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Re: Indicating a non-html link


From: Terence de Giere
Date: Apr 29, 2003 7:09PM

With all the good advice given here we should also remember that links
designed with accessibility in mind should be able to stand alone on a
page and give a clear idea of what is at the other end. Screen reader
users in particular often tab through or otherwise process links without
any surrounding non link context as Tim Harshbarger implied. Further, if
links to serveral documents are on the page, there needs to be a way to
distinguish them from one another without the surrounding context. We
don't want the link text "PDF" or "Word Doc" appearing multiple times
(unless it's to the same word doc) so some clue as to which document is
at the end of the link needs to be part of the link text, (or alternate
text to an image) along with the format it is in. There is a tendency in
visual design to have some identifying text, and then very short link
text inserted somewhere before, in, or after that text. For non visual
browsing, slightly longer links that have a wee bit more information are
more useful - we add some of the surrounding context to the link, but
not so much as to make them unwieldy. This is a balance, or compromise
between visual usability and non visual usability.

Terence de Giere

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