The Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications is quoted by Business Writing as suggesting:
Restructure the sentence so that the address is not at the end of
Set off the address, like this, with no period (full stop):
Please visit my website at:
However the same site also ...
Do long domain names really effect user experience?
Yes, in several ways:
Long domains are difficult to remember. A shorter one tends to be more memorable. The mind can only recall 4 things at once in its working memory. Even then, the words need to make sense (and not keyboard mash).
Given the two options, I would go for the second...
However! What I would consider to be the best option is a third alternative. Something that combines information and instructions:
This format gives the user a hint of what to write and expect. It's easy to understand that example.com/europe/ ...
It is not only a problem with copy/paste. If Thunderbird (among others) receives a plain text message with an URL, it will transform it to a clickable URL, including the end period, as it is valid in an URL. A number of other punctuation characters are also legal, so care must be used.
Tradition in such plain text messages is to surround the URL with < ...
While longer than desirable, 27 characters (including .com) is not overly excessive, but yes, long domain names do affect user experience. Some more than others.
'Power users' know how to avoid typing the address if possible.
there are going to be some users who don't have a browser with a suggestive omnibox
there are going to be users who hunt ...
Since you want to indicate function in your URL:s, the best way would be to actually type out that function in the URL.
Edit: adding an excellent point made by 10MAY in another answer in this thread, regarding why you shouldn't use sub-domains:
I don't have much in the way of hard data to back this up, but a number of sites which host user-generated links (eg. news aggregators, Wikipedia) specifically ban shortened URLs for trust reasons. Joshua Schachter (creator of Delicious) wrote a blog post explaining some of the issues with them.
First, .co is a TLD intended for websites hosted in Colombia.
Second, users are habituated to .com. The missing m is perturbing, and many people will forget about the fact that instead of accessing a company website, they must go to a website with a Colombia-type name.
This being said, some well known companies, including Google or Twitter, reserved .co ...
In this specific example, the period is not really necessary. What follows the full colon need not always be a word/ phrase or some linguistic construct. It could even be an icon/ image etc.
In general though, it is always preferable to place the link either inside the sentence or behind a part of text.
Please follow the link http://example.com/...
Firstly this is really just an extension of an inherent problem with links in the first place, which is that the target doesn't need to have anything to do with the link text - even if the link text looks perfectly adequate. In fact I would suggest that a well written text link is even more likely to engage and fool the user than a shortened link which might ...
This article might be of interest to you from the site usability.gov which states that using the prefix www. would be a good visual indicator that its a website for users. To quote the article
Use the full domain name with the "www," however, on all publicity
because it clearly identifies the name as a Web site. We found that
without including "www" ...
Yes, there are a few considerations for domain names:
Is the name memorable? Could your domain name be confused with another address, such as goggle.com vs. google.com?
Is the name easy to relay? Can you tell another person the name by saying something like "penny-dash-arcade-dot-com"?
Is the name accurate to your brand? If your site is "Cheap Pens Now", ...
Go with the hyphenated option. It will be easier to read for the user and if you have longer names, make it easier to recall too.
eg: look at the URL for this question:
Also, avoid capitalization if possible, just to remain consistent. eg: Was the S capital or was the D capital?
There are multiple benefits for the user when you have "smart url" that is descriptive and semantic. Another good reference;
Based on article, IMO these are valid arguments for having proper URL;
a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to spell
URLs that visualize the site ...
People place the most amount of trust primarily in .com, .org, and .gov and secondarily in .net. All other TLDs are subject to additional scrutiny by your users. In addition if I just know your domain, but not the TLD you are using. I'm going to guess, and I'm willing to bet most of your users will guess ".com".
.com should always be the primary ...
You might find Grammar Girl's advice helpful:
... unless you can control exactly how the address will be rendered, it's best to leave off the terminal punctuation or rewrite the sentence so the URL doesn't come at the end.
