Links provide mobility on a web site because they allow visitors to move between pages. The text you use in the link works as a signpost to tell people what they'll find if they take that path.
Standards for Creating Links
Link text should be
- precise. Give a clear idea of what's behind the link. If appropriate, reflect the words readers will find at the other end of the link (for example, in the title of the page you've linked to).
- short (2 to 5 words).
- descriptive. Never make a link that says "Click here"—it says nothing of worth. If your audience doesn't understand the nature of links, you can include instructions before or after the link.
Link URLs should be
- human-readable URL or the shortcut URL when linking to pages on our site. For example, link to www.grinnell.edu/offices, not www.grinnell.edu/node/32264/.
The WYSIWYG we’re using in Drupal allows users to set a link to open in the same window (the default action), or open in a different window. Only make links open in a new window if the link
- Provides timely assistance or help. Links providing additional or background information don't count.
- May interrupt an ongoing process. For example, links on forms or pages with some type of application interface.
- Leads to a non-html-document. For example, links to PDFs.
- Leads to a large image which takes time to load.
Do not make links that open in a new window in any other instance without consulting the Quality Assurance Committee.
Why are Link Standards Important?
Well written links are
- Easier to scan.
- Easier to understand
- Screen readers can skip from link to link and still make sense.
- Links that open in new windows can cause a host of usability problems.
- Click here to go to the Off-Campus Studies web site.
- To learn more about financial aid at Grinnell, click here.
- For more information, click here.
In these examples, readers scanning the page would have to stop at each link and scan the surrounding text to find the links they were looking for. Those using assistive devices, or tabbing through the page, would get "click here," followed by "click here," followed by "here." Not very useful.
By simply scanning the links, you can quickly see where each is likely to take you. The links are short and informative.
- Grinnell Link Target Standards - CMSwiki