Below is an error message with a link:

enter image description here

The blue part of the image ( link ) contains complete information ( step by step ) about how the error occurred. Whereas the arrows at the end take you to the solution. How can I make the link more visually apparent?

This is how the content looks when the link is clicked: enter image description here

My design: enter image description here

The above image is what I've considered, but I'd like to add some icon to make it visually evident. Any ideas?

3 Answers 3


I think the problem here is not the appearance of the link, but that the user doesn't necessarily expect more information to be available.

Most error reporting to users tends to be one-off statements like "file not found", and therefore they most likely won't expect to see anything more than that. They aren't thinking "how can I get the detailed error information?"

So, even if you make the link more obvious, it doesn't really solve the problem. If you make the link really, really, painfully obvious, you will succeed in getting the user thinking "Oh, that's a link to something." But they still won't know its purpose and might not click on it.

This is compounded by the fact that a filename that is a link tends to be a link to the file itself. The user will probably assume that is the case (for most error messages--obviously for this particular error message it doesn't make sense, since you couldn't link to a file that is not found).

You need an additional link such as "More information" that informs the user that a more detailed error report is available.


I would allow the entire item to be clickable so even if you click the arrow (or the red text) it would still work. Otherwise an underline is a pretty safe bet.


Given this example I am assuming your audience is a developer.

I agree with Dan, that a non technical user may not expect to see more information (code trace) behind that item, however if your audience IS technical and they do expect to deep dive into an issue, then you need to ensure you reuse a design pattern that is "actionable"

Example: if you have other links in this app or a page that are blue color and not underlined, then your users will know that pattern already and you don't need to re-invent the wheel.


You should NEVER rely purely on color to define an interactive CTA. Some visitors with color disabilities wont be able to tell the difference between an interactive link vs. plain text if you are only using a color to differentiate between the two.

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