Accessibility Checklist: Links

Link text indicates specific destinations. Links describe the target resource; in other words, the text of the link tells people where they’re going to end up when they open the link.

  1. Use descriptive links –Writing a descriptive link allows someone using a screen reader to jump from link to link (an auditory equivalent of visually scanning). Placing links as text within a sentence fosters readability.

    For example, Read more about strategies for creating accessible links.

  2. Avoid links that include verbs or verb phrases, such as Click here or LINK or Go here for more information. People using a screen reader will only hear, “link, link, link” on a page with three such links. Also, these links prevent all users from scanning the document to quickly locate a specific link on the page.

    Instead, write descriptions such as “tell me more about Amaya: W3C’s free editor/browser that lets you create HTML, SVG, and MathML documents.”

  3. Avoid using URLs by themselves. Providing a hyperlink without context can be confusing.

    Instead of using: https://www.ada.gov/ by itself, include the link in a sentence: To view ADA regulations, visit https://www.ada.gov/.

  4. Avoid underlining words to add emphasis. Readers might mistake underlined text for a navigation link. Do not use underlining for anything other than hyperlinks.

Maintain the standard that hyperlinks are underlined and are a different color value (lighter or darker) than the main text. This will help colorblind users find links more easily and is good usability practice.

In conclusion, when telling the user to do something, use brief but meaningful link text that:

  • Provides some information when read out of context
  • Explains what the link offers
  • Doesn’t talk about mechanics
  • Is not a verb phrase
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