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When creating a list that you wish to be a display of clickable links to a full page of more detailed information, what is a good way to display this? In the Balsamiq example below, is a sketch of the basic list. I want to use a more attractive look than the blue underlined text, and had a suggestion of a shaded background like in the 3rd and 4th list items. What is a good way to display the clickable list?

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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Don't break user expectations.

Users will expect links to look like links - and that means displaying them in blue with an underline and changing the cursor to a hand when the mouse is over the link.

If you really don't want your links to look like links, then you still need to make it obvious that they are a clickable entity. The other element that fulfils this criteria is a button, so your 3rd and 4th items would probably be OK.

You might get away with just changing the cursor, but people won't necessarily think of moving the cursor over the link if it doesn't look like a link or a button.

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