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Seeking Guidance Regarding Best Use of Website Footer Space

What to leave in or out? Anyone see novel yet effective uses of footers?

     
1:30 pm on Aug 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the process of re-designing several sites that attached to domains that have a broad reach, i.e., "industry name" dot orgs.

I've seen designs that are popular one year and quickly fade thereafter. However, header-body-footer has remained a constant.

A number of currently popular packaged designs employ multiple widgets in the footer . . and some folks go on to populate those footer widgets with links and links and links.

I see a footer as a good place for a copyright notice, a contact link, an about link and a few more "it's about US - the website & its operator(s) and NOT about YOU" links.

I'm interested in reading people ideas or thoughts about the best use of "footer space".

Have there been studies of the best use of footer space?

Does HuffingtonPost's use of the footer make particular sense?

Have you seen novel and effective use of footer space? Do tell!

What to put in? What to leave out?

Your experience and thoughts?
1:39 pm on Aug 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We have three footer widgets, we put our contact info, complete with schema code in one, our social media follow and feedback links in the middle, and a twitter ticker in the third. We previously had a fourth which was our recent blog posts, but removed it on a redesign.
6:08 pm on Aug 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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it's about US - the website & its operator(s) and NOT about YOU

I know it wasn't your intention, but this made me think immediately of the all-too-many sites where you (the user) go exploring the footer trying to find a Contact link or address ... and it takes far too long before you succeed. If ever you do at all.

So look at it from the other side. Start with "what do humans expect to find in the footer?" Once you're certain you've got all of those covered, then you can start adding the bells and whistles.
8:56 pm on Aug 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm Mr. Boring with the footer.

About | Contact | Privacy Statement | Photo Use Policy and then on other side of page, the copyright notice.

That's it. I'm not a fan of "mega-menus" in the footer at all, although they certainly have become popular.

When the site is viewed by a phone, the responsive design kicks in. When that happens, any sub-menu's for that particular section of the site will then be displayed just above the footer.