Accessibility: February 2010 Archives

A Multitude of "Here" Links

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Thought I would share a good example of "here" links gone extreme. A minor accessibility & usability recommendation which is often violated is to avoid link text using "Go here", or "Follow this link" and replace it with meaningful text. For instance, instead of saying "Windows Instructions Here" and "Macintosh Instructions Here", it's much better to say Windows Instructions & Macintosh instructions.

I could explain why this is a guideline, but I think the following example captured from a political blog will show it even better

Text says: for still more see Obama Foodarama followed by 4 links saying here then and + 5th here

So first, you will see that there's a great element of mystery about all these 5 destinations called "here". If you're on a screen reader and listing out links, "here" is always a mystery. I'm guessing they're external blogs/Web sites, but which ones? Are any of them from the Federal Government, CNN, another blogger? You can only tell by going there...if you dare.

The other objection to "here" links is that they're relatively small. If it's buried within a sea of text it can be easy to miss visually and harder to aim for, especially if you have motion impairment issues in the hands. The image below shows the peril of a buried "here" link.

Text:The service has been tested and supports the following email clients and configurations are available here (link). Nonlink List of clients follows

I don't know about you, but my first instinct was to click the text for my particular e-mail client and go directly to that page. When I couldn't, I panicked until I finally found that tiny piece of "here". However, a link saying "Configuration Instructions" would have stood out more resulting in a little less panic and frustration.