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11 Link Usability Tips  (View post)

Jorn Barger [PersonRank 1]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
12 years ago5,869 views

see also: robotwisdom.com/web/value.html

George R [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Philipp says:

"1. Make sure there’s enough space to click on for a given link. Do you know those A-Z link lists? ... Use a non-breaking space around each letter (”... I ...”) to increase the clickable area, allowing for easier navigation."

It is important to separate links from each other to prevent the wrong one from being clicked.

If you have three or more links without separation the middle one may be much harder to select. Do not forget that it may be rendered in a smaller font size than the one in which it is created or tested.

Making the only space between the words part of the link would violate this. Adding extra spaces may disrupt the prose or call inappropriate attention to that particular word.

George R [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Philipp says:

"11. Don’t “obfuscate” the URL. ... Last not least, it may introduce lags when people follow the link, and potentially it also puts your links at risk – what if e.g. TinyUrl goes down, or introduces interstitionals?"

There may good reasons for using a different URL. The text or anchor title can be used to reveal the target URL.

There may be a risk of an intervening relay server being down temporarily or permanently. The likelihood of this should be evaluated. A reliable relay server might be able to repair broken links or overcome other problems.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> If you have three or more links without separation
> the middle one may be much harder to select.

True. In the A-Z example I think something like this makes sense (spaces in-between):

| <a href="...">&nbsp;A&nbsp;</a> | <a href="...">&nbsp;B&nbsp;</a> | etc.

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Avoid target=_blank links. There are certain cases when it's useful to open a new window (e.g. to show a larger picture after clicking a thumbnail), but in 99% of cases you should avoid popus as one of the prominent annoyances on the web.

Cormac [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

"but in 99% of cases you should avoid popus as one of the prominent annoyances on the web."

Are you sure you understand what a pop-up is? A link that opens in a new window is nothing like a pop-up.

Warning people when the link opens in a new window is a lot more appropriate that avoiding them.

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Cormac:
Well, it's not the classic pop-up in the sense that it doesn't open automatically when you visit the website, but it still is annoying.

As a user I want to control whether I prefer to open pages in the same window, new window or new tab. The webmaster should not force that.

MiSHAK [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Should I translate this article into czech language?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

MiShak, feel free to do so, would be neat!

milivella [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Philipp's post was entirely quoted by Jeff Atwood in his blog, Coding Horror:
codinghorror.com/blog/archives ...
This was posted yesterday, and received much attention: a lot of comments, 12 "blog reactions", 5th on del.icio.us and 8th on reddit for popularity right now. Another proof that Philipp is great.

Michael Zajac [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

All good advice.

"Make link text flexible enough so that it “survives” even the removal of the link"

Much more can be said about the relationship of writing to link text, but that would probably make another article or two. Many links want to be sensible nouns which help set the context for the reader. For example, one would expect the text "Google Blogoscoped" to point to the home page, "Philipp's Linking Tips" to this article, and "Hyperlink" to some authority, perhaps a Wikipedia article. Other links want to be verbs, like "send me mail", "post a comment", or "watch the video".

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Michael, what happens if you right-click the "watch the video" link to download the video file? If that's supported?

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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