I was reading this question - How to make my pasta less brown? - particularly Michael's answer. He links to a recipe of his. However, I only knew there was a link there was because I read his answer and expected a link, not because I could see it. Can we change the link color to stand out just a little more?

Update: Okay, to be fair I'm red/green color "deficient" (not blind). To put it in perspective, I need more contrast because the plain text and link look nearly identical to me. I can't see any of the numbers here - http://colorvisiontesting.com/ . I have to really stare right at the link in Michael's question to tell it apart and I'm not exaggerating. It's good that you underline on hover, but how do I know where to hover in the first place? In any case, this is one of those random design things. If 99% of users like the styling and its current usability, then no need to change it on my account. If other people, with normal vision, have a problem with it, then I think the color should be changed to increase contrast. I asked the question because I don't know what other people see, but apparently it contrasts enough. My only other comment is that in lieu of changing the color, if people would just paste the link directly (as I did above), rather than applying the link to some other text then I have no problem since I can easily pick a link out with its slashes and what not.

Update 2 So, regardless of if the styling is changed on the site I can use Personalized Web, a Chrome extension, to change the link color for just the relevant text. If anyone else is interested, these rules worked for me and apply to questions on both the main site and the Meta area:

URL Match: ^.*cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/
Add CSS: .post-text a, .comment-copy a { color:blue !important;}
  • Chad, I have added a dotted underline to the parent site links. It will be in the next deployment. Thanks.
    – Jin
    Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 5:02
  • 1
    Jin, thanks so much for your time and understanding.
    – Chad
    Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 22:51
  • I somewhat see this as an issue here on meta (no blindness). I turn the brightness down lots on my screens, which is potentially part of the issue. Probably many others do this, too? The links here are fairly nonprominent even when adjusted up, though.
    – zanlok
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 19:54

3 Answers 3


This makes a lot more sense to me now that I understand it to be an issue of colour-blindness (or colour deficiency). It's probably protanopia that we're talking about here (missing red cones). Here's a simulation from vischeck:

Protanopia simulation

It's actually pretty bad. I'm not sure how much we care about accessibility but this specific issue affects something like 1% of the population - so maybe not an emergency but not anything to handwave away either.

I do like the style, but this is exactly why the original designers of the web chose to underline links; it's not pretty but it's easy to spot.

It's at least worth thinking about possible compromises between aesthetics and accessibility.

  • Thanks for the screenshot! I'm of the opinion that usability is of highest priority on the web, and agree that it's worth discussing. I think keeping links underlined and removing them on hover is a fine option, and honestly I don't find that it takes away from the design at all. I mean, I understand why it's done that way from a design perspective, but I think it's worth the small aesthetic "loss" for such a big increase in accessibility. Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 2:58
  • thanks for the additional information and your consideration. Whatever you decide to do or not to do is fine with me, I just wanted to bring it to your attention. :-)
    – Chad
    Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 11:03
  • The other thing I realized is that I can use something like Personalized Web, a Chrome extension, to set my own CSS. I could just as well change the link color as needed. For the less tech savvy it would still be an issue. I know there is the Daltonize - chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/… - extension. I tried that, but it didn't help enough.
    – Chad
    Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 15:48

Chad, we take accessibility pretty seriously. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. For the link color choice, I originally use this tool to check color contrast and it seemed the link color passed the test


But now I realize the problem isn't that the link color is hard for color blind people to read, but it's too similar to regular body text.

I will add an underline to the links in the question/comment post section.


Could you have a browser style sheet that's overriding the site's default colors? In Chrome I'm seeing red (image below), even after visiting the link.

alt text

  • I'm not sure I'm seeing the problem either. I gather that Chad is referring to the contrast, but I've looked at this on 3 different computers/screens and haven't had problems on any of them (and my vision is not stellar).
    – Aaronut
    Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 17:51
  • Updated the question.
    – Chad
    Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 23:29
  • 2
    Thanks @Chat, as a front-end developer I have to admit I'm a little embarrassed I didn't even think of accessibility issues when I replied - I work with them in my day-to-day. I'm 100% for your proposal! Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 2:59

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