When developing a mobile or responsive website (for touch screens) making navigation links and other buttons larger to be easier to tap and avoid 'fat fingers' is a good idea.

My question is what about body content links? So you have paragraphs of text with links in them, how do you go about making those links easier to press? Is there a set good practise for this? Does anyone out there just add extra space around the link text? Or is it a simple case of making sure links are not that close together in the content.

I'm of course assuming that the links are close enough together that they could be miss tapped.

2 Answers 2


Body content links are just simply not optimised for mobile devices, and you should consider a different strategy for hyperlink-heavy content.

Rachel Hinman - author of The Mobile Frontier has an excerpt of her book online in which she gives the example of The New York Times - desktop and mobile, where the heavy use of content embedded links are removed for mobile:

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The best practice is a content strategy for mobile, not to mess around with the spacing around the link text or to use huge text solely because of excessive link usage - although it is good practice to generally increase any tap target size to about 10mm.

A typical solution is to move many of the links (where it makes sense to do so) from the content into a separate section after the body content. More on this story... or Related articles... or External links... where you can increase the font size and/or spacing of the links without affecting the body content. Example from BBC News mobile site.

  • Thanks a lot for that detailed response and examples, I'm going to give that 'The Mobile Frontier' link a read today see what it has to say. Sounds like a book worth buying though.
    – Neil Nand
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 11:51
  • Rachel Hinman is a recognized thought leader in Mobile UX - she's very good. See also my own SlideShare on mobile UX which covers some of these topics about the mobile UX. Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 11:56

I would suggest making the font size big and line-height big enough to eliminate this problem. Take a look at the website like Starbucks.

By adding extra space around the link (a tag) in a paragraph is not going to work, think about what is going to happen with lines that don't have links.

  • Thanks for the reply, I was thinking of this approach but more from a readability point of view, hadn't thought of it aiding link tapping though.
    – Neil Nand
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 12:24
  • @NeilNand bigger text and line height easyer to tap... take a look at an app like getpocket.com It allows you to save web articles and sync them to your iPhone or iPad. They are using large type and line height. Really easy to read and navigate.
    – Igor-G
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 13:29

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