Links are the internet. They define how information is connected and how information is found. As designers, we are responsible for ensuring that users find, recognize, and click on links that hold the information they seek. To make links findable, discoverable, and accessible, we follow the UX/UI advice of Nielsen and Norman Group:
First, though, what is a link in this context? I am talking about menu items, buttons, in-text links, or any other user-facing link.
Make Your Links Abide by These Four Link Rules:
One of the most common links we see is Learn More. Learn more, tells a little bit about what page it will direct you to, but it doesn’t give the whole picture. If you are a yard care company improving your website, you could change the ‘Learn More’ to ‘Learn More About Lawncare or Learn More About Yard Cleanup.’
Links need to fulfill the promises that they make! If you say, Schedule Your Estimate, be sure that the client can actually schedule an estimate, don’t have just a contact form behind that link. If you’re leading a client to a contact form rather than a schedule, the link could read, “Request Your Estimate” or “Contact Us to Request Your Estimate.”
Most users scan your website for headlines or things that stand out. Links often are designed to stand out. So, if the link cannot stand on its own without surrounding content supporting it, it is not a good link. To check if your link passes the substantial rule, read it all by itself, and if you believe the link is still specific and sincere – you’ve got a good link!
For example: At a lawn mowing company, we might convert from Contact Info to Request Your Free Estimate
Being concise is essential in all types of writing, but if you remove too much, you go from Learn More About Lawn Mowing to Learn More — one of the first problems we were trying to avoid. So, being succinct is a balance – cut out everything you can, but don’t sacrifice Specificity, Sincerity, or Substantiality.