Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I must admit sometimes it is useful but i realy dislike it.

share|improve this question
1  
Why do you dislike it? I'm sure people will claim this is too similar to a couple of other recent questions, but I'll back you up :-) –  Bobby Jack Nov 30 '10 at 13:03
    
Thanks @Bobby Jack. I know it has been recently asked about changing the color on :hover, i think this is really different. I dislike it because I like all links on the same color, it is something like recognizing them. Still I can't deny it IS useful –  Diego Nov 30 '10 at 13:06
2  
You're right - the specific colours should be chosen carefully. The defaults, whatever you think of blue and purple, are a good starting point since the purple is close enough to still be recognised as a link. I notice that this site changes the visited colour slightly to make it closer to the default (my browser's default, anyway); I think it's a little too close. –  Bobby Jack Nov 30 '10 at 13:10
1  
I've never like link colours being changed after a visit, I've never found a use for them, but this is just my personal opinion. I'm sure lots of pople have found a use for them. –  Andi Nov 30 '10 at 13:38
    
Don't forget you might be able override this in your browser of choice (though not apparently in Chrome). –  ChrisF Nov 30 '10 at 14:10
show 1 more comment

4 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes. There are several cases in which this is hugely beneficial - in-text links that may duplicate others, links in large lists for which the user might be expected to visit several, links to anything that could be considered an 'object' in a 'set' (e.g. users in a social network), etc.

In main navigation, I don't think it's particularly useful. And it shouldn't be used to mitigate poor usability associated with bad link labelling (links should usually be labelled as closely as possible to the page they link to). The fact that visited links are 'forgotten' after a while is a shame, but this functionality is most useful during a session anyway.

There's an interesting associated security hole related to the fact that history can be determined based on link colour; there's a demonstration here.

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 by the way, that css hack does not work at private session (at least FireFox) –  igor Nov 30 '10 at 23:40
add comment

I think you need to provide more context to really have a good answer.

The commonly held opinion is yes, you should, because it is an important usability issue. I think if you had to go to one way or the other, including visited indication of any sort is beneficial to the user.

I think designers struggle with this issue, because it means it is something else that have to design to look good, and it is hard to make randomly visited links look good.

I, personally, think it is important, in particular, for content heavy websites. If you are browser through a long list of items on a sidebar, it is nice to know what you've visited. However, in cases where you might have 4-6 links in your top navigation, most users will be able to tell where they've been.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Sure. Simply because we, humans, don't read we scan, at least this is the first action we take, then, when we think we found what we want we (may) verify it by reading. Hence, visual differences help us get what we want, in this case - go back to where we visited before. I bet you prefer looking for a different colored text then have to thoroughly read the whole page, or finding yourself try to remember - where was that link that took me there?!#@!?

share|improve this answer
add comment

Yes. I think it should change, because it helps users browser your entire site. I don't know many users that commit "previous pages" to memory.

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.