Speaker A: Footer? It’s just the end of the page.
Speaker B: No it can’t be… it’s more than “just the end of the page”
Speaker A: What do you mean?
Speaker B: Well, there is a new trend of creating fat footers and add value to the site.
Speaker A: Fat footers?
Speaker B: They are usually longer than common footers and can become an area for promotion, expressing creativity and increase usability.“Fat footers” are becoming increasingly common in web design. Being larger than the standard footer, fat footers house more information and can actually improve the user experience through doing so.
Here is a list of things you can place in a fat footer to make good use of the space:
1. Links to subpages
Fat footers can include various links to sub-pages on the site to make navigation easier. Links you may wish to include could be:
- Frequently used pages that are not displayed on the main navigation
- Pages that users want quick access like ‘Contact’
- Links to cater for different users like job seekers, media people, volunteers
- Other links like ‘sitemap’, ‘privacy’, ‘terms & conditions’
- Avoid putting too many links in your footer as this will probably harm your site SEO.
- If many links then give enough space between them and allow users easily find what they are looking for. Also group them under categories e.g. useful links, about the company.
Forms can feature in a fat footer. These are typically contact forms or subscription forms. If your business issues a magazine, newsletter or any related type of content then a form can achieve a dual goal; communicate its existence & save time and effort for subscription.
The form should be short and probably act as the first step of subscription.
3. Social media
Knowing that social media is a powerful marketing tool, it deserves a space on every single page. A fat footer can host social options and meet users’ expectations – for example, you may wish to add a ‘follow’ link for your Twitter page or links to your LinkedIn company profile.
4. Other websites of your organisation
If your business runs more than one site it is ideal to show them in the footer. Take advantage of this by informing user their existence, enhancing your brand image and helping their SEO.
Latest posts, latest comments, news, Twitter feeds, contact details and so on can all be shown in a fat footer. Personal sites or blog pages usually include this type of footer.
And what do you need to create a good fat footer? A good Information Architect and a GREAT Designer. Take a look at some of the examples below: