I was just wondering if you think that these forums might operate smoother with underlined links? A lot of newbies visit the tech support forums here, and they're all used to associating links with underlined words. Many other people do so as well. Do you think that underlining links makes the forums more intuitive because they are more of what everyone is used to?

I posted info about the swith in the Site feedback forum. My question asked to you guys here is much more general. Do you think it's okay for a site to not underline their links, and still have easy to understand navigation?

From my point of view. Yes. The site was fine the way it was, and it was fine the way it was before that and it's now fine the way it is. I think that underlined links would be trivial... I have never been confused because a link wasn't underlined. But then again, I'm not the majority, perhaps you should have a poll?


Anyways, hope that helped (I know that it's pretty much "blah blah blah" but hey)

Slade

Either way was good, but i think you're right about the underlined links. :)

I like the underlined links.

A lot of newbies really don't realize that links don't have to be underlined, so unless there are underlines they don't know where the links are.

I know this because it took my wife quite a while to learn that one. It didn't matter how many times I told her otherwise she never "saw" any links that weren't underlined.

That's my point exactly. Do you think it's okay to keep it the way it is now, where the links only get underlines when you hover over them? Or must they be underlined all the time. (I'm worried that will make the site very cluttered as opposed to the clean look it now has - or at least I think it has ;) ).

This forum has a rather attractive layout. Permanently underlined links 'disfigure' it!

There's only so much you can do to help, I'm afraid:

Put the mouse pointer on the differently coloured text
Wait to see if it turns into a little pointy finger
Click on it to go somewhere!

That's basic web surfing technique, and if someone is not up to clicking on web page links to go somewhere, then perhaps they're going to be a bit too difficult to assist in any case.

Sorry to sound blunt about that, but there has to be a cut-off point somewhere. No assistance site can be everything to everyone, surely. To me, this is sorta sounding like preparing an English class for grade 3 kiddies, and deciding that the lesson plan needs to accomodate the possibility that some of the kiddies mightn't have learned the alphabet yet!

Using the mouse and mouse pointer is one of the most basic, fundamental techniques of using a PC. If people haven't learnt it yet, then how the heck did they get here?

Hehe! I see your point. It's staying as is for now.

Believe it or not Catweazle there are people out there who really don't understand the mouse pointer at all, they use it in a very limited manner and they do not deviate from it. Don't get me wrong, I don't really believe that the links on this site really need to be changed, after all there is a certain point where you must surrender the handholding for beauty when you talk about design. The links do stand out on the site without the underlining so I doubt there would be all that many people who would have a significant problem, and perhaps Catweazle is correct about us not being able to assist those few anyways.

From a usability standpoint, underlined links are better. From a design standpoint, that's not always the case. I personally liked my design on my site better with the links *not* underlined, but to aid my users (I get a lot of mom and pop non computer types who need websites) I put the underline back in my CSS.

Another thing that I didn't like that I added back in for usability was the a:visited color. I changed the link color a bit so users know they have been to a certain page. Design wise- I liked it better without, usability wise- it is easier to navigate now.

My opinion, *drum roll please* since you are more of a tech resource than a design studio, lean towards usability. Let the flashy flashers use 9px tahoma fonts and mystery meat navigation... it works for their demographic. Keep our design simple and friendly as it is now, but maybe take a small hit on design for the sake of usability.

I think as long as they aren't truly "hidden" links you're good to go. I definitely go with the Swim or Sink mentality. :cheesy:

The reasoning is that I did try keeping the links entirely underlined. That lasted a good half a day. It looked really ugly :( and it just changed the entire aesthetic of the whole site.

I posted info about the swith in the Site feedback forum. My question asked to you guys here is much more general. Do you think it's okay for a site to not underline their links, and still have easy to understand navigation?

i've never had a problem finding links except when someone i know made an emoticon in a thread into a link..which was going too far ;)

don't have underlined links on my site anymore as my mate did me stylesheets so the links change colour without being underlined..although, having said that i just realised they don't do that in opera :eek: ..still, no-one has complained yet..

Personally I say yes. Even if the underline is just a mouse over one. Ether way you should have you links stand out from the rest of your text so people can see that they are links and not just text. (sounds stuppid but is a must, people are think)

i would say yes as well. the only problem is that if someone underlines a word on the forum it could be mistaken as a link and then you have a visitor/user clicking a word that does nothing. if help prevent that you can underline and color a link. to avoid confusion use italics when stating a title instead of underline.

but i definately prefer underlining

only time i say to underline links is on mouseover, everything else they should be kept without underlines and a different color from the text.

only time i say to underline links is on mouseover, everything else they should be kept without underlines and a different color from the text.

Exactly. Nuff said.

Tekmaven™

only time i say to underline links is on mouseover, everything else they should be kept without underlines and a different color from the text.

Ditto to that as well.

In the sites I design, if there happens to be links that are in the text, they will be a different color and then change color and/or underline when rolled over, this give non-computer types a "heads-up" that the text is active. Plus, it just plain looks better in my opinion.

I agree with some of you above. Though this site is meant to be for "everyone" I doubt that those who actually register here to submit a question of theirs lack the knowledge of what a link is and how the mouse pionter works.
I think that staying with the traditional look should be only for sites that really are for everyone(notice that I didn't use the "s this time ;) ), like some government sites or whatever sites that are visted by anyone from a to z.

So I say no to underlined links. Different colour or bold style is enough. Ok on hover, but I prefer just making them bold, but that's just my oppinion.