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Pros and cons of removing underlines from hyperlinks

Pros and cons of removing underlines from hyperlinks

Advantage of removing underlines from links on a web page

A page without underlined links looks much cooler (!) and neater.

Disadvantage of removing underlines from links on a web page

Links on web pages are identified by underlined text.
How do your visitors know the links from normal text? Yes, I know you can use a different color to highlight the link but it’s never the same…

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What should you do?

Making a decision to remove or keep underlines for links all depends on

  • Your site’s contents
  • Site’s purpose
  • The complexity of the site
  • The overall site design
  • The audience you expect.

.. and it all comes down to the audience. Why? Because that is what decides the content, purpose, complexity and design of the site.

When you start a web site, you have a fair idea of the audience you expect. The visitors to your site can be broadly classified into two groups, the seasoned Internet users and the novices.

Another form of classification takes into account the time factor – whether your visitors are just surfing the web for fun and have lots of time on their hands, or they come looking for specific information and want it quickly.

Novices and visitors who are hard pressed with time will like the links to be underlined since the links stand out on a page providing a visual guide. The novice is happy because he/she knows where the links are and the busy visitors will appreciate your underling links since they can reach for the information faster.

When you remove underlines from links, you add a cool factor to your site. This is good for game sites and sites with lots of youth content (et al) because it goes along well with the overall design and purpose. Visitors to such sites will not mind spending time and are ready to hunt (!) for the links since they are here for fun anyway.

So my friends, understand your audience and make a decision.

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