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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 20 Mar 2009 18:29:42 -0400
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Aras Kannu <[log in to unmask]>
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Aras Kannu <[log in to unmask]>
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For a text-base left navigation, I would not recommend using a:visited
link style. Navigation is something the user accesses a lot repeatedly
and the whole concept of 'have I clicked this before?' is not relevant
in my opinion.

CNN latest news section & Craigslist listings are some examples where I
think a:visited style helps me a lot as those are only cues (unless I
missed others) that I look for to avoid clicking the same thing
repeatedly.
 

Aras Kannu | Principal Architect, User Experience | Infor | office:
678-319-8983 | [log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Abbo Peterson
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:54 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Visited link style in navigation?

I'm curious if there are guidelines or findings about using the  
a:visited link style in navigation links.

I know there's a benefit to using a different color for the a:visited  
link style, to help users get feedback about which links they've  
viewed. That seems most valuable when the page contains many links,  
whether they're long lists or embedded within text.

My question is related to the use of the visited link style in a text- 
based left side navigation. An example might be a navigation list of  
20 projects. When you click a link (colored white), you view a  
project page with its own context-specific navigation. When you  
return to the project listing page, imagine that link is now colored  
gray.

Add the complication that each navigation link has a couple-word  
description under it, colored gray. Once you've visited the project  
page, now the navigation item and the description are both gray. From  
a design standpoint, you've just made the navigation item "invisible"  
and it doesn't stand out anymore.

I'm very tempted to not use the visited link style, but I was hoping  
to get some statistics or feedback about whether this style is used  
much anymore.

Thanks in advance.

Abbo


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