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Strategic insights
Jakob Nielsen Defines Guidelines for Visualizing Links

Written by on May 9, 2004

Last week Jakob Nielsen wrote "Change the Color of Visited Links", which caused quite a stir in the web-design community. Many tended to believe that Jakob was trying to destroy design and bring back blue links on white pages (it has happened before).

This was not was he was trying to do - instead he wanted to point out how you could use visited link colors to improve usability.

This week Jakob released his Guidelines for how links should be colored - and I have to agree with it.


  • Make the link obvious
  • It is okay to not underline links, or use other colors than blue
  • Think about how you use hover effects (are they merely eye-candy, or do they actually improve usability)
  • Do not style ordinary text the same way as your links
  • Do not use tiny text (reminds me of my P-FANSY article)

It is good read, and even though we may not choose to follow all the guidelines, you might want to consider them when designing a website.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.


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