So I’m sitting here reading a training memo about – well, that doesn’t matter. It’s a document intended for internal distribution only, written by some person or committee in the training department; the people who work under me must all read for continuing education purposes. The point is that it’s vexing me. There’s an awful lot of hyperlinks in it, all bright blue and underlined, and often on extremely common terms. The name of the company is hyperlinked to lead to our home page, for instance. I won’t link to the doc itself for obvious reasons, but the Wikipedia article on dogs is the kind of thing I mean.
I don’t care for this style of writing. Too-abundant visible hyperlinks reduce the legibility of the piece for me; I find myself involuntarily pausing at each of them, and it makes the reading slower. (I feel the same way about overuse of boldface and italics.) But it occurs to me that this perception may be an artifact of my age – that if I were in my twenties rather than forties I’d be inured to multiple visible hyperlinks in every sentence, perhaps even expect or prefer them. I’d much rather that most links be apparent only on mouseover.
What do y’all think? Do too many visible hyperlinks spoil your reading experience?