You may be tempted to use the pervasive “click here” hyperlink. When you fill your page with “click heres,” a sighted user has to reread the surrounding text to remember which link is which.
Reimagine the same scenario for a user of a screen reader. She has listened to the whole page and now wants to visit a link she heard a while back. Her screen reader can read a list of all links on the page! Except, on your page she hears a list like this: “click here, click here, click here, click here….” Which one was it? She has no choice but to listen to the page from the beginning. The result is a frustrated user or worse, a user who just won’t bother using your site anymore.
When writing hyperlinks, it is more helpful to:
- Explain where the link will take you, or
- Describe what action will occur when the link is activated in unique, descriptive language
Quick Tips for Linking
- Are your hyperlinks unique and descriptive?
- Do your link descriptions make sense to the reader out of context? (Imagine all of your links read out loud as a list. Can you tell which is which?)
The Hyperlink Editing Tool in the CMS
Best Practice: The Target dropdown determines whether the link opens in the same or a new browser window/tab. It should always be set to None — even if users are being directed to a different website. There are a few exceptions. Reach out to discuss if a use of New Window is acceptable.