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How to craft hyperlinks for user attention in UX

Sheza Naveed

What is a hyperlink?

Hyperlink is a word, phrase, or image that allows you to jump to another section or document when you click on it. Hyperlinks give strong hints about what information the user should expect when they open a link.

People tend to skim through texts and not read all the information. While scanning a page, any element that appears prominent or stands out grabs the user’s attention, such as headings, different colored text, or text with a different font.

Since hyperlinks are often set to a different color or are underlined, they attract the user’s attention.

However, users usually only read the text of the link and not the text around it. Therefore, users may not be aware of the context of the link. Therefore, a link should stand alone and not depend on the surrounding text to convey the necessary information.

Properties of links

Links should be brief and have strong information scent. This means they must convey sufficient information about the link.

How does a hyperlink work?

Upon clicking on the link:

  1. The users should be taken to the exact place they expected to be. They should not have to scroll to reach their desired information.

  2. There should be a clear page heading that informs the users where they are.

Example

Upon clicking on a link that says “eye-tracking research,” the users are directed to an article titled “Eyetracking Web Usability,” which is exactly what the user expected.

The user does not have to scroll through the page to get here, and a clear heading conveys to the users where they have landed.

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