The method is simple:
- Put your design on a screen.
- Your hand goes on the screen with fingers horizontal. Ignore the thumb.
- Count how many fingers it takes from the top of the screen to content. If you run out of fingers on one hand that means your wonderful design is going to force users to scroll to content. Maybe not on your huge desktop monitor, but on the sort of desktop monitor or laptop that has become ubiquitous, absolutely!
- I have tiny hands for a guy. So for you people with big hands, try it with two or three fingers.
- http://python.org is just one of my fingers! Python.org FTW!
- http://djangoproject.org is two of my fingers! Good job Django!
- http://plone.org has a new and improved site that is two to three of my fingers, depending on the location. Plone does good!
- http://www.turbogears.org jumps between three and four fingers. Acceptable.
- http://code.google.com is two and a half fingers to content on project pages. Definately workable!
- https://github.com gets it with three fingers.
- http://pinaxproject.com is over four fingers to get to content? Boo!
- http://code.pinaxproject.com makes up for the parent site with two fingers to get to content.
How about some some abject failures from outside the python community?
- CSS Zen Garden is lovely. And yet the designs are often unworkable to anyone outside of a group of graphic designers looking to hand each other design awards. You get designs that take ten (10) fingers before you get to content. WTF?
- http://www.apple.com/mac fails at over four fingers.
- http://www.microsoft.com/windows/help-how-to.aspx goes over four fingers and includes my thumb.
- http://www.adobe.com is as bad as the stuff on CSS Zen Garden.