Hypertext Comprehension and Delinkification

Deciding whether to click on links while reading material in hypertext form gives rise to an additional cognitive load and additional distractions, goes a theory championed by Steve Gillmor and Nicholas Carr.

In certain circumstances this is an argument for the “delinkification” of text, they suggest, as this will hopefully bring about increased comprehension.

While I don’t totally agree, I find this analogy rather neat:

The link is, in a way, a technologically advanced form of a footnote. It’s also, distraction-wise, a more violent form of a footnote. Where a footnote gives your brain a gentle nudge, the link gives it a yank. What’s good about a link – its propulsive force – is also what’s bad about it.

via @anibalmastobiza

Primary link: Nicholas Carr arguing for delinkification.
Support link: Steve Gillmor’s Wikipedia entry.
Support link: Nicholas Carr’s Wikipedia entry.
By means of: Anibal Astobiza’s tweet.



2 responses to “Hypertext Comprehension and Delinkification”

  1. […] And @fakelvis points me to Nick Carr’s Experiments in Delinkification piece via his own excellent-as-ever summary. […]

  2. […] it might be better to put all the links at the end, more in the style of a bibliography – concise explanation and example here. However, according to research by Mozilla, it seems that people often use browser tabs as […]