Thursday, July 06, 2006

Do Links Need Underlines?

How links should be displayed ...

"During our recent Virtual Seminar on home page design, several people asked about whether it makes a difference if links are underlined or not. It’s a good question and one we get frequently.

... But users are trained to click on underlined things. (Did you move your mouse over the underlined text in the previous sentence to see if it was a link? Don’t be concerned — so did I and I knew it wasn’t a link.)

Many people who use the web for a long time start to become conditioned to look for underlines. If you watch them with an eye tracker, you can see their focus dart from underlined-text to underlined-text when they first see a page.

... When the designers switch back and forth, between having some links underlined but others not be underlined, that makes even more work for users. Work that doesn’t add any real value. We think the visual design element of the underline is not required, but it is cruel to make users work extra hard because you can’t decide."   continued ...   (Via UIE Brain Sparks)

Links Without Underlines - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Links Without Underlines

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