I terminate a sentence with a period if I am writing for print. However, for online documentation, I would rephrase the sentence.
Use the fully typed words
Don't drop the first letter off the second word just because it happens to match. Dropping the first letter of the second word implies a new one word trademark.
People usually type out the full words of things they are searching for as evidenced by this image which was captured from the DirecTV homepage...
As a window ...
I guess it was in the late '90s that I learned that the "right" way to send a URL via e-mail (or on Usenet) is
preceding text <URL:http://www.example.com>.
I can't seem to find that reference now (does anyone know?) and I don't know whether that practice is still considered "right", or by whom.
I either do that, recast the sentence so the URL is not ...
There are various reasons for this, amongst them:
Bookmarks - I love the ability to drag and drop the browser address icon to my desktop to mark an important email.
History - Looking through your history can be the quickest way to find an email you read half an hour ago. You need an encoded url to achieve this.
App versioning - when rolling out a new ...
A quite common pattern for showing all of something is to extend the category with a filter, which in your case would be something like:
That way you can use the filter in your URL to select factories in let's say Europe:
And moving down the list to a single factory, such as:
One thing to remember is the concept of people being able to recall about 7 items (established by George Armitage Miller's work on memory) in their short-term memory. If your name consisted of words like: big, dull, hello, car, house; each of these is ONE item because they connect to something already existing in their mental schema/mind.
If it is ...
Jabob Nielsen in his article URL as UI from 1999 highlights the importance of human-friendly and hackable URLs. Updates from 2005 and 2007 mentioning eye-tracking studies suggesting that people pay attention to URL.
Another article by NNGroup, Navigation: You Are Here states that:
Well-chosen, human-readable web addresses are important to sharing, ...
I quite like using /account/ as the prefix, like this...
Log in: /account/login
My account: /account (redirects to /account/login if not logged in)
Log out: /account/logout
Sign up: /account/create or /account/signup
Change password: /account/password
I think this is a good structure since it organises the URLs from the user's perspective, instead of from ...
(tl;dr: Click through the presentation mentioned below to see how the BBC designed their URLs and to learn a bunch of other stuff you probably hadn't thought about much)
The best approach to this I've seen is described by the BBC's UX director Mike Atherton in Beyond the Polar Bear (SlideShare).
One of his main arguments is the use of domain-driven design, ...
The shorter the URL it might be easier to remember for those people who tend to memorize URL's but if people relate to an URL with the name of the organization then you might have problems since people would struggle to figure out what the url of the site was by using the name.
For example, I helped out a non profit called Getting to know cancer, we did ...
Unless you have a very important reason to do so (like URL shorteners e.g. bit.ly), URLs should never be case sensitive (regardless of the OS for the server). A user does not want to have to remember that the path to a certain page on your site has capital letters at position X and position Y.
It is also much quicker for the user to type all lowercase. And ...
Yes, it’s a good idea.
Especially if you notice that there are some misspelled links out there, e.g. if someone links to your login page with /login. instead of /login (because the URL auto-detection of their CMS thought that the dot for ending a sentence belongs to the URL).
Preventively adding such redirects is probably not of a high priority, however, ...
In regards to your mention of character recognition capabilities, you might have to consider that QR codes are more robust and thus better suited to scanning of information that plain text. Compared to a written word, the redundancy of the stored information in a QR code is higher. See this section of the wikipedia article on QR codes. This level of ...
If there is a better term, it will be very relative to your business.
www.ex.com/subscriber/john_lennon could be appropriate for most news services, even if free.
This can also be quite different from 'profile' paths
vs. 'account' paths,
where the former is about public image, and the ...
Aside from technical difficulties mentioned in @mookamafoob's answer, there potentially is this to consider: Many users in countries that have non-ascii characters in their alphabets have learned that URL's can not be made up of anything but ascii characters. Using identifiers, even if technically possible, might cause users to wonder, if an address they ...