Posted on: August 10, 2015
Categories: consultancy and troubleshooting, analysis and design
The endemic use of “click here” links within emails, web pages and elearning materials are an indication that many designers and authors need to learn to think more from the user’s perspective.
Put simply, “click here” is bad practice. It is lazy and inconsiderate to your users.
Don’t do it.
We have known for years that people tend to scan web-pages rather than read them (Jakob Nielsen). They are seeking signposts to further information: headings, short bullet points and links.
A link that just says “click here” tells you nothing about where it will take you. It’s like a signpost in a street that says “Walk down here”. Meaningless.
Some people will try to mitigate this by providing some extra information after saying “click here”
Eg. “click here” to find out more about building widgets.
But that doesn’t help the people who are:
- scanning for links
- using assistive software and tabbing through links (Introduction to Web Accessibility)
In both cases, that extra information is redundant as it won’t be seen or heard.
What should we do?
The words you use for a text link are critical to help the user know whether they should click on it or not.
Like a trail of treats set out for a dog, your links should provide a “scent” of the next page. (Krug: Don’t make me think)
In the example above, instead of saying:
“click here” to find out more about building widgets.
Just use the link: Find out more about building widgets
It really is that simple. But it does need a tiny bit of extra thought about which words are going to convey most scent.
You may even find that more people then click on your links…