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Re: External Link Icons


From: Peter Krantz
Date: Sep 28, 2007 4:50AM

On 9/28/07, Rich Pedley < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> 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.

Links were designed to work in a site agnostic way. If the context
(and link text) does not set the expectations of the user I would
argue that this is an issue that shouldn't be solved by styling links.
And how would you style external links so that it is obvious for all

It is easy to adopt a site centric view of how users interact with the
web. Typically users interact with a variety if web sites that work
differently. If you style your external links in a special way, some
other site won't. Users learn.

This is similar to providing a "print page" link instead of letting
users learn how to use the built-in print function in the web browser.