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Re: Minimal style needed to make links accessible?


From: Jared Smith
Date: Aug 24, 2010 12:54PM

On Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 9:28 AM, Karlen Communications wrote:
> We would be waving our mice over content looking for "hot
> spots" we could activate.

Assuming one had a mouse to wave around. Beyond the issues for those
with some motor disabilities, I also don't have a mouse on my iPhone
or iPad (assuming I actually owned one - something I do quite often).
All :hover, :focus, and :active styles are ignored on touch screen
devices. Additionally, color differences alone can be quite
unnoticeable until fully zoomed into the text. If I'm just looking for
'clickable' elements in a page, the lack of underline could render
these links invisible to users of these devices despite the fact the
user may have good vision.

It's quite likely that in a few years as touch devices replace today's
massive, terribly inefficient computers that generally require both
keyboard and mouse that the lack of underlined links will be viewed as
a design faux pas of today. The non-underlined links of today will be
as the animated gifs of the late 90s.

In the meantime, until designers realize the folly of not underlining
links, the solution is simply:
1. Ensure there is sufficient contrast between link text and non-link
text. WCAG 2.0 provides a good measure.
2. Provide a non-color designator (usually the underline) on mouse
hover AND keyboard focus.

Jared Smith