Writing Links

Writing good text to appear as a link is admittedly not the most exciting topic. But if you do it right, you can avoid hassle for the user and improve accessibility.

Let’s start with an anti-pattern: The »click here« link. I use it myself. But it is a bad idea. The link is not descriptive. The text around may be. But does not help, if the user wants to move on quickly. If links are »click here« you need to skim the page, find a link, and then read the text around it and so on.

So what makes a link better? As a rule of thumb, it should stand on its own – if you only read the link text it should still make some sense. More specifically, it should indicate what the user can expect after they clicked the link.

BAD: if you want to read Jan’s Blog, click here

BETTER: read more on Jan’s Blog

More infos (← not a link!) in the Writing Hyperlinks Article on the Nielsen/Norman-Group web site.

For the slightly tech-inclined: Highlight all links

It can be useful to tone down all all content except the links to check if the links itself make sense. For this you can paste this in your style sheet temporarily:

a *{color:inherit}

Creative Commons License
Writing Links by Jan Dittrich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.