Identifying the purpose of a link using link text combined with the text of the enclosing sentence

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.1 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.1.

Applicability

All technologies that contain links.

This technique relates to Success Criterion 2.4.4: Link Purpose (In Context) (Sufficient).

Description

The objective of this technique is to identify the purpose of a link from the link and its sentence context. The sentence enclosing the link provides context for an otherwise unclear link. The description lets a user distinguish this link from links in the Web page that lead to other destinations and helps the user determine whether to follow the link. Note that simply providing the URI of the destination is generally not sufficiently descriptive.

Note

These descriptions will be most useful to the user if the additional information needed to understand the link precedes the link. If the additional information follows the link, there can be confusion and difficulty for screen reader users who are reading through the page in order (top to bottom).

Examples

Example 1

A Web page contains the sentence "To advertise on this page, click here."

Although the link phrase 'click here' is not sufficient to understand the link, the information needed precedes the link in the same sentence.

Example 2

In the news summary containing the sentence "The Smallville Times reports that the School Board chose a 2007 school calendar that starts on August 27.", the words "reports that" are a link to an article in the Smallville Times about the School Board meeting.

Note

Although this example satisfies the Success Criterion, putting information needed to understand the link after the link in this way is awkward for those who are reading through the document with a screen reader.

Tests

Procedure

For each link in the content that uses this technique:

  1. Check that the link is part of a sentence
  2. Check that text of the link combined with the text of its enclosing sentence describes the purpose of the link

Expected Results

  • The above checks are true.