Why people still think that it is necessary to name links "click here"?

19 Jul 2010 - 5:15am
4 years ago
11 replies
1134 reads
marianamota
2008

Hello,

I am a graphic and interactive designer and I just started a blog about usability with a webdeveloper. So, I would really like to hear from you guys. Suggestions, comments, constructive criticisms, are very welcome.

http://designdevelopmentusability.blogspot.com/
@ddusability

I hope you like and find it useful. :)

Many thanks,
Mariana Mota

www.marianamota.com
@marianamota

Comments

19 Jul 2010 - 9:05pm
tstutts
2008

For the same reason people still use IE6?

On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 3:43 AM, marianamota wrote: > Hello, > > I am a graphic and interactive designer and I just started a blog about > usability with a webdeveloper. So, I would really like to hear from you > guys. Suggestions, comments, constructive criticisms, are very welcome. > > http://designdevelopmentusability.blogspot.com/ > @ddusability > > I hope you like and find it useful. :) > > Many thanks, > Mariana Mota > > www.marianamota.com > @marianamota > >

20 Jul 2010 - 11:05am
tessa
2008

Well said, Tim. I think another factor is marketing folks somehow think (and perhaps justifiably so, that a "click here" increases their CTR [click through rate]). It may, but CTRs are not the entire picture. :) For ADA purposes it is a mistake and it seems somewhat lazy.
And it is old school 90s strategy besides....

On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 7:36 PM, Tim Stutts9 <timstutts@gmail.com> wrote:

For the same reason people still use IE6?

On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 3:43 AM, marianamota wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I am a graphic and interactive designer and I just started a blog about
> usability with a webdeveloper. So, I would really like to hear from you
> guys. Suggestions, comments, constructive criticisms, are very welcome.
>
> http://designdevelopmentusability.blogspot.com/
> @ddusability
>
> I hope you like and find it useful. :)
>
> Many thanks,
> Mariana Mota
>
> www.marianamota.com
> @marianamota
>
>

19 Jul 2010 - 9:28pm
Alan James Salmoni
2008

"For the same reason people still use IE6?"

 

Having corporate software that only works on IE6 is why links still have "click here"? ;-)

 

Seriously, I guess one answer is because it's easier to just add "click here" rather than work hard enough on the content to add a meaningful link.


19 Jul 2010 - 11:05pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Well, yes: legacy users, legacy content, legacy link concepts. It's all the same on some level.

That said, it can be less visually disruptive, perhaps, to have a small "click here" link trailing a text block than to have a pertinent couple of words (which ones?) linked in the middle. Not recommended as a standard well-thought design element, but not inappropriate for less polished sites which don't have the oomph to do something with more depth.

-- Jim Via my iPhone

On Jul 19, 2010, at 8:00 PM, Alan James Salmoni wrote:

> "For the same reason people still use IE6?" > >
> > Having corporate software that only works on IE6 is why links still have "click here"? ;-) > >
> > Seriously, I guess one answer is because it's easier to just add "click here" rather than work hard enough on the content to add a meaningful link. > > >

20 Jul 2010 - 12:05pm
lgruenberg
2010

The biggest problem with click here is that it usually doesn't provide enough context for users with visual impairments who use assistive devices. Such users have an option to skip to the links on a page, and have them read to them. Click here can be disorienting, so multiple uses of click here on the same page are an accessibility nightmare. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself hearing “click here” followed by “click here” and then again “click here,” with no idea where any of the links will take you. If someone you work with insists upon using click here, then always add an informative link title.

 

Because click here is a simple instruction that makes sense to sighted users who expect that everyone, sighted or not, has read all the prose leading up to their link, it’s the solution used by many—dare I call them what they are—amateur content managers, unfamiliar with how people really read on the web. Skimming, anyone?

 

Quite a few of the 80 staff and 200 member-volunteers who update our website violate this part of our style guide, which explicitly states that click here is not to be used, but I couldn’t resist commenting. Please don’t throw any stones. I’ve included the relevant snippets from WCAG 1.0 and 2.0, below. Notice the conceptual evolution.

