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Why you should never write “click here”

July 05, 2013

Morgan and I recently attended the HighEdWeb West conference in Orange, California. We returned to campus with lots of new ideas, but one seemingly tiny thing looms large for me: we’ve got to stop telling our web visitors to “click here.”

It’s an antiquated construction, and there are plenty of reasons to stop. Here are a few that stand out to me:

  • It impedes our site’s accessibility because it provides no information for visually impaired visitors using a screen reader to quickly navigate a page based on its links.
  • In fact, it slows down all visitors! Everyone has to rely on context to determine what will happen when following a link.
  • It’s irrelevant. Lots of web traffic comes from mobile devices whose users aren’t clicking on a mouse.

So, what should we do instead? Several sites offer detailed examples about how best to structure links for a good user experience. I’ll boil it down to a few tips here, but please read more from Smashing Magazine.

  1. Link to nouns, not verbs. 
  2. Tell people what they’ll get at the link. 
  3. End your sentence with a link. 


You can find more information about links, web writing, and a whole lot more on our Web Best Practices page. And, as always, please get in touch if you have any questions!

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    New Media is located in room 123/124 of McAfee on the Undergraduate Campus.


    voice 503-768-7972 fax 503-768-7969

    Director Morgan S. Grether

    New Media

    • New MediaLewis & Clark0615 S.W. Palatine Hill RoadMSC 19PortlandOR97219