Forum Issue: Hard To See Links

The previous forum and many other places on the internet both changes the color and underlines text in a hyperlink to make them easy to find. I've noticed the new forum only changes the color of the text. I prefer the previous strategy of both changing the color and underlining text of a hyperlink.

Comments

  • 22 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • This link design was intentional, but just in case it is open for review I have added it to the issues list.
  • jmgjmg Posts: 9,903
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    The previous forum and many other places on the internet both changes the color and underlines text in a hyperlink to make them easy to find. I've noticed the new forum only changes the color of the text. I prefer the previous strategy of both changing the color and underlining text of a hyperlink.

    The colour changes on mouse hover, and the url appears in the lower left on my browser.That makes it fairly obvious it is a link.
    Maybe you can add an underline yourself ?   Testing...

    http://forums.parallax.com/discussion/161483/forum-issue-hard-to-see-links

    Yup, seems you can.. if someone wants to make a link more obviousThe same thing, no added underline 
    http://forums.parallax.com/discussion/161483/forum-issue-hard-to-see-links
    and all 3...UBI
    http://forums.parallax.com/discussion/161483/forum-issue-hard-to-see-links
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 9,984
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I think adding links to a forum post can be a huge service to others reading the forum. I generally make an effort to link to a Parallax product when answering a forum question about which board or sensor would work best for some project. It takes extra time to add these links. When links are not easily seen, I feel like my time adding them is wasted.
    Here's a copy of a recent post I made. I won't add a functional quote block so the text appears as it does in the original post.
    The good news is, if I were designing a new board, it would be with a QNF, and there are 10.000 + in stock.
    But that's just me.



    I thought I read the QFN package was EOL.
    Am I remembering incorrectly or has Parallax changed their mind about this?
    Digikey is out of both DIP and QFP but they have QFN chips in stock. Mouser doesn't have any QFN chips but they have both QFP.
    I personally mainly use QFP chips. I really dislike QFN type packages since it's next to impossible to probe the leads on the chip once they've been soldered.
    Edit: Can you guys see the "DIP" and "QFP" Mouser links? The links are blue but it's not obvious to me links had been added to the post. Don't answer the question about seeing the links here. Comment about the links (if you want to) in this thread.
    I think the two links to Propeller chips at Mouser can be easily missed. I doubt I will continue to bother adding links like this if they are not likely to be seen.
    I didn't want the discussion to wander off topic about the appearance of links so I added a link to this thread. I thought the link was nearly invisible in original format so I did as jmg suggested and altered its appearance to make it more obvious.
    I really don't want to add my own highlighting to a link for a number of reasons.
    I think links added to the forum add more benefit than any benefit having uniform looking text may add and having uniform looking text which hides the links lessens the value of the forum.
    I urge those who decided to use the current link design to reconsider their decision.
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,082
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    As far as I know links work out of the box very well:
    http://bccbb0d6f38d1c3dec17eaeddc737106d477d88a61d67d23ac5acf2adb463c.resindevice.io/

    I am very happy with no underlining. I think that is unnecessary and makes the page ugly.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,934
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I have to agree that the links are a bit too subtle, especially when it's short, like this. Underlining would be my preferred default.
    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 9,984
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    As far as I know links work out of the box very well:
    http://bccbb0d6f38d1c3dec17eaeddc737106d477d88a61d67d23ac5acf2adb463c.resindevice.io/

    I am very happy with no underlining. I think that is unnecessary and makes the page ugly.
    Of course with most of the power of HTML at your finger tips you can make any style link you like:



    Raspberry Pi web cam




    I see the big ugly purple web cam link in this editor box but I don't see it in your post. I wonder if it will show up in mine. (Edit: Nope, it didn't show up but there it is again as I edit this post.)
    So what's uglier an underlined link or the full URL?
    http://bccbb0d6f38d1c3dec17eaeddc737106d477d88a61d67d23ac5acf2adb463c.resindevice.io/

    I suppose adding the full URL will be easier than attaching a link to a word and that way no one is likely to miss it.
  • What do you mean Duane? I think that is a very beautiful URL. Imagine how terrible it would look underlined. Like scrawling a moustache on the Mona Lisa :)
    I like a URL. It is what it is. 
    What I don't like are those pages with articles full of words that have been linked to some definition somewhere a blue, underlined, mess that makes reading it a chore. 
    I could not get my big ugly web cam button to show in the final post. 
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 9,984
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    What I don't like are those pages with articles full of words that have been linked to some definition somewhere a blue, underlined, mess that makes reading it a chore. 

