In our classified advertising website we have user profiles. You can click on a seller's profile (Pic, name, registration date) and see what they are selling.

We also have an anonymous way to publish without registration. And obviously, they wouldn't have a clickable profile. They only have 'Anonymous' shown as the name.

My question is: how can I make sure visually that the anonymous user name is showing as non-clickable? Right now, it looks the same - same profile pic for every anonymous user and their name.

2 Answers 2


According to Nielsen heuristics, you should make the design of the elements similar to what users are used to seeing on other sites. Thus, you could make the clickable text underlined, bolder or saturated (darker or lighter, depending on what suits best). Non-clickable text may be thinner or paler. You can also add the subtext "anonymous" to indicate the type of user, but it is better to do this if you have a user type for everyone, for example "trusted user", "newbie", etc. Also you can make a special avatar for those comments.


Your website should have a distinct color and/or underline to indicate links. Clickable profile names should use the site's link style because consistency and standards are an important rule of thumb for usability. Your profile names would be links that go to other pages (not menu tabs, nor actions) so they should be using <a> anchor tags. (Look at the user names here on the StackExchange page as an example - they're the same color as the links to the related questions, code of conduct, and footer links.)

For the anonymous profiles, you simply wouldn't add the link tag around the word "Anonymous". Having it be just text vs. a link should be enough of an indicator to the user that it's not clickable.

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