[thelist] Links and visited links

Nan Harbison nan at nanharbison.com
Sat Nov 17 11:04:04 CST 2012

It does make sense that main navigation links have no visited styling but
links in the content do!
Thanks Joel, Lee and Symeon.

-----Original Message-----
From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org
[mailto:thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of Lee Kowalkowski
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 4:48 AM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: Re: [thelist] Links and visited links

On 15 November 2012 17:37, Nan Harbison <nan at nanharbison.com> wrote:

> I have a question about a.link, visited, hover, active. I think it has 
> become quite standard to have the main navigation links always be the 
> same color, not changed if they are already visited, but they always 
> have some change when hovered over.

If you mean something like in a menu, then yes.  If your main navigation is
something like a list of your recent blog articles, then no.

> So what about links in the other parts of content on pages? It was 
> pretty standard at one point (I think) to have the link be a different 
> color if it had already been visited. But I don't think I see that any 
> more in websites, even though some purchased/free designs do have the 
> visited color be different.

You don't see this anymore?  Google search results page still does this -
and it's mega handy that it does.  Perhaps you've been frequenting bad
sites, I dunno, there are plenty of them around.

> What do you think about this? Should the link color always be consistent?

It depends on context, would it be useful to the user if they could tell
they've already visited a link?

If you stray from the blue & purple default, then you've invented your own
convention, and when the user sees two new different colours for links,
they're not necessarily going to know which is which.

As many authors don't like the blue (or purple), they change the default
colour for their links, which means they can no longer really use colour to
distinguish between visited and non-visited links in any intuitive way that
they would be happy with.  The only intuitive method I can think of would be
to make non-visited links bold like email clients do with unread emails.
 Neither techniques have mass appeal, so most designs seem not to bother
distinguishing them.


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