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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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"Kathy E. Gill" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Kathy E. Gill
Sun, 7 Nov 1999 20:01:17 -0800
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At 9:53 AM -0700 11/4/99, Bickham, Randy (Corporate) wrote:
>I know that the underlined link has been the standard for linking on the
>Internet, but just because it is the current standard, does it have to
>remain so?  People learned to see the underlines to know that an item is
>"clickable".  They also have learned that many images are "clickable"
>without any visual clues other than the mouse changing shape over the link.
>Wouldn't it be possible for users to learn to click on un-underlined text as

1) why should we have to?
2) how can I tell when color is being used for "aesthetic" versus "link"?
3) research shows that users like hyperlinks better than images because
they give feedback -- try scanning a page filled with both yourself. i know
my eye first looks for the info in hyperlinks, then in icons/graphics

>From an aesthetic standpoint, most sites look nicer without all of
>the underlines.


i believe we are talking about information usability, not "aesthetics."
reminds me of being on a panel with Jakob N. and David Seigel at WWW6 in
California. Seigel turned underlines *off* on the computer we were using to
demo sites to make our points -- when the site "on the screen" was mine. I
was (silly me) politely waiting for one of the men to finish talking so I
could make a point.

FWIW, when I encounter a CSS site with underlines off -- I just go up in
preferences and turn off CSS. hmmm. need to set a quickkeys shortcut for
that ...

Re the 800 width -- sigh.

We know from offline research that typographic readability is a function of
line length, font face, font size, leading. we have no control over font
face or size on the web -- how can we truly think we are designing readable

finally, for printing, anything wider than 590 means the end user has to
have a postscript printer AND know how to make it scale.

a pox on (most) designer houses.