Ian Hoar – Passion for Technology – Geeking Out - Technology, Web, Toys, Games, Design, Entertainment, Gadgets, & Geeking Out

Click Here!

This has to be the bane of my online experience. Okay, that’s probably a bit strong, and there are plenty of other web taboos, but this one is so easy to avoid. Don’t use click here. It means absolutely nothing.

Anyone surfing the web longer than a few days has the look of an html link ingrained into their head. Highlighted or highlighted and underlined text, this is common day web link and it comes with a little cursor pointer to boot. A lot of us scan type, as we do this links will usually be stronger than the surrounding text. When we see click here, there is no context associated with the link without reading the text describing what the link is.

Here is an example.

Your privacy is our priority. To view our privacy policy, click here. To unsubscribe at any time, click here.

Try scanning these links and you will get no context at all. This could be reworded.

Your privacy is our priority. View our privacy policy now. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The second line has much better scanability and just makes sense. Users do not need to be told where to click. As a designer I find myself constantly telling editors not to use click here. Not only does it look silly it’s also bad usability. Remember, links should be able to be read out of context and still make sense.

2 Comments to “Click Here!”

  • Green

    Amen to that.

    Another thing to consider is that sometimes, the scanning is not just a human trait – a lot of assistive programs that help people navigate the web will make no sense without descriptive text.

    Consider a list of links on a page being read to a blind person, or summarized nicely in a navigation tree…

    Only worse than the ‘click here’ phenomenon is the ‘click there’ instructions.

    eg: “To view this month’s schedule, click the link in the left sidebar under the purple icon.”

    what was wrong with “View this month’s schedule