Links & Downloads

Here are some best-practices to create a positive user experience for links and downloads.


Avoid using in-line links since this may distract the visitor from reading the full content before launching to another page/site. Also, in-line links can be difficult to locate if there is not a significant contrast to the body text. Therefore, we recommend placing any related links or contact information after the feature content.

For more information view: contact:
Scientist Name (864) 656-XXXX, 

If your content has many related links and resources, consider using a 3-column template (explained on page 7). The right-hand column is also a good place to list related links, additional resources, downloads, or highlight events.

Keep in mind that spelling out long URLs in the narrow, right-hand column will distort the layout. In those cases, use the site/page name instead of the entire URL (Extension instead of


To provide information as downloadable files (PDF, PowerPoint, etc.) instead of text, we recommend:

  • Let the user know what to expect when they click on that link (summarize the document in sufficient detail, including file type, page count and file size). We recommend the following:   Download Dr. Smith’s CV (.pdf, 164 KB)
  • Create hyperlinks to non-Web documents like PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint that open the files in a new browser window.
  • When possible, avoid using downloadable Word and Excel files. Instead, save the document as a PDF first.
  • Provide a link to free helper applications (Adobe Acrobat Reader, PowerPoint Viewer, Excel Viewer, etc.) on the same page with the link to the file. This is important to meet ADA requirements.
  • Ensure that your document format is at least one version behind the latest offering. For example, if the latest version of Adobe Acrobat is Version 8, save the files in Version 7 or earlier. Many users are slow to upgrade when new versions ship.