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Re: External Link Icons


From: Rich Pedley
Date: Sep 28, 2007 2:40AM

On 27/09/2007 23:12, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> John E. Brandt wrote:

>> In any case, what is the consensus of opinion on the use of, what
>> I am calling, External Link Icons?
> Who cares about consensus? Consensus was once that everyone knew
> that the earth is flat.
> The crucial question is: Does it benefit the users, or the purpose
> of a site, to indicate "external" links as external, for some
> definition of "external"? The correct answer is: almost never.

I'd have to disagree, but then surely your 'correct answer' is just in
your opinion?

As usual I don't think there have been extensive studies on the
subject, but there occasions when highlighting external links is
perhaps a good idea. Links in the middle of a sentence, where the user
expects to stay on the same site, could be dis-orientating to some. I
seem to recall a site designed nearly 7 years ago that had to be
careful where external links were placed because of this.

> Such flagging is just a fixed idea of designers and policy makers
> who don't understand that linking between sites is just normal and
> part of the way the Web works.

Linking between sites is normal yes, not sure I'd agree with the rest
of that though.