It is very hard to distinguish between normal text and links on the main site.

Here is an example:

enter image description here

The blue for links and the gray for text are too close. Some people might have very sharp eyes, many do not. Compare this to the situation on meta where links are a flavor of orange.

  • 2
    Maybe include a visual example, because they are very easy to distinguish on my screen.
    – techraf
    Jul 7, 2016 at 5:49
  • Remember, links get darker once you click them. Jul 9, 2016 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure that qualifying these links of "very hard" to distinguish is the right term, at least not on a general basis.

However, where I agree with you is that depending on the screen settings and potential visual limitations affecting the reader, these links may indeed be hard to distinguish from normal text.

That's the reason why often visual indications such as links rely on two different criteria, traditionally links are shown:

  1. Using a different text color,
  2. Underlined.

This also allow the reader to detect successive different links, which is just currently impossible on StackExchange without hovering the links.

However, underlined text within a paragraph may also slightly reduce readability and comfort (that's why Wikipedia for instance choose to underline them only while hovering, as a right balance), and a poster on UX.se also suggested the following:

I'm pretty sure that this is an intentional part of the Stack Exchange UX.

Answers are supposed to be standalone, because external sites may go offline, or rename/take down the page linked to. If they primary content of the answer was a link to another site, then that answer is now useless.

The links are not underlined, so as not to distract from the answer, since they're supposed to only go to supplemental material. Similar reasoning exists for using colors that have less contrast to the text as opposed to the general web.

So, without being into StackExchange little secrets, chances are this may be intentional and that arguments privileging text readability and unity over links parsing easiness simply won.

You may also find relevant information in the posts below from UX.se:

  • 1
    I think the colors for the normal text and links are too close on the main site. Compare it with the colors on meta for example.
    – Kaveh
    Jul 7, 2016 at 23:58

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