 

From WCAG 1.0

13.1 Clearly identify the target of each link. [Priority 2]

Link text should be meaningful enough to make sense when read out of context -- either on its own or as part of a sequence of links. Link text should also be terse.

For example, in HTML, write "Information about version 4.3" instead of "click here". In addition to clear link text, content developers may further clarify the target of a link with an informative link title (e.g., in HTML, the "title" attribute).

 

From WCAG 2.0

2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context): The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general. (Level A)

Louise Gruenberg, MAE, MSLIS

Sr. Usability Officer

Information Technology & Telecommunications Services

American Library Association

50 E. Huron St.,

Chicago, IL 60611

312-280-1395 or toll free:

800-545-2433, x 1395

http://www.ala.org

 

 

19 Jul 2010 - 11:05pm
Jonathan N
2010

I agree that it seems very silly to have a "click here," but working in the nonprofit field, you'd be surprised at how many older people find it difficult to understand where they need to click to find the information they need.

20 Jul 2010 - 4:05am
Magnus Jonsson
2010

I don't see the problem with a "Click here" link. It's a recognized system and self expanatory.

As Jonathan posted: It's far too many users who can't find what they are looking for without clear instructions, such as "click here". Sometimes not even "click here" is enough...

21 Jul 2010 - 10:09am
Jennifer Wolfgang
2010

I'm curious... what are the studies - and numbers - that support either position as being more helpful to the visitor? From what I've been reading on this thread, so far it seems a bit more conjecture.

I think there is a place for "click here" or similar phrases, e.g., "Read more," "Watch video," etc. Though we have not assessed click-through and customer satisfaction of using such terms on our site, they do make sense in the context we are using them. However... we are not using them exclusively in those situations. For example, we tend to have an image (linked), maybe a heading, some brief copy, and then the action of "Read more." So the visitor has context and multiple opportunities to get to content.

If we were displaying news articles that had off-links, then no - I would not use "click here" as I agree with one of the earlier posters in that if I'm reading an article and it references something outside the article it would be distracting to see "click here for details". In that case, I'd just link the words that are the reference.




On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 2:47 AM, Magnus Jonsson <magnus@dronar.se> wrote:

I don't see the problem with a "Click here" link. It's a recognized system and self expanatory.

As Jonathan posted: It's far too many users who can't find what they are looking for without clear instructions, such as "click here". Sometimes not even "click here" is enough...

20 Jul 2010 - 9:09am
hersh
2010

This article by a copy writer explains why "Click here" or similar actionable links work better than others. http://www.copyblogger.com/click-here/

The answer is yes. They found that the right two or three “click” link words can lift click through rates by more than 8%.

Here are the results:

  • “Click to continue”: 8.53%
  • “Continue to article”: 3.3%

 

  • “Read more”: (-)1.8%
  • 20 Jul 2010 - 10:44am
    marianamota
    2008

    Thank you very much for your comments! This is  very interesting discussion! And it is good to know other opinions and views.

    Mariana Mota
    designdevelopmentusability.blogspot.com/

    22 Jul 2010 - 11:45am
    Angela Colter
    2009

    Hi Mariana,

    I can't tell you why people still use "click here." But I've thought about this a lot and have a couple of theories:

    1. Laziness--It's easier than deciding on the appropriate link text to use.
    2. You think your users are dumb--I mean, do you really think people need to be told where to click? (If you do, I humbly suggest that maybe the problem is with the way you style your links or the link text you're using.)
    3. You got the idea from that stupid Marketing Sherpa study that showed an increase in conversions when changing link text from the puzzling "continue here ..." to the slightly less ridiculous "click to continue." Did they include a good example of link text in their study? (E.g., Court to hear challenge to Arizona law) No. They did not. "Click to continue" might have been the better choice, but that still doesn't mean it was a good one.
    4. Sites like Amazon and Orbitz are still lousy with click heres. And people emulate what the big boys do.

    If you're interested, check out my ironically titled blog post, Click here for more information for more thoughts on the subject.

    And Louise is absolutely right. Using link text that doesn't make sense out of context is a real pain for people with disabilities.

    Angela 

     

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