Hyperlinks: make them bulletproof!

A few days ago, reading the blog of a great friend of mine, I noticed the buttons used in the comments systems doesn't trigger any action, but the text within them, this means: the link wasn't the buttons! I make him notice this small detail, and, as always, I'm not sit on the fence, I helped him with a small snippet of code.

This make me think of a lot of webs over the Internet where the hyperlinks are hard to find or drive us to nowhere. There are a few standars or guidelines to follow when making your links appropiate and effective. This gonna lead that your users can achieve more easily their goals finding information in your website or blog, positively affecting their UX.

This is a small excerpt of recomendations by Jakob Nielsen's AlertBox and usability.gov:

  1. Highlighted in blue: this color and has become the visual standard for hyperlinks, which do not 'mandatory'.
  2. Underline: another very strong visual reference.
  3. Do not use clickable elements (buttons, images) if they do not trigger an action: but of course, to add a button or an image that looks a link if not doing anything?
  4. DRY: no use links with the same name, help the user to locate properly on its website.

Finally, building effective links doesn't need a huge skill, only a hard hat and a toolbelt, and remember: a link is a powerfull and dangerous tool, 'cause breaks down your blog or web site content into logical chunks, mostly of the time in hierarchical way.