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

  • 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
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 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
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 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
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 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
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 13:38
  • Don't forget you might be able override this in your browser of choice (though not apparently in Chrome).
    – ChrisF
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 14:10

4 Answers 4


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.

  • 1
    +1 by the way, that css hack does not work at private session (at least FireFox)
    – igor
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 23:40

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?!#@!?


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.


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.

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