Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Click here!

Possibly my biggest web-related pet peeve: web sites that use "click here" as link text.

My eyes skim over a web site, following visual cues. I process information without really thinking, stopping for a second look where I pick up something meaningful, skipping over things that aren't. A link (with its unique style from the surrounding text), is a visual cue. But "click here" delivers nothing meaningful.

With a particular company with which I have an online account, I had scoured their small online bill payment section trying to figure out how to change my email address. For the past 3 months, I've looked every time I've logged in. I had come to the conclusion that it was not possible to do online. Well, it was. (You see where this is going, right?)

This evening, after finally "clicking here" to find the page where I could edit my account, I was inspired to send this email to their "webmaster."


Please don't use "click here" as link text. It reduces usability of the web site.

I was trying to change my email address for my online bill payment. The help said, "visit the 'Edit Account' section." That's incorrect. It should have said, "visit the 'click here' section."

(Actually, your help is wrong regardless: the link reads "Click here" followed by "to edit online billing info." There's no mention of "edit account.")

Web users look for navigation cues, like menus. Or they skim the page for links. "Click here" gives nothing meaningful at a glance.

This is a good article on the subject:

I hope you act on this feedback,

Travis Pettijohn

1 comment:

Travis said...

[Imported comment* originally authored by renice.] Context-relevant links are rumored to help a page's Google rank too (