Footer Credits vs Humans.txt

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)

I love Humans.txt, and am grateful for the humans behind it. In their words it’s:

…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.

Paddy O’Hanlon is a web designer and one of the principals at Logo24. He is a lover of good semantics, well documented and architected CSS, and beautiful, content-driven design. (Really the design-guise is a cover-up so he can covertly feed his travel addiction and climb many rocks around the world). He tweets @Paddy.

Comments make us happy