hyperlinks vs. buttons in dekstop applications

22 Nov 2004 - 6:03pm
9 years ago
1 reply
734 reads
Eugene Chen
2004

Hi,

1 - I'm wondering if anyone has found any official guidelines (I've looked,
but haven't found) or developed any personal conventions for the use of
hyperlinks vs. button in desktop applications.

For instance, in my current application, we provide some links to external
websites. This seems like a no-brainer to display as a hyperlink. But it
becomes more ambiguous. We had a Search and I wanted to provide access to
Advanced Search... I could show this as either a button or a link.

But within Windows and Office applications, the use of hyperlinks is
becoming more prevalent. Microsoft uses it to select files, pop up More...
and Options... dialogs, lead to help or ancillary information, navigate the
interface, and access advanced functions.

I haven't found any strict pattern to this usage, but it does seem to be a
useful way to display a function somewhat more discreetly than with a
button. It can work quite well in the context of other text.

Any thoughts or experiences? Usability studies?

2 - How should hyperlinks be displayed visually? Always blue? Always with a
hyperlink?

I'm noticed that Microsoft always uses blue text, not underlined. However,
in our app, the screens have various color backgrounds and text is usually
black. I find the blue doesn't always look good and frequently draws too
much attention. So, I'm thinking our convention should be: various colors,
but always underlined.

Thanks,

-- Eugene

Eugene Chen
Freelance Interaction Designer

Comments

23 Nov 2004 - 2:42am
Tadej Maligoj
2004

>
> 1 - I'm wondering if anyone has found any official guidelines (I've looked,
> but haven't found) or developed any personal conventions for the use of
> hyperlinks vs. button in desktop applications.

This is my personal convention:
- Use button, when click makes an action in a business process (i.e.
Submit, Cancel, Calculate, ...)
- Use hyperlink when click navigate you to next page.

Of course, every rule should not be followed blindly ;+)

> I'm noticed that Microsoft always uses blue text, not underlined. However,
> in our app, the screens have various color backgrounds and text is usually
> black. I find the blue doesn't always look good and frequently draws too
> much attention. So, I'm thinking our convention should be: various colors,
> but always underlined.

Having different backgrounds is bad enough ... Do use the same color
for the same functionality all over the application. It needn't be
blue (particulary not ugly windows blue). Underlining helps as well.

Regards,

Tadej

--
_______________________________
Tadej Maligoj, Information Architect
e1: tadej.maligoj at gmail.com
e2: studio at maligoj.com
m: 031 306 986
w: www.maligoj.com

Syndicate content Get the feed