I quite like the design of the English StackExchange site - I actually think it's one of the best of all of them. I only have one rather serious complaint with it though, and that's the colour of hyperlinks. I cannot pick them out of a block of text, regardless of where I view the screen from, because I am red-green colour blind (as are about 6% of the male population, according to Wikipedia).

It's rarely a problem for me, and if not for the test that involves picking numbers out of coloured circles (which I failed miserably!) I probably wouldn't even notice. Unfortunately I just can't pick the links out here though - I actually have to run the mouse over every word until I see the cursor change. I've tried on a couple of monitors and browsers with the same result. I compared this to a friend at work who can spot and point out the links from over a metre away (much to his amusement when I sat there squinting afterwards).

It's particularly annoying because I really enjoy many of the citations people use when answering some of the better questions, but it's a real struggle to locate them!

  • 2
    I'll definitely look into this, I take accessibility pretty seriously. When the design first launched, I did a test for the link colors with a tritanopia simulator and it looked fine. But I should've tested it against other types of color blindness too. I'll be posting a few different sample link colors as an answer this weekend to see if they they work for you.
    – Jin
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 17:22
  • That's fantastic, thank you! As I said it's the only complaint I have in an otherwise wonderful design.
    – PatrickJ
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 23:38
  • @PatrickJ +1 Good question, I never thought about this. You did well to point it out! I'm curious to see what @Jin is going to do :D
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jul 2, 2011 at 9:47
  • 1
    I can vouch that this is a problem for more than one. I wound up writing a user script which certainly makes them visible, but positively awful. Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 23:09

3 Answers 3


I've added a dotted underline for links in the post text body. I feel this is the best solution to the problem without changing the overall color scheme too much. I tried some variations of the red, but they did not pass the test well. The regular solid underline made some of the link heavy question and answer posts very busy looking. I feel a subtle dotted link treatment is better.

This change will be in the next production build.

English link color

  • I've just seen this in some answer and I immediately thought about this question! Nice solution! I think it's a method used in other sites as well, but I can't recall any at the moment...
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 16:54

I'm not colorblind and even I find the link color too close to the sepia tones of the site. Note to @jin: tritanopia is much more rare than deuteranopia (normal red-green color-blindness). You should check for the latter first. You can get extensions for Photoshop that will check both.


Is this still active? I have no such lines. Sometimes I actually do miss the links in the color scheme.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Helmar, this should have been a new question, linking to this one. This is not an answer to the question asked (indeed, it's a valid new question, because the dotted underline is clearly missing).
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:17
  • @AndrewLeach You're right.
    – Helmar
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 7:41

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