approach to news, but it’s definitely doing its best to replace it with the feed. “Visuals show your experiences without telling people about them,” said Anindya Ghose, professor of marketing, information, operations and management sciences at NYU’s Stern School of Business, in our recent publisher report. “This allows viewers not to spam their audience or overload them with textual information.”
Glossy images now reign supreme above the fold on most of today’s top sites, and even below there’s a stronger emphasis on showing over telling. But as usual, there are winners and losers; not all publishers handle this with the same panache.
To see where a handful of the top news sites stack up in this visual arms race, we analysed four homepages, some Millennial-first, some traditional, by checking the proportion of pixel real estate held by images and visual content. Razorfish’s Outlaw put those ratings in context.
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