Click here. Should we use it or not?

26 Aug

According to @wbednarski:

See this: click here to go straight to sign-up
I read this:
Hello potential new client! We are dumb unprofessional people living in 1995 when nobody heard about UX research. Don’t contact us!

The answer is pretty obvious, but not for everyone.

Why not to use click here as a describe text for links.

  • doesn’t say anything about what’s going to happen when you actually click here besides that you click here
  • when the link is in bunch of text you get distracted from what you’ve been reading to think about where click here takes you
  • because it’s a verb it sounds like an order and no-one likes orders
  • it’s obvious that you have to click on a link to get somewhere so what’s the reason for talking about mechanics?
  • search engines cannot indicate how important is the link and what’s the relevance of the link
  • makes you feel like you are stil in 1995
  • looks stupid both on screen and print

So are there any exeptions where we can use click here?
No!

This is an example of navigation you should never use:

  • click here to go home page
  • click here to download the Super Book
  • click here to play music
  • click here to read about us

Instead use something like this:

  • home
  • Super Book
  • play music
  • about us

And what about links in text?

click here - bad example

Really long click here


link - good example

Shorter link with meaning

It’s not a big crime to use click here in text but … take step back and read again why not to use click here. There is no point for doing things in bad way when you can do in good way.

So:

  • don’t force users to think what the link means
  • don’t talk about mechanics – link describes where/what you get when you “use” it not how you should “use” it
  • tell in straight way what is under the link
  • avoid verb phrases
  • try to use short text
  • don’t use click here or click or here

If above doesn’t convience you then read W3C article Don’t use “click here” as link text.

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2 Responses to “Click here. Should we use it or not?”

  1. Click Here August 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    looks stupid both on screen and print

    Well… It should has different CSS for a print version.

    • sylwia August 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      Well yes, but still click here on paper looks silly.

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