Rebooted – “Fat” faux footers

Inspired by Phu’s Many colours of a reboot, I’ve decided to share my favorite sites which utilize “fat” footers. I think the more appropriate title for the trend would be faux footers. Rather than one line footers including contact information or short reference links, these “fat” footers usually play the role of the standard sidebar. A resource for archived content, quick posts, Flickrstreams, del.icio.us collections, Last.fm resources, favorite quotes, running comments… You begin to see the trend.

The samples which I’ve collected below not only embrace the idea that the bottom of the page does not necessarily mean the end of a website, but the beginning of an onslaught of rich content and personality that early 2000 bloggers could only drool over.

RC Grafica

rc grafica

While RC Grafica does not possess a true “fat” footer, the layout idea was an instant favorite. If you take a minute to visit the site, there are no “pages”. Rather than requiring users to navigate between hyperlinked pages, the entire site is collected on to a single web page with anchor links inserted at strategic locations. Fat footer or not, the page lacks a true footer qualifying the page for my “Fat” faux footer collection.

Tennessee @ Summer

tennessee @ summer

Nothing like some southern brightness to lure tourists into the area for the season. Using bright colors and horizontal separation, the Tennessee @ Summer page offers readers with an immense amount of content. Despite the top content area being a little light compared to the bottom half of the page, I enjoyed the overall experience of the website. The dawn, day, dusk, night background switcher is definitely a nice touch.

Niggle

niggle

I’m a sucker for fat, dark, wide footers. Niggle does it best with a text based fat footer presenting nothing but the necessary. No frivolity here. Archived posts, short links, and various support resources using a light on dark color scheme. Niggle and 5ThirtyOne must have been separated at birth.

Too many to list in a single post. The three sites above are just a small sample of some of some of my favorite websites / weblogs pushing the standard content & sidebar format out the back door until next season. Do you have any favorites? Drop the links and a description in the comments.

Discuss - 6 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    I think the best footer is one that makes you stay at the site, no matter how it does it. I love your “footer,” which isn’t really a footer but rather a bottom-half sidebar.

    Fat footers are one of those design trends that if not done correctly can have more negative outcomes than positive. They can be detracting, overbearing and sometimes just plain unnecessary.

    I do like the examples you gave though, especially Niggle.

  2. Derek says:

    [quote comment="1583"]Fat footers are one of those design trends that if not done correctly can have more negative outcomes than positive. They can be detracting, overbearing and sometimes just plain unnecessary.[/quote]

    I couldn’t agree more. While fat footers do create additional areas for content, the decision as to what type of content displayed on the front page may not be necessary to display on any other pages. This was something that I found myself debating when creating the rebooted version of 5ThirtyOne. I knew exactly what I wanted displayed on the page that new visitors land on, but I knew that presenting the exact same content throughout the rest of the site would be repetitive and unnecessary.

  3. [...] Make sure to check out other sites styling the “fat” footer design by checking out 5ThirtyOne’s “Fat” Faux Footers article. [...]

  4. What I like best about faux footers is that they allow you to remove navigation and other necessary but distracting design elements away from the content.

    You don’t want the user to leave your site when they’re done reading an article, but you don’t want them to leave the current article until they’ve read it either. A more traditional blog sidebar helps keep content at their fingertips, but by spreading it across the bottom of the site you prevent yourself from sending the user somewhere else too soon.

    I’m a big fan of more content than design, so I’m trying to push the idea a little farther by bringing the faux footer style information up only when needed. Check out Dan Cameron‘s older WordPress work for good examples.

    He had a design for a while that had a position: fixed; bar at the bottom of the screen that expanded up (thanks to moo.fx) with his footer information. He abandoned it because of interbrowser display issues, but I actually wrote code a while back that made it work correctly in IE.

    Currently, I’m trying to incorporate his ideas along with a display technique similar to lightbox/greybox/thickbox to minimize visual clutter.

  5. GAiL says:

    I really like the footer on Bryan’s Avalonstar (the aries one). I’m impartial to blue :)

    Congrats for bagging Most Creative Design, Derek! Let’s show the world what Pinoys can do!!! :D

  6. Derek says:

    [quote comment="1605"]What I like best about faux footers is that they allow you to remove navigation and other necessary but distracting design elements away from the content.

    I’m a big fan of more content than design, so I’m trying to push the idea a little farther by bringing the faux footer style information up only when needed. Check out Dan Cameron‘s older WordPress work for good examples.[/quote]

    Dan’s layout was the first one I recall seeing a toggable element with which inspired me to take a look at hiding content from view. Sure enough, it found its way into my Foliage Mod. As much as I enjoyed the eye candy, I soon came to the realization that hiding “unnecessary” content could be alleviated by creating a page which forced a reader to focus on specific content while allowing eyes to naturally follow the page to older or more frivolous content.

    I know that at some point in time I should add a horizontal navigation bar which allows readers to explore after landing on the front. In a way, dropping the minimal navlinks to the bottom of the page rewards interested readers with additional options.

    [quote comment="1608"]I really like the footer on Bryan’s Avalonstar (the aries one). I’m impartial to blue :)

    Congrats for bagging Most Creative Design, Derek! Let’s show the world what Pinoys can do!!! :D[/quote]

    Thanks for the kudos. I’m still on the fence with the Aries project that Bryan tossed up on his page. To be honest, his previous layout was more appealing. However, I know he went to great lengths to reinvent the use of the WordPress categories (which I found intriguing). I’m not entirely sure if I would consider the categories view as being part of a fat footer. I see a definitive horizontal line separating the categories from the del.icio.s and Flickr aggregated content. Nonetheless, Avalonstar is one of the top non-blogesque designs to hit the scene.