Link/Button Names Do Not Make Sense Out of Context

Short Description

Information surrounding a link/button is necessary to understand what the link/button does

Long Description

  • Links and buttons should have names that indicate what they do, without needing to read surrounding material or see graphics to determine the function. A link that says “click here,” or a button labeled “go” would not make sense to a user who only read that. The link labeled “Click here,” would be meaningfully labeled if it said, “Read more about giraffes,” or the “Go” button could say “Go to Next Page.”
  • There are multiple ways for a screen reader user to navigate through the links and buttons on a page, some of which skip reading surrounding information and text. With some screen readers, it is possible to pull up a list of various elements such as links. If a link is labeled “Click here” or a button is “Go,” it is impossible to know the purpose without reading surrounding text. Sometimes surrounding text is not available, so the control is essentially unlabeled.

Example of Issue

Accessibility/Usability

Accessibility
Usability

Impacted Assistive Technology

Screen Reader

Impacted Type of Device

Computer
Mobile

Recommendations

  • A link's text should indicate its target, in most contexts the page name is better than the URL.
  • A button's text should concisely explain what it does.