Friday, June 25, 2010

Fabulous Footers - 4 Great Ways to Use the Space

by Kabir Bedi

Footers are the oft-ignored cousins of website headers that welcomes visitors when they scroll down and reach the end of web pages. And the web design community is highly guilty of ignoring an element of such critical importance for so long. However new age designers are waking up to realize the immense potential of footers in website design and developing new and unique ways to use them more creatively!

Gone are the days when the footers were a place to place simple copyright statements. The footer has evolved to become an effective place to lead people to places where you want them to go and entice specific reactions from them.

Here are some interesting tips to create fabulous footers and make them enhance the user experience of your website:

Interesting Links

Footers take over from where the body content ends! Therefore, make sure you retain readers attention and continue their interest in the web page. A great way to do this is by offering them interesting links in the footer that point to other areas of the website visitors would be keen to check out. You can also add a small 'search box' there. After scanning down the entire length of the page, chances are your visitors would have some questions in their mind. So, give them an easy way to locate a solution by placing a small search box there. Remember, a footer is not just an appendage. It’s a good host.

Site Map Footers

Bottom areas of web pages are often underestimated. But its important to realize that its a great way to put vital information. And footers are ideal real estate. This is because website visitors naturally scroll down a web page and its very unlikely that they miss the footer. This makes footers an ideal place to provide details. A common trend nowadays is to display site-maps on footers. This is especially great for websites that store content in many sections and sub-sections. Visitors not only get to see important keyword links instantly but also the content doesn't compete with the page above.

Advertisements in Footers

If you fail once, try again! This is the motto of life and it should be no different for your web pages. And footers are a great place for the 'try again' part. If visitors somehow miss the message on your headers, footers serve as a second chance to incite them. The bottom of web pages is a great place to position advertisements and remind your visitors about the benefits of your products or services. The key to effective advertising is to repeat the same message on all pages to drives the point home. Make your footers persuasive and offer great incentives to your visitors that entice them to act.

Author Intros

Footers are a great place to introduce the force behind the website, be it a person or a company. Personal websites carry images of authors along with their areas of interests etc. while corporate websites have snapshots of the company plus its ideals, business objective and overviews etc.

About the Author

Kabir Bedi is the senior web consultant at LeXolution IT Services, a professional web development company the specializes in delivering a full range of web solutions like website design & development, website redesigning and so on. He has completed several international web design projects for clients from around the world.