    I agree with you on this but I don't think that's an issue in the forum.
    I'm pretty sure just about every browser has style settings for the way links and links which have already been visited are displayed. Anyone who doesn't like underlined links can change their style on their own computer. IMO, it's rude to decide what style someone should use on their own computer. If I don't want underlined links I'll change the settings in my browser to they're not underlined. I don't want someone else deciding how links should look.
    I also want to decide if I have carpet or hardwood floors.
    Edit: I'm not sure if one can change the link style on a browser. Do any of you know? Is there a default setting on a page that leaves these sorts of decisions to the browser of does the webpage have to decide these things?
    I seem to recall a setting in IE to change the way links looked but I didn't see an option in Chrome. I found something that said one had to change the CSS file to do this. This doesn't sound like a simple process.
    I still think there should be a really good reason to change a setting from its default state in a browser. If something can be left up to the individual user to decide then the individual user should be the one to make the decision.
  • If you're using Stylish, you can add this rule to underline links:
    a {text-decoration: underline !important}

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • GordonMcCombGordonMcComb Posts: 2,944
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I can't think of a popular Web site that still uses underlining. I'm sure there are quality sites that do, but it's becoming less and less common. As an example, Wikipedia bolds but doesn't underline its links, and sets in blue. It's pretty standard now, from what I can see.
    Next time you guys will say you're using Netscape 3.0 on AOL dialup...
    One thing the forum doesn't do, but should, is automate the tip-text to links. Example of above: when you hover over the big link of "this thread," the tip-text ought to be something like the title of that thread. External links should have the page title of the linked-to page. 
    I don't think VB had this, but several other forums I frequent do. It's a pretty nice feature.


  • Gordon,
    The problem is with short links which, when shown in blue, are indistinguishable from normal text to the casual viewer. Boldfacing is definitely an option, but something other than color alone has to set them off.
    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • GordonMcCombGordonMcComb Posts: 2,944
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Agreed the links can be lost. That's why you often see them with a heavier weight. Check Wiki, CNN, Yahoo, Google, really, just about anything. The reason, so they now say, is that underlining for links was never a good idea in the first place, from a graphical experience standpoint. (Now they tell me! I still have some sites I need to update.)
    My comment is just that underlining, as a text decoration for links, is now infrequently used. Some sites use bold, others a slight variation in the font, others different combinations, and so on. 
    BTW, I think it's fine if the underline appears when the link is hovered over. Beats changing the font or font weight on, which almost always causes the formatting to shift around. Hate that. 
  •  When it comes to a support forum I prefer ugly, underlined links and all. 
  • Good taste and usability do not always go hand-in-hand. Subtlety is great for graphic artists, but a usable website is more like a carnival than an art gallery. Form should always follow function.
    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 9,984
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    We can edit but not delete?
    Oh, well.
    I was going to say I could live without underlined links but I changed my mind about posting a few seconds later. But now there's not a way to delete so I'll just say what I had planned to say but not say anything.
  • Web pages should be clean and clear. Like this one: http://the.linuxd.org/lab/
  • Ow! My eyes! Where are cataracts when I need them? :)
    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,082
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    What, you don't like my attempt at a retro green phosphor terminal look? I thought that might be quite popular around here.
    Well, OK, we did not have red back then.

    I wish I could get hold of a 7 x 9 dot font to use there.  
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,082
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil,

    Jay, I found a 7 x 9 dot font for the retro terminal look: http://the.linuxd.org/lab/
  • Ron CzapalaRon Czapala Posts: 2,357
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    The text-decoration parameter is a good idea IMHO - using it in my signature.
    My signature also uses a table. I created the HTML for it using Notepad and pasted it in my Profile/Signature settings.
    It kept sticking all kinds of blank lines in the signature though.
    I finally figured out that stripping out all of the CR/LF in notepad before pasting it resolved that issue...
  • This forum issue thread will be sunk, because it is already on the issue list.

    If you'd like any discussion moved from here to its own thread, please let me know via PM.
  • Gentlemen prefer underlined links. Erco-approved!
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
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