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  1. #1
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    Importance of good href's.

    While designing my new site I started to think about the css for links.

    Doesnít everybody hate when clicking on a link and in the same second find out thatís it leading to a PDF. Waiting... waiting... waiting... finally acrobat is loaded.

    Or clicking on a mailto link when your only using web based email thinking the "contact us" link would lead to a contact form. Waiting... waiting... waiting... finally outlook is loaded, now I need to close it login to my web mail and go from there.

    Or when you click a link without knowing it would redirect you to another website.

    Well anyway, trying to browse my site the way my visitors will and trying to see it from their perspective i found out even my own site have poor href's.

    I would like to have you all come with examples and comments on how to design good links. I don't think the user should have to mouse over the link to figure out where it's leading. And sometimes thatís not even possible considering the fact that many sites is using server side pages to redirect visitors and so on.

    This is a pretty good design
    http://www.particletree.com/features...your-business/
    Scroll down and you will se a PDF-icon on all links pointing to a PDF-file.
    On the other pages you can also see a ZIP-icon for links pointing to a zip-archive.

    I would love to see more examples, thatís the only one I could find right now.

  2. #2
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
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    identifying link's content

    I agree that it's a good idea to give users an idea of what the link is going to. I don't use icons, but I do try to "label" links with clues such as: (opens in new window), (PDF 3.4 KB), (3.4 MB) etc. so users know what to expect. The page doesn't look as "clean", but I think it's worth it. Sadly not enough site's do this, and as you say, you don't know if you're getting another page or a monster download until it's too late.

  3. #3
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    The title attribute with additional supportive text normally helps.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xhtmlcoder
    The title attribute with additional supportive text normally helps.
    Fwiw, title tooltips offer limited additional help if you're a keyboard nav user (without sight-impairment).
    From what I understand, the title attribute tooltip is typically only triggered by hovering over the appropriate element with a cursor/mouse (or some other 'pointing device').
    Alighting upon an element by tabbing will not usually trigger the title tooltip doodad.
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

    Mate went to NY and all he got me was this lousy signature

  5. #5
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Posters
    Fwiw, title tooltips offer limited additional help if you're a keyboard nav user (without sight-impairment).
    From what I understand, the title attribute tooltip is typically only triggered by hovering over the appropriate element with a cursor/mouse (or some other 'pointing device').
    Alighting upon an element by tabbing will not usually trigger the title tooltip doodad.
    Code:
    a:focus:after {
    	content: attr(title);
    	margin-left: 5px;
    }

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Hmmm, a nifty solution of sorts, but I'm not a big fan of the use of CSS generated content on the grounds that it muddies the waters which the separation of content, presentation, etcÖ is supposed to help clear.
    Additionally, that kind of transient jiggling around of page text is unlikely to be absorbed well by layouts which use inline anchors. Aside from looking a bit nasty even to unimpaired users, it might possibly be trading one accessibility black mark for another - albeit one with fewer affected users.

    Incidentally, do you happen to know whether or not support for such a rule is scheduled to make an appearance in a future beta/final release of IE7?
    Absence of support in the world's current most popular browser (by far) somewhat limits its range as a deployable solution.
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

    Mate went to NY and all he got me was this lousy signature

  7. #7
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Some screen readers will read the title attrib. but like you said its not an ideal.


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