URLs & Users

David Sklar’s claim that “people don’t care about URLs” (via Full Stop Interactive) seems like a wild overstatement, even taking “people” to mean “average” people.

At one point, he might have been right, but people who know what’s up with URLs have long been training others, through the kind of informal technical support so many of us give, to pay attention to them. I get a call from one of my parents from time to time saying, “This address looks funny. Should I trust this site?”

Internet literacy has grown to a point where people who might not have known how to open their browser a few years ago—I had a client like this in 2004—now understand that the thing with the blue line under it is called a link or hyperlink, and that some kind of code they can’t see tells their browser where to go when they click, and that “where to go” means, in a sense, “to what URL.”

(Besides, if you’re going to tweak URLs anyway, why not take “advanced” users into consideration?)

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