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Principles

1. Understand who and why

2. Understand the text

3. Choose what to say

4. Slash everything else

5. Edit sentences

6. Put into logical order

7. Demolish walls of words

8. Use links in the right way

9. Rest it then test it

8. Use links in the right way

Write links that help people to choose whether or not to visit the link.

Place the links where choosing to visit the link makes sense.

Write meaningful links: no 'click here' or 'more information'.

People often decide whether to visit a link by reading the link on its own. Boring links like 'click here' or 'more...' make it hard for them.

Launch and land on the same name

When you click on a link, you expect to go the content described in the link. If the names are different then it's confusing. If they're the same, it's reassuring.

Give a reward for each click

Following a link means work for your reader. Make sure each one delivers a rewarding amount of relevant content.

Don't embed links

Any link offers the temptation to follow it.

If people will mostly "scan, select, and move on" then put your links where they can find them and choose quickly. Don't hide the links in the middle of content.

If people will want to read and absorb the content of your page, then give them a chunk of content before each link.

Either way: don't embed the links.

 


Tip

People who use screen readers often listen to the links without reading the surrounding text and at high speed. Make sure that the beginning of each link is distinctive and informative.


Exception: Wikipedia

Wikipedia has embedded links everywhere. Some people find them annoying, others find them helpful because they are browsing. If you're writing for Wikipedia, it's ok to embed links.


Where from?

Theofanos, M. F. and Redish, J. C., 2003
Guidelines for accessible and usable web sites: Observing users who work with screen readers Interactions, X (6), November-December, 38-51.

Summary of this article: Observing Users Who Listen to Web Sites


Where to find out more

Ginny Redish's book

chapter 12: Writing meaningful links