Welcome to our four part guide on accessibility for digital learning. In this second blog we will explore six key points you need to consider when writing link text to make your elearning accessible for everyone, including those with learning, visual, physical and auditory difficulties.
1. Avoid using URLs
It’s always best not to use a URL as a title for a link, as screen readers will read out the full URL, making it unclear where the user is being sent.
Instead, the link should reference the page title of exactly where they are going and what information is being recommended.
By having a link title that references the page, it also allows screen readers to easily go back to the link at a later point. Otherwise it would need to filter through all content to locate that link again.
2. Never use links within sentences
To indicate a link within a course, screen readers announce ’Link’ before reading out the link title.
If a link is within a sentence, this can confuse and break up the content for the user. It will also make it harder for users to locate a link again.
Therefore, it is always best practice to present links at the end of their related sections.
3. Avoid using single words for links
As mentioned previously, the link needs to detail exactly what the user will be visiting when they select it.
Just like when writing elearning copy, always write the link text using sentence case. The only exception is when using a proper noun (i.e. name for a particular person, place, or thing).
5. Things not to say
Using phrases such as, ‘more information’ or ‘click here’, should never be used on their own as link text.
Not only does this not provide any additional information on where the link is being directed, forcing the user to refer to surrounding copy for context, terms such as ‘click here’ also discriminatively assume that the reader is using a mouse.
Such phases also make the content inaccessible for screen readers if a user requests only the links on the page.
6. Duplicating link text
It is important to never use the same link text to link to different destinations as this can confuse learners using a screen reader.
This can also make it difficult when the users wants to search for only links throughout the elearning. Here, the screen reader will read out the link twice and it will therefore not be clear where the individual links will be directing them to.
In part three, we’ll look closer at the importance of accessibility within all design aspects of your digital learning.