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Guides

hyperlink

In conversation to 'link', the hyperlink is the core concept/technology that allows the web to operate.

A hyperlink connects one webpage with

  • Another document ie : WebPage or File
  • A different part of the same document.

Signifying a hyperlink

A hyperlink is typically signified by an underline.

For this reason, when formatting text for web display, avoid the use of an underline for emphasis. Instead, set content in a bold or italic / oblique variant of the body copy typeface.

A guide to writing hypertext

Only add an in-text link when it supports a likely task...

When to add in-text links

A link within the main content of a webpage (rather than as part of the navigation framework), is referred to as an in-text link.

An in-text link should only be added when it supports a likely task, given the context and content of the current webpage.

For example, in-text links may be appropriate when linking to:

  • essential background/contextual information, or
  • references and definitions (similar in function to footnotes / endnotes).

Authors that are new to writing hypertext often fall into the trap of adding in-text links that are incidental or contrary to the purpose of the content. For example:

(A) The page what you are reading has hyperlink.

In example (A),
A hyperlink connects one webpage with Another document
(ie: A different part of the same document)

(B) This section of the website does not contain information on Thirupavai writen by Sri Andal.

example (B):
A hyperlink connects one webpage with Another document
( ie: WebPage or File

)

Choosing link text

Links as in-text headings: Why you should avoid ‘click here’

As a user scans a webpage, links act as ‘in-text headings’, they help to describe content and orientate the user to the information space. Effective hyperlinks use words that succinctly describe the destination content.

Do not presume…

Links are often provided to enable a user to quickly navigate within a webpage or between a series of webpages. These links include:

  • intra-page navigation: for example, to ‘jump’ to the top of the current page or to content elsewhere on the same page,
  • links between webpages that are parts of a larger document, or
  • links to content indexes, e.g.; ‘all articles’, ‘action/adventure films’.

…[these labels] seem to presume to know how the reader browses the web…

In the interests of brevity these types of link are often truncated, resulting in labels that seem to presume to know how the reader browses the web; how they have linked to the current page; how they scan page content; or even a combination of the two, for example:

  • ‘Back to top’
  • ‘Previous’
  • ‘Next’
  • ‘Return to section name’
  • ‘Return to top’

Of no fixed abode

Increasingly, users link to a webpage from a search engine results page, and may even be scrolled to the anchor nearest the keyword they have entered. Unless the link destination is generated programmatically, they may never have been to the top of the page, nor have come from wherever the in-page ‘return’ link is pointing to.

Omission of context also compromises usability, for example, the label ‘back to top’ may be variously interpreted as linking to:

  • the homepage of the current website,
  • the first page of the current section, or
  • the top of the current page.

Trigger words

An additional issue with the terms ‘back’ and ‘forward’ is that these word are used in toolbar navigation for options that step the user through their browsing history. In particular, ‘back’ is a powerful ‘trigger’ word for less-confident users (as it is synonymous with ‘the known’).

Navigation links that use trigger words are more likely to be conflated with the function of the corresponding toolbar option, i.e. the user may expect that the in-page ‘Back’ link will step them through their browsing history.

Ideally use labels that clearly describe the destination, e.g.

  • intra-page navigation
    • page top or top of page
    • when linking to content elsewhere on the same page, use the text of the nearest heading, or a (judiciously) truncated form of the same, e.g. Choosing link text
  • previous/next page navigation
    use the title of the destination page (or section) as the hyperlink and either unlinked text or an image to illustrate the relationship between the pages:
  • content indexes
    use the plural form (of the subject/information ‘type’) or append a term that makes clear that the user will be taken to a content index:

Hypertext and sentence structure

The ‘click-here plague’ can partially be attributed to the structure (syntax) of written language where a sentence may begin with a subject/object (noun) and conclude with a description (adjective), for example:

(E) The Motive Web Design Glossary is informative and entertaining.

‘The Motive Web Design Glossary’ is the subject, and it is described with the adjectives ‘informative’ and ‘entertaining’.

When a hyperlink is added, the sentence changes from a (passive) description to an active invitation (to click):

(F) The earthincarnation is informative and Highly Spritual.

Without restructuring the sentence, a user following the above link will affect the cognitive equivalent of cutting the speaker off mid-sentence. To support more courteous behaviour, the sentence can be restructured, to begin with description and conclude with the object:

(G) For an informative and Spritual insight into religion of Hindu, see earthincarnation.com.

This structure enables the reader make an informed decision to follow the hyperlink, without re-reading the sentence.

Related terms: anchor, call-to-action, granularity, HTML-text. (will be added soon)

NOTE :

For the benefit of those viewers who belong to other religions / no religion :-
Srimadh Narayana, Sri Ranganatha, Sri Varaahaa all are different names of the Supreme Lord. In fact the scriptures have given 1008 names for the Lord. Even this list is not exhaustive for who has the all embracing knowledge to give us the exhaustive list?

Ashtothrasathanaamaavali means the list of 108 very important names of any deity.

Rishies Munies Alvars and Aachaaryaas are religious teachers, genarally all of them have sung hymes in praise of the Lord.

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