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Chapter 7. Idea #3: Cook Up Hot Links! > Shift Focus from the Links or the Link... - Pg. 91

Idea #3: Cook Up Hot Links! If visitors want this... TO ACT TO BE AWARE TO GET CLOSE TO PEOPLE How well does this guideline apply? Users have itchy click fingers. Make sure they know what the link will do before you give them something to click. This approach is calmer than throwing links into the middle of the sentence, so take a deep breath and rewrite. This way of handling links seems natural, so in an e-mail or discussion message you might just end your sentence, press Return, and put the link in its own line. Then it's easier to copy and paste into the address line of the browser or to click as a separate hot spot. 91 See:Bricklin (1998), IBM (1999), Levine (1997), Nielsen (1997b), Spyridakis (2000), Sun (2000), Williams (1990). Shift Focus from the Links or the Linked-to Documents to the Subject BACKGROUND | Don't point out your links Sure, when you first create a link, you want to tell everyone, "Hey, this is a link." But now that you have created hundreds or thousands of links, you don't have to keep reminding the user that you have, in fact, provided links. Assume the links. Shift your attention to the subject and let the links grow out of your meaning. Electronic text is the first text in which the elements of meaning, of structure, and of visual display are fundamentally unstable. --Jay David Bolter, Writing Space The frustrated creator of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, says, "Use links, don't talk about them." He particularly hates expressions like "Click here." He pleads with Web writers, "Let me urge you, when you construct your HTML page, to make sure that the-thing-you-click is actually some kind of title." Ignore the apparatus You don't have to tell people to "surf on over," or "point your browser." You don't have to emphasize that you are offering a link. In fact, you don't have to alert visitors that a link will take them to another page or site. They get it.