Should links still be underlined and blue?
Posted 15 May 2006 - 01:31 PM
Jakob Nielsen pushes for blue link colors and purple visited. I personally use a mix of underlined links and non-underlined unless moused over, but there has to be something else that signals a link if there is no underline. For example, if page titles use the same font size, face and color as links, then there is no way to know if it is clickable or a page title or heading.
More recently, there is this:
What color should you use for visited links?
Have any of you come to any conclusions or practices on your own, either as an Internet user, designer or site owner?
Posted 15 May 2006 - 01:37 PM
Posted 15 May 2006 - 01:54 PM
Very few sites really use the standard colours for links, so people are not expecting them to be blue and purple, so I don't see it matters.
I like to keep underline on, unless it's obviousy because it looks like a button or a clear nav bar or something, but I don't care about the text colour.
Edited by Adrian, 15 May 2006 - 02:05 PM.
Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:01 PM
Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:09 PM
Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:41 PM
It's the usual balance of what you win versus what you lose. Designers are typically moving ahead of their audiences and sometimes the reasons for that are not particularly strong.
Whatever you do I think links should be obvious without having to move your mouse over them. Equally non-links should obviously be non-links without having to move your mouse over them.
Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:49 PM
Personally, I like a high contrast different color (than main text) and underlined (different color for the visual indicator and underlined for our color blind friends). I think both aid in usability. Too often I see dark blue (not underlined) against black text (which looks 'close' in color when my eyes are tired) and sometimes miss the fact its actually a link.
Edited by Respree, 22 May 2006 - 10:44 PM.
Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:09 PM
I agree with Adrian that a lot of underlined links close together in a paragraph can look cluttered.
I think that sometimes stylishly clean visual design trumps usability, and that's a shame. On the other hand, we're only a few years out from those years of patterned backgrounds, clipart, and blinky, spinny whatnots. More recently the web has taken a strong sway into minimalist pages with tiny fonts very few graphics. Amidst the relief of a lack of clutter are new choices, expanded by the flexibility of CSS. Choice is the operative word. We weigh personal preference, studies and educated instinct, and we go forward.
For myself, I don't like underlines that are NOT links, and I don't like it when links are not a different color from what's around them.
Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:13 PM
Call me old-fashioned, but I feel quite strongly that links should follow a convention, in much the same way as footnotes, citations and bibliographical references follow a convention in, say, academic journals.
I don't see any reason for links to be the standard blue colour, in fact, the standard styling tends to make a site look amateurish in my eyes
Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:52 PM
If you have a colorful design, changing the link color shouldn't hurt.
If you make the underlining dotted, that shouldn't hurt much, provided the links are noticeable.
However, all these changes will make the links less visible.
I myself prefer blue links with dotted bottom border. It makes the links less obtrusive and perhaps they look less familiar. I am sure some people are tired from seeing blue underlined linkes for ages (that doesn't mean they won't click on them, though).
Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:38 PM
Also re:underline, some browsers like camino override the underline, so I set all a attributes to text-decoration:underline - for any mac users out there or other with substantial mac community sites it might be worth adding to your css.
Personally I am really getting back to the whole grass roots of the internet, simple sites that follow convention, why? Because they are simply more effective. (Plus my design skills leave a little to be desired - to say the least).
Retro is cool, as long as it's not blinking at me (like those damn clickable smiles, lol). I have also found that on slick sites that are pretty on the eye, page views are less because people are too busy admiring and forget what they are doing. Of course it all depends on the industry and what your competing against. But give me a mom and pop style site anyday.
It's a shame the only people that really care about the design are usually the clients, people using the site, usually couldn't care less as long as everything's there and simple, easy to use and cheap. Of cource there are exceptions, some big ticket items for instance.
It's very easy to loose the message with too much design.
Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:03 PM
Every extra element distracts the visitor from the content and the intent to find something useful.
In this sense, anything other than 'blue, underlined' makes a visitor think 'Why is this so?', 'Is this really a link?', etc.
Edited by A.N.Onym, 15 May 2006 - 10:04 PM.
Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:03 AM
For some markets, plain blue links will seem too unexciting and bland. Perhaps even too 'safe' and boring. Adrain makes himself a prime example of the type of customer who will be better engaged (and thus more likely converted) by a website that pushes design foremost.
For some groups, it even pays to slip in the odd "Easter Egg" link, by deliberately making one or two links harder to spot. It can catch the attention, and be remembered, and that's good.
However, for a general audience, or for even less techie than average groups, I will always prefer to have instantly recognizable links where they matter.
If you force most people to think too hard about using your site, the thing they will think about is how much easier it is to use other sites.
Posted 17 May 2006 - 05:36 AM
Blue and underlined for those links within the main content and the navigation styled otherwise?
I'm not too fussed what you do with your links - as long as they are sufficiently differentiated from the rest of the page I'm happy.
But it was interesting to read the Dan Thies report...
Going to tweak my CSS and see what happens (and such is the joy of CSS - two lines of code and the whole site is updated).
Posted 17 May 2006 - 05:57 AM
However, I suspect that even if navigation has blue and underlined links (at least secondary navigation), it should increase click-throughs. It shouldn't look much appealing, though.
Posted 17 May 2006 - 07:07 AM
Or are we going to nod sagely and leave then they are because 'that's they way I like 'em'?
Posted 17 May 2006 - 07:36 AM
It largely depends on the site audience and the site.
As I have more or less come to a final decision for my site, I am going to nod sagely and say 'That's the way I like em' - but those are not standard blue colored links, too
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users