Wednesday, September 9, 2009

User Experience Tip for Visited Link Colors

I have been messing around with some visited link colors for today, as someone has tweeted this:

Generally, paying attention to the a:visited property is good. In some cases, styling the visited link is detrimental to the user experience. The point of the visited link style is to show you what pages you've been to on a site. It could be a link you want to avoid, or a link you'd like to get back to. When the link blends in, it tells the user that there is no link there.

Jacob Nielson Says…
People get lost and move in circles when websites use the same link color for visited and new destinations. To reduce navigational confusion, select different colors for the two types of links.

Some cases go along with the idea that a visited link is "faded" out because you already went there. Anything that is now secondary should be displayed as such from a visual perspective. But in some cases are not, example:
Take's brother website for example, the second and third headlines look like sub titles of the first headline for me when they faded out with very much different colors, which is confusing.

So my tips are:
  • The two colors should be variants or shades of the same color, so that they’re clearly related.
  • The color for unvisited links should be more vivid, bright, and saturated than the color for visited links.


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