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Previous Posts

Two simple rules for hyperlinks

Sunday, December 19, 2004  

All research on usability confirms the following two simple rules. But interestingly, of the home pages of the 10 largest corporations in British Columbia, not one complies. Here they are:

1. Differentiate visited and unvisited links with color.

Keep the color consistent. Blue for unvisited and purple for visited is best--that's the browser default. Next best is a hot color, like red, for unvisited, and a cool color for visited.

2. Underline links.

That's the browser default. Underlined links make the most visceral connection with the user.

The only exception to these two rules is links that will be clicked many times--site-wide navigation links on large sites, or perhaps Back and Next buttons. But for every other situation, make the world easier to navigate by following these two rules.

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About the Author

I'm Chris McGrath, an intranet consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I've been working on intranets since 1997, and on plain ol' web sites for even longer. I run One Intranets, the firm that co-created ThoughtFarmer -- an enterprise collaboration platform for Windows-based intranets.