Have You Looked at Your Links Lately?


August 29, 2018

Links are the unsung heroes of your website. They take users where they want to go, and often, these are the same places you want them to go. However, it is all too easy to frustrate users and miss out on possible customers or clients when they can’t find your link in-text. The ideal link is usable, honest and simple, so make sure your link is designed with the following tips in mind.

It’s not a button
A link is the relationship between two sets of data, often providing meaning and context. Buttons, on the other hand, perform actions. If you want someone to download something, a button is great, but a link doesn’t fit. Have a Toronto web design firm review your website to see if your buttons and links are doing what many people will expect them to do based on format alone.

It’s coming with an underline
An underline makes it clear that there is a link, and it’s vital for people who are colour-blind and can’t see the blue hue that is often used. Some argue that underlining links disrupts the text, but you still have two alternatives: highlight in another way, such as using a background colour for the link, or use a dotted or dashed bottom-border for the same effect with less visual impact.

It stands out
As your Toronto web design firm will tell you, all your links should be identifiable at first glance. Since interaction is not the same across all devices, relying on page scrubbing for link uncovering is asking for user frustration. Eye-tracking data indicates that people scan through links right after titles to find the parts of the page they are looking for, and this is even more important for screen reader users who aren’t visually scanning the page but do scan through links.

It uses good microcopy
If you can, keep your links toward the end of text blocks or sentences. Doing this will ensure a smoother user experience and limit thought process interruptions. Don’t use common generic terms such as “click here” or “read more”; your sentence for the link should make it obvious that this is where the user should click and remain in context at the same time.

It keeps its promise
Your links should take your users where they expect to go. When you users select, tap, click or otherwise trigger your link, they should receive just what they were expecting and nothing more or less. Because they are going to expect the link to do something, stay on top of your links and ensure they are never broken.

]Your users expect a frustration-free experience when they visit your website, and this includes links they can easily find that lead them where they want to go. If your links and/or your website need an overhaul, talk to an experienced design agency about it as soon as you can so you’re not lagging behind your competition.