One of my LinkedIn network peeps recently showed a status of “Biggest Footer Eva!” with a link to the Zappos.com site. I went to see for myself and had a pretty decent laugh over it. I did some Googling and browsing this morning to see what, if any, discussion there might be of this super tall footer. For starts, @erikvorhes, my own personal “feeling lucky” button, pointed me in the direction of this post.
Totally get that whole I’m reading down a page and now I’m at the end thing. I’ve definitely grown to like the rich footer. We’ve been pushing these things all year long, but apparently rather conservatively. Witness the teensy one we made for Shure or the new GE Citizenship site.
Up until now, I’ve thought these are reasonably sized footers. They give users some place to go, but not too many places to go. The Zappos footer seems huge at 16KB of HTML and several hundred pixels tall. However, if you figure that Zappos gets a couple million unique visits a month, that’s only about 6GB of footer getting pushed out into the interwebs. So really, no big deal, right? Happy Cog are no dummies and neither are the folks at Zappos.
I’ve been trying to argue designers and clients into believing that users don’t mind scrolling for years. So, while at first glance the sheer size of the Zappos footer feels weird to me, I can’t help but wonder if I don’t like this better than the giant grow out navigation overlays or other now-you-see-it now-you-don’t gimmicks I’ve been seeing used as a means of exposing ever-growing site structures.
I’ve poked around for some more discussion of the footer aspect of Zappos UI, but can’t find anything tonight. Happy Cog’s post focuses on the project in general, but doesn’t specifically get onto footer. If anyone sees a post let me know. I’m curious to see what others think (once they stop and get past the initial shock).