Making Accessible Websites for the United Nations

Navigation

Meaningful Link Titles

WAI Definition (Checkpoint 13.1)

Clearly identify the target of each link.

Explanation

The text hyperlinked should make enough sense for users to understand it if read without context. Users should have a relatively clear idea of where the link points to. Links such as "click here", "read more" or "more information" should not be used.

Rationale

Screen-reader users will often review the list of links on a page before taking the time to listen to the whole content. This is the equivalent of visually scanning a page to get an overview of its content and the available options. Because links are read out of context, it is important to provide link titles that do not require the user to read the surrounding information.

Applying this technique also helps to optimize the content for search engines.

Technique

Use the title of the target page as link text instead of using generic wording such as "read more" or "click here".

Where possible, do not place the link only on a document symbol, but include the document title too.

Validation

Test

Using the Firefox Web Developer's Toolbar (plugin):
Go to Information > View Page Information and click on the link tab.

Success Criteria

All links marked as "anchors" should make sense when read out of context.

There are no two links with similar text, pointing to a different target. Every link text should be unique to its destination.