Not so long ago, there was a concern that everything of importance on your web site should appear “above the fold.” Crossing over from the world of newspaper and graphic design, the “above the fold” concept is that an important article or photograph should always appear on the upper half of the front page of a newspaper or in the case of a web site, on the part of the page you can see without scrolling. By extension, this meant that you should only put the less important (or less interesting) stuff at the bottom of the page, to the area where scrolling is required. So that’s why on lots of web sites you see have teeny-tiny text links to things like privacy policies, terms and conditions and disclaimers.
However, many experts now consider “above the fold” to be irrelevant in web design as so many web users are used to scrolling without even thinking about it. It still makes sense to put your important story or article at the top of the page, but as users often scroll down to the bottom, why not put something cool, useful and interesting down there, too?
Many blog themes offer widgetized footer sections and this has pushed the boat out in terms of what people are putting in their web site footers. Some of the most popular items to be found include:
- Twitter tweets
- Flickr thumbnails
- Recent News/Blog posts
- RSS feeds
- Contact Forms
- About Me
- Author’s Photograph
It seems like pretty much anything goes, so maybe it’s time to re-evaluate that space at the bottom of your page. So for your design inspiration, here are ten web sites making good use of their footers with eye-catching design and useful functionality.
Noded’s footer gives plenty of information about the founders as well as some nice photography.
CSS Tricks shows a little bit about the author Chris Coyier and his projects, and his latest tweet.
Colorful and textured, ipremidieci has a huge fat footer.
Tickerville lets you know you’ve reached the end of the line.
Hutchhouse’s footer is clean and full of site-related information. They’ve also included speech bubbles linking to their blog, twitter and last fm.
Ectomachine’s somewhat grungy look continues into the footer which looks like it’s been held together by safety pins.
NGen Works footer is big and bold with links to their fun stuff whilst showing off some of their clients..
The SquareFactor site is built on one page and when you hit the bottom you can see the full navigation, their contact details and importantly a contact form with a monster face drawn into it.
With a beautiful background illustration and a clear, clean footer layout, Fresh Coloring is easy on the eye.
David Hellman’s got a little living room at the bottom of his site.
Do you use the footer area on your web site for more than copyright information? What other sites have you liked with big footers?