6. Provide Clear and Meaningful Links
Users inevitably skim for links. Good links work as clear and specific calls to action, even out of context.
This is especially important for users utilizing assistive devices:
- Keyboard users' cursors jump directly from link to link when they hit Tab. Since the page jumps down to the link, the clearer the link title alone is, the less likely they have to use their arrow keys to scroll back for more context.
- Screen reader users can press a hotkey to bring up a list of links on the page. These links are presented completely out of context. In a well structured page, the list might read "Undergraduate program; Graduate program; Courses." In a poorly structured page, the list might read "click here, click here, click here."
- Place the link on text that clearly and uniquely describes where the link goes.
- For designers and developers: provide visible indicators (with text alternatives!) for off-site links, email links, and document download links.