“Click Here” Links are a Scourge of the Internet!

I love reading Ivan Levison’s newsletters. But I have to admit to a very visceral reaction when I see anyone advocating click here links or buttons (as he did in his December 2012 newsletter). I think they are a scourge of Internet usability because they require the user to read (and re-read) the text before the link to have any idea what the link leads to. Imagine if every link were done this way. You might get text like this:

To backup your files, click here. To view your files, click here. To delete your files, click here.

Compare the usability of that to this:

You can back up your files, view your files or delete your files.

The second option is better because:

  • It is more compact.
  • The links are more useful and much less ambiguous.
  • The links will improve SEO because they include relevant text.

Now, I understand the “imperative magic” of “click here” (probably from reading one of Ivan’s newsletters and other research I’ve seen). But that doesn’t mean we can’t try a little harder and be a little more creative (and effective) with our imperatives. There are plenty of free HTML button maker sites and other inexpensive dedicated button maker programs out there.

The take-away message for today… The Internet would be a better place with more Buy Now!, Read Results and Delete Files and fewer Click Here links and buttons.

My two cents. 🙂

How to send Ctrl+Alt+End to a Windows Remote Desktop Session

I recently was stymied when I needed to send the Ctrl+Alt+End keystroke to a Windows Server 2008 machine that I was remote desktopping to via Internet Explorer running on Windows 7 using VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Air running Mountain Lion. Phwew! That’s a mouthful.

The first problem is that there’s no End key on the Mac keyboard. VMWare can send Ctrl+Alt+Delete from a special menu, but that gets caught by Windows 7. I needed to reset my password on the server (or get locked out) and needed to use Ctrl+Alt+End. Here’s the magic Mac keyboard combination:

fn-ctrl-option-rightArrow

Works like a charm!