This is a post (actually, two) I wrote in my personal blog, in portuguese. I´ll translate and adapt them because I really feel this will become an important topic on legibility.
When I was a kid, I used to enjoy reading encyclopedias and just browsing through articles. I would jump from one article into another, following the flow of the referral hand and the terms highlighted in bold.
With today´s technology these referrals between articles are made with hyperlinks and new articles are only a click away. This is great, but up to a certain point. And then it becomes annoying.
In my blog-reader routine I´ve noticed a certain growing tendency: authors include more and more hyperlinks in their posts. Not exactly as an extra, but making it the main message. Such as:
“I´m working on this sketch (link); I got my inspiration reading this (link) and this (link). I bought this medium (link) at my usual supplies shop (link). After my last attempt (link) I decided to go practice some yoga (link) and medidate on my next trip (link).”
This huge amount of non self-explanatory links adds up to a huge distraction in my reading, totally interrupting the flow of the story being told. I have no idea of what the author means about “this”, so I´ll just have to click the hyperlink provided to have a clue and understand the context better.
The problem is that whenever I navigate away from the original article I was reading I am distracted from the content – which probably wasn´t the intention in the first place, very much the opposite. So, for now, I will try to keep my hyperlinks in my posts to a minimum and as much as sel-explanatory as possible. Like some paragraphs above: I´ll explain what the link is and the reader clicks it only if she wants. For now, this is my optimal solution, but I´m always receptive to (your) better suggestions.
Para quem quiser ler este post em português, que fala sobre o exagero das hiperligações nos textos dos blogs, aqui vai o link. Ou melhor, os links, porque são dois posts no meu blog em portugues, “Entre Lisboa e Buenos Aires”: o primeiro é “Chiii! Já chega!” e o segundo é “Não sei se ficou bem claro”.