“Read more” buttons and why they should be avoided

Generic link texts are seen all over the web, especially “Read More”, “Click Here” and “The Whole Thing” in connection with editorial content. Such link texts should never be used, even if the text before and after is descriptive.

Superfluous items without function

Certain users, e.g. blind people using screen readers, will have the links presented (read out) regardless of the surrounding content. It goes without saying that it is not very user-friendly to read the links “Read More”, “Read More”, “Read More” in an endless stream. It's not good enough when it comes to universal design and accessibility. In addition, these links may be considered redundant, if it is intuitive enough that one can click on from before. And if there's something an interaction designer dislikes, it's redundant elements with no function!

One of Norway's biggest bloggers, got a new design on his blog some time ago. What was interesting, was that for a (short) period of time, the blog was not about the outfit and chores of the day, but about UX! Design engages, and readers commented heatedly about the new design and then one thing in particular: “Read more” - the buttons that had come after a photo and a small snippet of each blog post.

On such blogs, one is often used to being presented with one long stream of blog posts, and the only thing required of the user is scrolling. While shortening your posts with a “Read more” button can improve your page's performance (such blogs are often very heavy to load), one should not underestimate the impact this has on the user experience. Suddenly, greater demands are placed on the user, who has to click back and forth and engage More so than just being able to scroll relatively passively down the page. So in this case, it's not just a matter of specifying the link text better, but assessing it against the medium and what the usage pattern of users is like.

Here's what you can do instead:

  • Design in a way that makes it intuitive enough to click ahead without using such links
  • Always describe links and buttons so that they make sense if they are left to themselves
  • Consider alternative loading methods such as infinite scroll as an alternative to loading all data at once

What can we help you with?

Sebastian Krohn
Sebastian Krohn
Agency Manager, Consulting
988 00 306
Morten M Wikstrøm
Morten M Wikstrøm
CEO, Consulting
976 90 017

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