University Web Developers

University Web Developers

New York state has developed it's own set of Web Accessibility Standards that all state agencies are required to follow. (See http://www.oft.state.ny.us/policy/s04-001/index.htm

One if the standards is "All text links will indicate the destination or purpose."

A common way that many UB sites link to additional information is with a "Learn More" link. See the following paragraph as an example:

Academic Opportunities

UB offers students an abundance of learning choices. With close to 300 bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degree programs, and myriad continuing education options, there are more academic opportunities than any other public institution in New York or New England. Our study abroad programs, internship opportunities, and special major programs (which can be individually customized) allow UB students to develop the education they want. | Learn More

IMHO, a "learn more" link does not indicate the destination or purpose. Two question for the group:

1. Do you agree that "learn more" does not provide context?

2. What are the best alternatives to avoid using a "learn more" link?

Views: 2605

Replies to This Discussion

Personally, I don't have any specific issues with the "learn more" or "read more" link. As the first few comments said, the purpose of the link is pretty clear.

That said, however, I think that linking the title of the promotional item is something that should be done, too.

Let me turn this discussion around, though. If you were to completely do away with the "learn more" link in a promotional type of item, what would you use to indicate that the visitor can click somewhere to read the rest of the item or get more information about it? To me, it seems that "learn more" or "read more" is the most logical choice.

I suppose the example in the first post could be expanded to say "Learn more about academic opportunities at UB."

However, it also has to be considered that the majority of these promotional items are generated dynamically. 99% of the users putting that content into the interface you're using to generate the items are not going to remember to put a link in there at all, so you're kind of back to square one.

You then have three options:
1) no links at all
2) automatically inserting "learn more" at the end of the article (which is where we started)
3) asking the users to put in their own link text, which is either going to make no sense at all in most cases, or you'll end up with either "click here" or "learn more"
If we were to completely do away with the "learn more" link, we could just put the link under the appropriate section of that paragraph, which I'd say is a much better practice than using "learn more."

We've gotten to the point that we don't need to educate folks using the web about how to use links. Why still give them silly instructions which severely hinder those using a screen reader and don't do anything for the average web surfer? Just for the sake of our automated CMSes? Automation trumping usability and accessibility is pretty sad, IMHO.

In the example above (depending on the design of the page), you could make the "Academic Opportunities" header a link to Academic Programs. Or you could revise the first sentence of the paragraph to include the link, like so:

"UB offers students an abundance of learning choices."

Or, to perhaps more accurately contextualize the link, put it in the second sentence, like so:

"With close to 300 bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degree programs . . ."

Shows context and helps the skimmers to get directly to the meat they're looking for without the generic "learn more."
I apologize if I wasn't clear in the way I stated my point.

I wasn't suggesting that automation should trump usability in any way. I was stating that the average user putting the content into the application being used to generate the text is most likely not going to understand that "hey, I should turn this text into a link".

Therefore, in order to get any links at all, we kind of have to prompt them in some way, saying "hey! give us a page that we can link to". Because of that, we have to have a somewhat standardized method of applying those links, which is where the "learn more" or "read more" links come from.

As I stated, I think that the title is also a great place to apply that link.

However, I just don't see the day coming anytime soon when:
a) Average users of content management systems are savvy enough to know that they need to add context links within the content they are publishing (no matter how many usability and writing seminars you host)
or
b) Content management systems are advanced enough to know when and where to apply context links all by themselves without serious mistakes being made (look at some of the silly inline ads that end up in places)

I agree completely that, in theory, it is much better to use the context links you provided in your examples. However, I just don't see that realistically happening. Maybe the people adding content to your Web site are much more savvy than the average user, and this is an issue about which you don't have to worry. If so, then kudos to you. :)
Fair enough. Thanks for the explanation--it certainly did help clarify.

And when it comes to the people adding content to our (portion of the institution's) website, yes they are more savvy. But then again, it's just two of us. ;)

But you do bring up a great "wouldn't it be cool if," dealing with content management systems. And that is: wouldn't it be cool if, rather than the CMS just applying a context link all by itself, which as you point out is prone to error, it could suggest the appropriate points to add links?

Then again, if they could do that well, a small part of my job that I really enjoy would require much less brainpower. Which is, I might add, part of what I enjoy about it.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Is your website in compliance with the new WCAG 2.1? Join our webcast to learn various accessibility guidelines, what’s new in 2.1, and more! http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
1 hour ago
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Even though GDPR has been in effect for over a year, many U.S. colleges and universities are still struggling with how best to implement the rules. We’re here to help. http://bit.ly/2YZZtRQ"
Thursday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Does your college or university website meet the new WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards? http://bit.ly/2JBXD3s"
Jul 12
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Eric Turner from Mt. San Antonio College, who will share easy steps to make your website GDPR compliant. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Jul 10
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"It is always important to make a good first impression! Join Aaron Blau from Converge Consulting as he covers ways to make your web content attractive to your target audience and create an authentic brand message. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Jun 19
Jon Shaw posted a discussion

email obfuscation

Anyone using a javascript or php email obfuscation library that is effective for spam defense?See More
Jun 11
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Kelly Bostick from University of Arkansas who will provide some great tips on ways to ensure that all of your digital content is accessible. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Jun 6
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Creating and producing website content is just the tip of the iceberg. In our latest white paper, learn how to manage that content to help your website reach its fullest marketing and recruiting potential. http://bit.ly/30WJ0PW"
May 30
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"A college or university website redesign is the most effective and cost-efficient way to attract and recruit new students. Download our ultimate guide to get started on your redesign today! http://bit.ly/30MmcSQ"
May 28
Cody Bryant is now a member of University Web Developers
May 20
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Rachael Frank from Gravity Switch to learn how to organize your content and messaging for a website redesign. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
May 16
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Capitalize on content by creating an editorial calendar for your college or university website. Here’s how: http://bit.ly/2WCauaY"
May 9
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"A soft launch of your website redesign is well worth the extra time. Find out why. http://bit.ly/2LfeigX"
May 2
Linda Faciana posted a blog post

Webcast - Website Redesign | The importance of using content inventories

Join us for our next webcast with Laura Lehman from Eastern Mennonite University to learn how to effectively use Google Sheets during a website redesign and migration! http://bit.ly/2zhdcItSee More
May 1
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"What are characteristics of the best CMS for colleges and universities? Read our guide to find out: http://bit.ly/2Vt519j"
Apr 24
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Caroline Roberts from iFactory who will be providing tips on how to improve your SEO by finding and wisely using the keywords and phrases that matter most! http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Apr 18
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"If your college website is not reaching your audience, but still meets most technical and accessibility requirements, there are a number of ways to fine-tune its performance. http://bit.ly/2KO08U8"
Apr 18
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Before you click the launch button on your newly redesigned website, it pays to doublecheck the details: http://bit.ly/2D9v5vr"
Apr 11
Laurie Trow replied to Jessie Groll's discussion Thoughts on "part-time work from home" for a web developer?
"I do work from home a few days a week. Depending where you're located, this would definitely be a perk. I've found plenty of higher ed jobs, but it's not often where working from home is an option. I find this odd since the higher ed…"
Apr 4
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Take a look at these award-winning higher ed digital marketing campaigns to see what’s working for them – and what you can implement to make your school’s digital marketing campaign one of the best. http://bit.ly/2JlzLiq"
Apr 3

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2019   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service