Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I currently use enter image description here to refer to an external link on my personal website.

However recently I have started noticing extended use of → for links. Is this a replacement for enter image description here ? or is it used to convey some other meaning?

share|improve this question
    
Can you post an example URL using the new icon you mention? –  Dan U. Jul 16 '11 at 10:01
    
geoffreygrosenbach.com –  Vaibhav Bajpai Jul 16 '11 at 10:07
add comment

2 Answers

People use all sorts of things for links. Use whatever makes sense for your actual design. The icon you're currently using is fairly common and well-known. For whatever it's worth, I don't think I've ever encountered that → character in this use. Asking if it's a replacement kind of assumes there's a standard in the first place; there isn't.

Such indicators have largely gone out of fashion in my own experience. I probably only see them anymore on sites that by nature are very heavily internally linked and so external links really are a bit of an oddity, eg. Wikipedia. Anywhere else, it's just an assumed possibility that you might get sent off-site.

share|improve this answer
    
Yes, there is not standard for marking external links. The diagonal arrows you showed seem to be copied off of wikipedia. Some other sites I've seen use a different colour (e.g. green internal, blue external.) On slashdot.org they simply name the site in (brackets) after the link. I had never seen the use of → before though it does have some advantages. → is a text character so one can type it easily where as your diagonal arrows are a small image that needs downloading. –  Rincewind42 Jul 16 '11 at 14:10
    
Plus one for "Asking if it's a replacement kind of assumes there's a standard in the first place; there isn't." –  feeela Jul 16 '11 at 15:55
add comment

Semantically I think → is an incorrect choice for external links because to me that reads like 'continue on in this direction'. I also don't know how that is read by a screen reader (being that it is a text character and all)

That being said, as Su' has mentioned, there is no standard nor any real need to adopt one.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.