Common Mistakes /
Example 2: unvisited vs. visited links, displaying links
Date: 23 september 2003

The case:

I was reviewing a site to find any usability issues. Looking at the "pension info" section, I found out it was possible to download the newest version of the Adobe Reader Software, that was not installed on the pc I was using. There was a link on the page, but it was not obvious to see unless you were approaching your mouse pointer from the link...

Errors / Recommendations:

Error: Links should be always be clearly visible. A common practice is to underline a link in blue. When they have been visited, their color change to red or purple... You can see on the screenshots that the link color, here a light ochre, is totally similar to the title color, which are not links themselves ! The color difference (contrast) between text and links is absolutely minimal. Since this site targets an old audience (it's related to the pension fund of the employees), it is quite a shame to not have integrated the fact that this audience might not have the best possible (eye)sight, isn't it ?

You can change this of course with a wise use of css (cascading style sheets).

Screenshots (click to enlarge in a new window)

Help file
Help file with roll over
help file
help file with roll over
Important note: these examples are taken at a certain point of time. It might be that they have changed in between. We are (therefore) using screenshots. Day of "recording" and webadresses are mentioned.