Icons for Internal Links

21 Sep 2009 - 1:47pm
7 years ago
2 replies
2260 reads
Andrea Burton

I was just curious if anyone uses an icon for internal links (similar
to the box/arrow icon for external links). Specifically, I am
thinking of header links, when the header on a page section links to
that section. On so many sites, i just see a color assignment for the
header link which doesn't always seem obvious and depending on the
header style an underline could look out of place or clunky.

i am new here so maybe there is a convention already in place but i
couldn't really find anything searching the archives discussing
icons. I did find this: http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=21128
which raises the issue of distinguishing between external and
internal links.

Maybe just a "view more" takes care of it.

Any further ideas on making this distinction?


21 Sep 2009 - 4:27pm
Jens Meiert

Hi Andrea,

> I was just curious if anyone uses an icon for internal links (similar
> to the box/arrow icon for external links).

personally I don’t recall having seen any icons for internal links yet.

I generally advise against denoting links with icons (few exceptions).
We’re dealing with hypertext which doesn’t know any difference between
“internal” and “external”. (The 11:25 pm short version.)


Jens Meiert

21 Sep 2009 - 4:45pm
Stephen Holmes

I've done a little work on this and found the door metaphor a good
one that people seem to 'get' quite well.

I used it mainly as additional links - mostly with the idea that the
"next action" could be clicking on a web link, clicking on a
specific page within a section (saves the User having to drill down
through a navigational heirarchy) or downloading a PDF. All small
icons indicate the purpose of the link.

A sample of the idea can be found on this site that I built last
year: http://www.beaconit.com.au/05_support/bita_support_tech.html

Stephen Holmes
stephenwholmes at me dot com
Canberra, ACT, Australia

"When you plant a tree, never plant only one. Plant three -- one for
shade, one for fruit, and one for beauty."
-African proverb

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