Links and Microcontent
Write descriptive links to help your readers
Hyperlinks (links) are typically created by pasting in a URL and pressing the space button. Edit these links to make them easier to understand for your readers by providing descriptors.
Note: If a document or content is to be printed, you may wish to use the full URL and a description in the link text.
The following guidance is recommended when providing links:
- Link descriptions should be short but descriptive. It should typically be between two and five words long.
- Provide useful information about the link. For example, file size, and format.
- Link descriptions should describe the target that they link to.
- Link descriptions should occur naturally in the sentence.
- Links can be presented in the text of a page or separately, such as at the end of the page.
- Link descriptions should avoid ‘click here’ type terminology.
The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) provides guidance on making links meaningful and guidance on writing good web content.
Find guidance on how to use gov.ie and create web content for gov.ie webpages.
Microcontent refers to small groups of words that can be scanned by the reader to get a clear idea of what is on a web page. Microcontent includes:
- Captions for images: These provide the information required to help the reader understand the image in the context of the rest of the page.
- Sub-headings: These are used to break up long passages of text and to provide signposts to readers who are scanning the page.
- Headings: Use heading styles correctly, so that it creates structure that can be read using screen reader software. Do not create text that just looks like headings; for example, do not just increase the font size and weight of the text to create a heading.
For further information, see Section 1 Written Communication, Document Design.