How to Use the Heads Up Display (HUD)

Learn how to use the HUD to make editorial decisions with the right content in the right place. See the Overview for instructions on how to activate or here for troubleshooting ideas. The article on A/B testing includes instructions on how to test headlines and images.

In this article, you’ll find definitions of each of the metrics most relevant to optimizing the home page and using the HUD. These are followed by an explanation of each of the HUD elements, such as the list of articles that generated the most subscriptions and AI-powered headline suggestions.

HUD Metrics

The HUD provides several metrics to allow editors to make agile decisions and find ways to increase engagement. The following metrics serve as the foundation for these types of data-driven decisions and testing.

Viewable CTR

Viewable CTR is the real click-through rate, calculated by dividing the number of clicks on a given link by the number of times the link enters the users’ viewport. After all, a link at the bottom of the page will never garner as many clicks as the top headline. By calculating only the clicks of users who viewed the link, Marfeel makes it possible to compare apples to apples.

Historical CTR

In the context of the HUD, the historical CTR refers to the average viewable CTR for links in the same position during the same four-hour window on the same day of the previous week.

Number of clicks

The number of clicks refers to the total clicks on a given link, or the absolute volume of recirculated traffic going to the link.

Number of subscriptions

In the HUD, subscriptions are attributed to the last editorial hit, meaning the last article read by a user before subscribing. The number of subscriptions can refer to the number of total subscriptions for the publication, the number attributed to articles linked on the home page, or the subscriptions from an individual article.


​​RFV is a loyalty score attributed to each individual user based on how often they frequent the site, how recently they did so, and how much content they consume. Users with an RFV over 35 are considered ‘loyal’; those with an RFV over 60 are considered ‘lovers’.

If a story is getting a lot of recirculated traffic from loyal customers, that’s a good indication that the content aligns with the interests of your most valuable readers. It could also be an indication that the article would continue to do well behind a paywall where it would encourage highly-engaged users to subscribe.

HUD Elements

The various elements on the HUD provide editors with the above metrics at a glance. In the case of Viewable CTR and RFV, the HUD also shows how performance compares with the previous week during the same four-hour window.

The numbers in the screenshot above correspond to each of the elements explained below.

HUD toolbox

The toolbox is a pop-up menu that can be dragged around the screen as you desire. Find answers vis-à-vis the three tabs across the top.

Device type

Expand the drop-down menu in the top-left corner of the toolbox to filter by mobile, desktop, or tablet, or leave as-is to see results for all devices.

Real-time metrics

The first tab provides the following metrics in real time for the page as a whole:

  • Concurrents: the number of current users on the page
  • Subscriptions: the number of subscriptions attributed to articles on the home page vs the publication as a whole
  • Scroll: the average portion of the page the user navigates to before leaving the page
  • Engagement time: the average amount of time the user spends on the page
  • Accum. views: the total number of pageviews since 00:00
  • Loyalty: the histogram shows the breakdown of users according to their average RFV


Choose one of three lists from the drop-down menu. Click on any of the list items and the page will automatically scroll to the exact location of the link so you can see it in context:

  • Most Clicked: orders all the links on the page in order of total number of clicks
  • Best performing: orders links by the percentage difference in viewable CTR compared to the historical CTR in order from highest to lowest
  • Worst performing: links displayed in order of the percentage difference in viewable CTR compared to the historical CTR in order from lowest to highest
  • Most subscriptions: orders links by the number of subscriptions attributed to each article across the entire publication. This includes articles that are not linked on the home page so that editors can give high-converting content more visibility on the home page if they choose.

As you can see above, the top-performing link might not be ranked very high in terms of total number of clicks. The high viewable CTR is an indication that the number of clicks would increase if the link were given more visibility.


Access ongoing and archived A/B tests for titles and images. Read more about A/B testing here.

Colored labels

What’s a “good” viewable CTR? Marfeel answers this question by comparing the viewable CTR for the current link to the viewable CTR for the article link in the same position the previous week during the same 4-hour window. This is represented by the color of the labels:

  • Darkest green: > 150%
  • Other greens: 150% – −5%
  • Gray: −5% – 20%
  • Orange: -20% – -50%
  • Red: < -50%
  • Blue: A/B test in progress


The number on each label is equal to the link’s rank in terms of total number of clicks.

A black number displayed on a colored label indicates the number of subscriptions attributed to that article. Read more about subscriptions on the Heads Up Display here.

Article detail window

Click on any colored label to open the article detail window and explore the elements inside:

Module name

The module name appears at the top of the article detail window. The module is the region of the homepage that hosts the link, such as “Opening” or “Opinion panel”. This is a recirculation module or “named source” that is set up in the recirculation module by an admin.

Modules are an internal traffic source on the platform, with all related data available at the warehouse level, meaning it’s possible to drill down further into any module to track performance. Learn more about module naming in the No-Code Recirculation Experience guide.

Inside the article detail window, you’ll find two tabs: Performance and A/B tests. Under the performance tab, you’ll find the following elements:


If a link is ranked first, this means it has the highest total number of clicks compared to every other link on the page.


The number of subscriptions attributed to the article.


The link’s viewable CTR and the percentage difference and the historic CTR or the average viewable CTR during the same four-hour window the previous week. The color of the bar is green if the viewable CTR is outperforming the historic CTR and red in the opposite case.


The link’s average RFV—the average RFV of users that have clicked on the link—and percentage difference compared to the same four-hour window the previous week (the historic RFV)

Performance trend

The graph shows the performance trend for links in that same position over the previous three hours. Hover over the graph to see the number of clicks for each of the links that occupied that position during the preceding 4 hours.


Copilot uses AI to provide alternative headlines based on what has previously worked well on the home page. These suggestions are tailored to each publication’s tone of voice because they are based entirely on its own data. Click on any of the headlines to create a new A/B test with that title.

Learn more about A/B testing here.