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Glossary » crosslink


a link that goes from one part of a website to another part of the website that is not in the same hierarchical branch, thus breaking out of the pure hierarchy.

Hierarchies are often a very clear organization for a website but don’t fit all types of information. Crosslinks can be very useful for providing alternative paths through a site, but can be confusing if not carefully presented to the user because after clicking on a crosslink, they can end up in an unexpected part of the site and be disoriented.

If displayed in a reasonably clear way (e.g. made distinct from typical hierarchical links) and used sparingly in places where crosslinks are obviously meaningful and appropriate, they pose few problems, but user testing is recommended if any confusion might occur.