(Dys)functional Links


If there is no link on the text or picture, that can be perfectly fine. But having a dysfunctional link is not good or useful for website visitors.

A case from www.mcdonalds.ru: There are eight large pictures on this web­page, and each one has a hyperlink, which visitors quickly recognize by the pointing hand cursor This Link will open in New Tab.

Figure 1: Dysfunctional links on all of the eight pictures. Download item

But no matter which of the eight main pic­tures visitors click on, they land at the top of the same page, where they already are.

That is a needless, unfulfilled expectation for visitors. If links on the pic­tures lead nowhere, there should be no links on those pictures at all.

A case from www.cocacola.com: When visitors press “Australia,” they expect the Coca Cola Australia website will load, but it doesn’t.

Figure 2: Dysfunctional text link. Download item

The reason for this is because the address www.cocacola.com.au, placed in the “Australia” word link, has a syntactically small yet semantically big error: a hyphen character (-) is missing between coca and cola. The func­tional address is www.coca-cola.com.au.

Two cases from Apple: When visitors press “macOS” on UK's iMac page the link functions normally, and as expected the Mac OS page is loaded. When visitors do the same on many other Apple's local pages, no Mac OS page is loaded. They get a “Can not find the page you are looking for.”

Figure 3: Dysfunctional “macOS” text link on Norway's iMac webpage. Download item

This happens on local pages for Norway, Austria, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Portugal, Brazil, Hungary, Luxembourg, Mexico etc.

Also, when visitors want to get the store’s driving directions and a map, sometimes they are not displayed on Android OS devices.

Figure 4: Multiple attempts to get the store's map location and driving directions which sometimes are inaccessible to users with Android OS. Download item

A case from www.volkswagen.ch: The mobile version of Swiss VW website has a dysfunctional link in the main menu called Unsere Autos (our cars). This link should lead to the page of their pretty important model Polo, but visitors get "the page unfortunately doesn't exist."

Figure 5: Repetitive selecting “Polo” from the main menu gives no results on a mobile phone at Volkswagen Switzerland. Download item

A case from www.mercedes-benz.com: The links to the new A-Class and new C-Class are not working in the main navigation as well as in the carousel. Instead, visitors get only the first page displayed, where they already are.

Figure 6: Broken links for the "A" and "C-class" on the Mercedes-Benz
international website. Download item


Decent brands should create decent impression. If you want to make sure such scenarios don’t happen on your website contact Percaption. We can keep an eye on multiple perception levels of your website.

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