When scanning the main page, I find it a little difficult to differentiate between visited links and regular links. I can see the difference but it always catches me off guard as visited links seem to stand out slightly more instead of losing importance visually. The hover state is also very subtle and just adds to the sea of subtly differently shades of blue that carry no meaning (to my confused self).

Does anyone else have this or just me?

Link colours

  • 1
    Yes, same here.
    – Vloxxity
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 15:48
  • 5
    Yeah it's just the design of the site. Maybe retag to [feature request] to change it? Personally I don't mind the subtle hover effect so much as the tiny differences between visited/unvisited
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 17:58
  • related perhaps merge into a single request: meta.ux.stackexchange.com/questions/1175/… Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 17:06
  • Over 2 years later and I still can't tell the difference between visited and unvisited links...
    – bpromas
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 14:47
  • I had to define a custom style to display visited links as grey...
    – Aprillion
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


Great question!

You've encountered one of the big problems in user experience - platform diversity. Variable access conditions. Whatever you want to call it.

Did you know that some people can see farther into the blue spectrum than others - and others see less?

I've got a relatively clear differentiation between the two colours on my monitor. Well, one one of the screens I use. Of course, that's the monitor that calibrated for design/print work. I took a look at the screenshot on my phone, and the colours aren't nearly as well defined. I imagine that it'll be nearly the same on the old LCD I use in the workroom.

From an accessibility standpoint, it's an interesting decision. Would it be better if it was red/green? Probably not, if you're red/green colourblind. And perhaps the person who selected the colours can see a clear difference due to physical ability or monitor calibration.

So ... is there a better choice? Perhaps.

It depends on the purpose of the colour choice. Theoretically, what if UX:SE wanted the links to be similar, to increase the viewing on questions - perhaps prodding users to comment, re-comment, or edit previously viewed questions. I doubt that is the case (dark patterns and all), but there could be another deliberate reason, like visual consistency.

Or again, maybe they've got the contrast so high on their monitors that it doesn't appear to be remotely similar.

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