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Dave Cantrell <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Wed, 3 Mar 1999 13:56:28 -0000
text/plain (56 lines)
>Personally, I don't like underlined hyperlinks, especially when a large
>number of sites consist of mostly nothing but links to other sites. It's
>too cluttered and unreadable.

This just hit me like a bomb (well, more like a firecracker, actually, but
that's beside the point) -- what about sites that have lots of links close
together -- say within a sentence -- and have underlining turned off? And
the link color dark or otherwise not that much different from the text
color? How do you determine context? How do you know what the link is?


"Welcome to our web site, home of many excellent products that can enhance
your productivity."

Then turn on underlining to see:

"_Welcome_ to _our web site_, _home_ of many _excellent_ _products_ that can
_enhance_ your _productivity_."

This may be an extreme example, but you get the point. How do you tell, at a
glance, which links span across commas and which don't? What about two words
or links close together, such as "_excellent_ _products_" above? if there
are no underlines, it would look like one link, but actually be two...

I'll be honest here guys: I have zero formal training in human factors, and
only know what I have learned online and through books as well as some good
old applied common sense and design insight. I've got a passion for this
though, which is why I'm here. And to me, this looks like a serious problem.
Personally, I think underlines are a part of the navigation metaphor users
have, and we shouldn't mess with it. Look at Windows Help -- lots of
underlines, and users don't have any trouble knowing what to click there --
or do they? I've never seen anyone have trouble with it. I for one don't
want to mess with what I perceive as a Good Thing(TM).  :)

Compare Windows Help to UNIX man files -- "clickable" terms are highlighted
in reverse text, white text on black boxes. *This* drove me nuts -- I would
have preferred underlining! How does Mac help handle this issue?

I do so badly wish both browsers would implement the "A:hover" CSS property,
then I wouldn't worry so much about removing underlines.

Take care,

 SrA Dave Cantrell
 Webmaster, Logistics Information Systems   < >
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