Stop fighting the established conventions


It’s really irritating when product designers violate the established conventions or design patterns for a particular interaction. Here are a few examples relating to text and hyperlinks on web pages:

– Links that aren’t underlined (making it difficult to tell that they’re links at all)

– Regular text that’s blue and underlined (so it ends up looking like a link)

– Links for “Contact Us” that go directly to an email address (rather than the typical page with a contact form, phone number, etc.)

If you’re leaning towards making a similar exception in your own designs, ask yourself this question: does the added efficiency of my design more than make up for the learning curve and ongoing confusion that it causes the user? In almost every case, the answer is a resounding “No”.