Click where?

Discover why thoughtful instructional design and clear hyperlink labeling are crucial for user navigation and accessibility, following WCAG guidelines. Uncover practical tips for enhancing eLearning accessibility and ensuring a frustration-free learning experience.

Have you ever clicked a few hyperlinks in an elearn and then wondered where in the world of webs you have landed yourself? Mission abort. The problem-solver in you gives up quite quickly as you decide to shut-down the maze that was carefully engineered for you to fail.

Without considered instructional design, this ‘rat race’ experience is a disease that can hit elearning programs. And the most common symptom of the problem are the words, “Click here”.

As elearning designers we should recognise the damaging affect that these two words can have on our learners.

Busy image with a question mark

 

So, what’s the big deal?

For one, the labelling of links using proper naming conventions is an accessibility requirement. The term ‘click’ is irrelevant to many devices and the directionless phrase “click here” will confuse anyone with a screen reader.

If you’re interested in the detail, W3 have done a fantastic job at breaking down the WCAG 2.0 guidelines on this topic. (Note: This is a subtle attempt at providing an example of how links should be used)

Accessibility reasons aside, the use of the word “click” brings unnecessary attention to the mouse.

Learners know what a link is and how to use a mouse.

“Here” is not a location. Believe it or not, your learners will often skip read and use hyperlinks to
navigate quickly to topics they find interesting. Use of “here” conceals the location and requires
learners to read all the explanation guff that is wrapped around it. This frustration is amplified by
the number of “click here” references in a scene, particularly if that scene is revisited on occasion.

Tips and guidelines for the use of links

  • Hyperlinks should standout but there’s no need to get creative with the colours and fonts. If you
    follow the standard internet blue with the underline your learners will know that it’s a link.
  • Use labels that clearly identify the location you are taking the learner to. Using nouns for your
    links is good practice for ensuring that your label has a clear destination.
  • Craft a sentence around the link that gives it some context and does so seamlessly.
  • Use icons to represent files that open in a separate viewer. Eg PDF, word. ‘Open in new window’
    tags are also important if you are taking users away from the module to view a website.
  • Don’t be lazy. Show your learners you’ve thought about how you want them to navigate your content
    through considered instructional design and labelling.

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