Visited Links

I visited to check out my monthly wireless bill, but I took a bit to find the link. The ‘visited’ style, you see, was faded out. I’m not sure what frame of mind I was in, but for some reason I was taking them at face value, and considered the faded links to be unimportant. When I came out of my tired daze and scanned the list item by item, I found the link I was looking at before.

Links, then come in two varieties.

When you have a table of contents before (and/or at the beginning of each chapter of) a large page of text, or if you’ve got a series of items; for example, in a gallery, the links are items you’re ticking off, one by one. These links say, “You’ve already been here.”
The links at grey out when you click on them, as if to tell me that I’ve seen them, and they’re now unimportant. A user’s eyes easily skip over the grey text, so that they can more quickly scan through the list to find things they haven’t seen, yet.
These links might be called ‘search’ links, because you’re looking for different things, and rarely want to see the same link twice.

When you have a link to an application, on the other hand, or perhaps to a real-time info page, the links take you somewhere you’ll return to again and again. The links say, “Welcome back!”
These links are important, because you’re skipping past all the regular links to find them. Because of that, these ones need to stand out from the others. They don’t need to be more emphasized than the other links, but they do need to be different enough to be seen easily by the user as they scan. A different colour of the same luminosity could work.
These might be called ‘recurring’ links, because you go back to them time and again, and need to easily find it later.

I wonder if there are other types of links?

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2 Responses to “Visited Links”

  1. Mark Dykeman says:

    On a semi-related note, my WordPress theme used to change font color for links. After a few months of that, I decided to modify the theme to format them with underlines. It just seemed more logical: make everything underlined a hyperlink.

    I don’t think there’s really any possibilities other than the two you mentioned. But how about buttons that follow a hyperlink and take you to a different Web page?

  2. I’ve also seen some that use a dotted border-bottom, for other links.

    I’ve seen certain strategies for external links, including the use of padding-right and a background-image. I’ve also seen talks about rel=”external” or such, but I’m not sure if there were any plans to implement it.

    I’m just wondering whether rel=”search” or class=”search” would be better. It seems fairly important, to me, but I’m not sure if anyone else has ever noticed it.

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