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Re: External Link Icons

for

From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Sep 27, 2007 5:00PM


Our agency requires them by policy. The icon includes a link to the
lawyers' mandated disclaimer.

Cliff Tyllick
Web development coordinator
Agency Communications Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
512/239-4516
<EMAIL REMOVED>

>>> <EMAIL REMOVED> 9/27/2007 4:45:28 PM >>>

I am not sure I have seen this issue discussed here, but perhaps it has
and
someone can send me to an archive or other location.

In any case, what is the consensus of opinion on the use of, what I am
calling, External Link Icons? These are those tiny icons placed next to
a
link on a website when the link goes to a URL that is "outside" of the
current web.

I noticed that WebAIM had used them extensively on many of their web
pages
in the past, but seems to have scaled back their use. Here are some
links
where the icons are used:

http://www.webaim.org/articles/process/evaluate.php
http://alastairc.ac/2007/08/comparing-tagged-pdfs-from-office-and-acrobat/

There was also a nice explanation on this page
http://www.webaim.org/techniques/hypertext/hypertext_links.php about
some of
the background on using icons of various sorts. It seems that the
current
version of JAWS alerts users to the fact that the link is to an
external
site, but some older AT may not.

What is the current thinking on the use of this technique? I wouldn't
mind
hearing both sides. And do people know of places where the use of
these
icons are required by law/policy?


John E. Brandt
Augusta, Maine USA
www.jebswebs.com