Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Don't "Click Here" If You're An Innovative Educator

Innovative educators are becoming more and more aware of the need to produce content and materials for users of all abilities. That means when publishing digitally, it is important to ensure what you are publishing is accessible.  This means considering how you use text, images, and colors as outlined in this article about accessibility. It also means creating accessible links. The most commonly known way to start doing that is to avoid creating links that tell the reader to "click here" for more information.

Three reasons you don't want to say "click here"



  1. Not everyone can click
  2. Not everyone is using a mouse
  3. Screen reader users often navigate websites by going from link to link, so it is helpful to have a descriptive link

Here are a four strategies you can keep in mind to make your links more accessible.

1) Describe the target of the link clearly

Do your best to explain where the link is taking the reader.

Example:

2) Answer at least one of the 5 Ws

Your link should answer one or more of the following questions:
  1. Where am I going?​
  2. Who owns that site? Is it a safe place to go?​
  3. What can I do there?
  4. Why are you sending me there? ​
  5. How does this link enhance my online experience?​

3) Make links recognizable

Make links recognizable both by using another color and underlining them. Do not underline text that is not a link.

4) Don't use urls

It is hard for someone using a screen reader to understand urls because they are read as individual letters, not words, so don't use them.  

Example:

What do you think?  Are these strategies you generally put into effect? Were some of them new to you?  Any surprises?

3 comments:

  1. This is so useful. Thank you for making it clear.

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  2. My only disagreement is that I like to provide the full URL for my readers. If my link goes bad, or your URL changes slightly, my readers might be able to locate the article by searching for your blog and then the title of the article from the URL. Of course, I'd expect them to contact me about a bad link, but they wouldn't have to wait for me to update it in order to read the article. Then again, if I describe the article well enough, they would still be able to search for it.

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  3. Thank's for the suggestions. I like that your guidelines are clear and easy to follow. New teachers and veteran teachers alike could follow your simple "Do's" and "Don'ts."

    ReplyDelete