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Should hypertext links be blue and purple?

Luc Carton discusses the ancient question about whether links should be blue and purple.

Findings from study of 100 top American retail sites showed that only 27% of the sites still use the standard blue colour for links. Moreover, 61% of the sites do not use different colours according to whether the links have been visited or not, and only 13% of them use the colour purple for visited links.

On account of this study, Carton concludes that the blue/purple standard no longer exists, and since the main characteristic of a link isn't the colour, but the underlining of the text, colour doesn't matter.


  • The article Should hypertext links be blue and purple? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 14, 2003

See also: Research (129)  Links (19) 



Not sure I agree with this - particularly as the visited color plays a useful role in terms of feedback about both where you are and where you have been. If you don't stick with the standards (or a variation on them that is easily understandable) then you are throwing out a potentially useful convention for the sake of aesthetics. Pleased to see the standard of underlining is encouraged. I reckon non-underlined links are a real pain (except where they are obviously links ie in a menu) as they result in you checking whether any non-standard coloured text is a link on other pages too!

ben hyde | January 15, 2003


But I do like the use of grey for the email links here - so there are exceptions ;)

ben hyde | January 15, 2003



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