Is it of good UX practice to reduce the contrast of the footer and some other elements on newsletters and websites?
In this first example, the contrast of the footer in a newsletter is reduced, I guess to make the page "lighter".
In this second example, brainpickings.org reduces the contrast of its "favorite pickings" column (on the left side).
I would bet this affects usability. On the other side, I can imagine that the intention in these cases was to reduce noise.
Is this good practice? Are there any tests results available?