Sometimes I'm confronted with the issue that the links in the posts of this forum aren't underlined. The links can be hardly visible or just not visible [because of their minimal color difference in respect to the normal text *)], especially:
  • in case the visitor has a strong incoming light on his/her monitor,
  • in case the visitor has diminished the contrast and/or brightness in the monitor settings (to save headache in pure black/white web pages),
  • in case the visitor has a laptop which doesn't have the right screen inclination,
  • in case the visitor has not the optimal contrast perception; about 40% of the visitors haven't! **)
  • in case the visitor is color blind (mostly red/green).
  • in case of combination of these factors.

So I guess I'm not the only one who is missing links in the forum (sometimes I see that people are asking for a link which is already posted earlier).
But we don't know how much links are missed. Who is missing a link, doesn't ask for it (only when the link is mentioned elsewhere in the text)!

Conclusion: the not underlined links reduce heavenly the user friendliness and accessibility of the forum.
  • For a part of the visitors the accessibility is almost 0; they have to mouse over all text to see if the hand pointer is popping up.
  • Using the Tab key to jump from link to link is also made impossible (the outline dots are styled away @focus, so you don't know where you are).
  • Means also: visitors without the possibility to use the mouse cannot profit of the forum.

All this is diametrically opposed to the essential WCAG standards (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines):

Maybe it is not too easy to realize this in the used forum technology, but I hope you can pay attention to these accessibility issues.

BTW: the underlining of all the links in this post I did by hand!
*) Tested with the Contrast Analyser:
  • The contrast ratio text/background as such is o.k. (10,3:1).
  • The contrast ratio link/background as such is just sufficient (4.8:1).
  • But the color difference text/link is 208 (the threshold is 500).
  • And the brightness difference text/link is 32 (the threshold is 125).

**) Depending of the demographics of the country.
"The amount of light that the eye of a 60-year-old can see is only 1/3 of the amount of a 20-year-old." (Source, in Google-translate English).
This means: for people between 20 and 60 years the contrast power is somewhere between 100% and 33%. Quite a difference! Above 60 that is going on (70 years old: about 12.5%...).