[thelist] Do you use :visited in CSS?

Lee Kowalkowski lee.kowalkowski at googlemail.com
Fri Oct 30 04:58:35 CDT 2009

2009/10/30 Fred Jones <fredthejonester at gmail.com>:
> Nielsen says { http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html } that one of
> the "Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design" is "Not Changing the Color of
> Visited Links".
> Do people agree? I personally do NOT change the color of visited links
> because I think it's confusing to users who don't know what it means.

I'm certain he will have the evidence to back this up.  I'm suprised
he's not saying the links should be blue and underlined!  Well, unless
you're using blue and purple it's got hardly any chance of being
immediately obvious which is which hasn't it?  I sometimes see dashed
underlines on links and chuckle to myself that it might mean they're

A lot of this is probably down to context, for example I wouldn't
bother to distinguish between visited and non-visited links in menus &
footers (thinking more in terms of a web application than an true
hypertext informational web site).  If you had a lengthy tutorial
littered with references it is probably useful to distinguish which
links the visitor had already visited, so when they return to the
tutorial they can find their bearings.

You may get the accessibility crowd insisting the contrast between the
colours needs to be sufficient too, and also not relying on colour
alone to convey information.

Perhaps you could style such links to also give them some sort of
visited icon rather than only changing their colour.  I've no clue
what such an icon would look like, or if it would be all that


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