A client recently suggest we add a “Designed by Logo24” credit to their website footer. It’s something we usually, semi-consciously, pass up, without having defined a reason why they are a little ‘ick’.
The first observation that comes to mind is that most of the big design studios avoid it. Another is that it taints the design. Like branding a cow detracts from the animal’s aesthetics, or like that cow comparison seems a bit out of place.
Any negative feelings towards the footer credit come from its self-serving nature. It brags “look at me, this is what I did”, which is a perfectly fine statement, if in the right context. For example, a case study or announcement on the designer’s site is appropriate. In that context the user is browsing a site designed to sell the owner’s talent.
Usually however, a user is interrupted from the task at hand on encountering that link. It’s a distraction, that detracts from their experience. Except in the edge case, when they want to know the people who created the site.
Enter Humans.txt (gracefully)
…an initiative for knowing the people behind a website. It’s a TXT file that contains information about the different people who have contributed to building the website.
We made a decision to adopt it and cement our disregard for old school footer credits. It feels like the right way to go.