Many sites use them - utility links at the base of the content or lower
on the page that act as a secondary navigation, particularly to things
that aren't defined in the primary navigation (orphan pages, corporate
links, etc.). For a project that I'm working on, the client has asked
that these links be placed at the very bottom of the page - below the
disclaimers, the legal jargon, the copyright.
The pages in question - Site Map, Contact Us, Register for Updates - are
truly secondary content NOT represented in the main navigation (well,
register is). Unfortunately, these links can NOT be placed in the
header utility links because of other required content. So, either we
add them to the main navigation (which the client doesn't want to do) or
they end up at the bottom.
I know that people look for those links of very large sites - portals,
large e-commerce sites, etc. because they know that it is often the
quickest way to find links to the Site Map, Customer Service, Help, etc.
However, I'm not sure that the paradigm has made the crossover to
smaller sites and I'm worried that putting utility links at the absolute
bottom of the page will essentially bury them where no one will ever
find them. Does anyone else have any insights to this? Am I right that
putting those links at the bottom will end up making them useless, or
does that 'big site' philosophy of looking at the bottom of the page for
secondary content links carry over to all sites?