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March 25, 2005

Semantic Link Styling

I really like what Rebecca's doing with link colors on her site. As a blogger, I've always struggled with balancing between providing enough links to orient a reader to a potentially unfamiliar subject and the danger of overloading a post with so many links that it's hard for the reader to pick out the part I really wanted them to see.

Rebecca's solution is elegant -- and importantly, doesn't go overboard with semantic link styling for its own sake (i.e., different styles for a dictionary entry, a Wikipedia link, a news article, etc.), but just focuses on a few categories that really support the reader: gold indicates "here's what I've written before about this", gray indicates "here's some background if you need it", and blue indicates "this is the link you need to click to understand this entry".

<=> | March 25, 2005

Comments

Isn't this a little similair to Wikipedia's method? They color links to content that doesn't exist yet red and content that exists blue. External links is light blue.

Example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyrgyz_revolution_of_2005

Posted by: Jacob Bøtter | Mar 26, 2005 12:07:48 PM

This falls foul of (very good) accessibility legislation in the UK. You can't use colour-only to identify/distinguish any information relating to services provided to the general public. It's fine in bloggs of course, but remember: there are a lot of blind & sight-impaired people out there :-)

Posted by: CD | Apr 11, 2005 6:28:25 AM

I remember experimenting with (horribly IE-only at the time) underline styles for different link types: solid underlines for external links and dotted for internal / in-site links. This might be a compromise for the accessibility issues that CD mentions, above.

Posted by: Chris Ford | Apr 25, 2005 4:41:15 AM

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