Since I test websites, people ask me for advice from ‘the other side’: from the angle of the person who sees the good … and the bad.
They wonder if links on their site are a positive or a negative.
I’m not a fan, personally, of lots o’ links. You’ll see why, in a moment.
Testing is a two-step process:
- Proofing each page’s text
- Testing navigation and links, throughout
I’ve learned quite a bit by helping people in these areas.
I use very few links
You may have noticed I use very few URLs (links) on my pages.
This section of my Online Course page is a good example:
To register, click here: Take me to the training!
Not sure if this is for you? Call or email me:
Kathie@KathieYork.com 505.250.2758 (U.S.)
I removed all but the training link
The only link I have control over is the one for my online course.
I removed address URL. If a user’s email client isn’t set up properly, they receive an error message when they click the link.
“What’s wrong with your pages?”
My pages are fine, but I’ve minimized error messages.
If a user’s machine can’t handle a request at a particular moment, my page becomes the bad guy.
I’ve put my faith in the user
No matter the problems on their end, most people can copy my address into their email or click the link in my site’s footer.
The footer link has a knack for getting around problems. Go figure.
In the long run, having a low-complaint site pays off.
I told you that story to tell you this one
Why all this preamble?
The most costly errors I see, on websites, are … you guessed it …
It’s up to you, but remember:
When your website is checked, every
link costs extra time and money.
At a minimum, your tester must follow each URL to ensure it works and goes where it’s supposed to.
The biggest problem I find is the ‘where it’s supposed to’ part.
Protect scope and budget
The little cluster of ones and zeros is doing what it’s been told to do. But if it goes nowhere, disappears on us, or ends up in the wrong place, we spend extra time ($) figuring out the problem.
Ensuring links work, before testing begins, protects your project scope and budget.
Since I do a ‘final pass’ test before user acceptance, I work from outside the company. I often hear:
“No, I want you in my office !”
Really? The customers are outside your company, right?
You want to ensure they can step through your electronic door from their locations.
Your Takeaway: Please think carefully about the complexity of your site, keeping it as ‘clean’ as possible when it comes to adding links.
Final Note: I know there’s a lot to ‘take in’ on this post. The items I’ve mentioned save my clients – and me! – time and money. I thought it was share time. :->