Linking to where I already am

Every web designer knows that no hyperlink should ever reference a page where I already am. Ah, not true! For some reason, many web designers think it’s fine to use such hyperlinks. It’s the stupidest thing ever.

For example, there’s a great post by Jeff Atwood on pagination. I was trying to copy the title of the post, but failed twice. Should be easy: select text and press ⌘C. So I double-click “Pagination” and move the mouse to select the rest of the text (that’s how text selection works: after double clicking you select by words instead of by characters). Oops, the page is now reloading. What happened? Turns out, the title is a link to the post which I’m reading already! Not just is it absolutely useless, the link is not even underlined, it’s not even blue. So there’s no logical reason for it to be a link and no logical reason for me to even expect it to be a link. Why on Earth would anyone design stuf this way? Still, great post on pagination there.

Maybe Jeff is just a bad designer? No, that is clearly not the reason. Welcome to apple.com, another example of this mistake by some of the best designers. See that  in the menu on top? It’s a link to the front page. But wait a minute, I am on the front page! Click ”iPod”, and things gets worse: now the “iPod” button looks pressed and does not change when you hover it, but it’s still a link to where you are. Notice, by the way, that the first button was not pressed when you were on frontpage. Apple is famous for its attention to detail, but this design is lousy and makes no sense. Sure, it’s better to be right than to be consistent. But there’s nothing good about being both wrong and inconsistent, I suppose.

Never link to the very page you are at.

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2012   Apple   design   rants   user interface
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