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Strange question perhaps but I've been pondering over the idea of not using any header and footer at all for a website application (non-responsive).

I thought of the idea for only having a sidebar on the left. I then ran into the question of where the logo should go. Naturally my instinct said "The Header of course!" but this is a problem.

With more and more displays (including tablets) working in landscape views.
My question is, is it good practice or "Expected" to see a Header and/or a Footer when visiting a website, and if so, why?

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    Oh, I really hate footers on web pages with continuous scrolling. Why do they do that?! Eg. Facebook. – Jørn E. Angeltveit Feb 26 '14 at 14:52
  • I get the feeling there is a lot of work which could be done improving the approach to headers & footers overall! – Pogrindis Feb 26 '14 at 14:54
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There are many websites using a 'side only' panel for navigation and brand information. Usually the logo and branding are simply positioned at the top of the side panel.

It seems to be fairly common in wordpress themes. An example is: http://felixplus.com/demo/mediastar/wp/light/

Standard branding info would fit within the top or bottom of the panel in a similar position to where users would look if there was a header and footer in place. I don't think that this is necessarily "expected" but rather automatic.

There wouldn't be any confusion from users as the info is still displayed in a similar area.

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  • Thanks for your answer and a nice example! Will stay away from wordpress all the same but good inspiration! – Pogrindis Feb 27 '14 at 22:28
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I guess I would in turn ask a question in return: "Why do you need a logo within an app?"

A logo's purpose is to assist in helping build a brand awareness. An identifiable glyph and/or wordmark for customers. But as a customers/users engage further with a brand, the need for logo always sitting in the top left corner should recede.

A great example of this is Google Drive. You may see a logo in top left corner that's much smaller than their 'marketing pages', but there to help reassure users. But if you move further into any Google Drive document, the logo is removed - instead letting the app take center stage.

Other apps like Basecamp or Asana incorporate smaller logo versions.

It's a discussions that's come up for me at work within the last few months as well and the more we talk about it, the more I feel the need to keep a large logo in the top left corner is more just a trained habit from designing marketing websites for years. There's no strong reason a logo has to dominate screen real estate. And depending on your app, it may be detrimental to your workflow.

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