Have you ever had the experience of coming to a website and wondering where the links are? Irritating, isn’t it?
Don’t assume users will be patient simply because it’s YOUR website they are looking at. Make sure the links on your site are obvious to the user immediately. Avoid styling them in a way that confuses the user.
Avoid using images as links. Search engines prefer text links. Use your CSS file to style them so as to avoid unnecessary code in the html file — search engines like this.
It’s especially important to underline links that occur within the text so that users will recognize them and be encouraged to click on them.
Avoid styling your links so the underline only appears when the mouse hovers over the text. Users associate underlined text with a link and will likely have trouble finding them if they are not underlined.
It is good to have the links change colors. This is a further indication to the user (aside from the “hand” image that appears) that they have found a hotspot. Be careful not to choose colors for your rollovers that will fade in with the background color.
In terms of link colors, use light against dark or dark against light.
This means that the text should be dark if the background is light, or the text should be light if the background is dark. Be wary of flirting with the “in between.”