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10:13 Clarify Clickable Regions of Images

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10:13 Clarify Clickable Regions of Images

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 3 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 3 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline




If any part of an image is clickable, ensure that the entire image is clickable or that the clickable sections are obvious.


Users should not be required to use the mouse pointer to discover clickable areas of images. For example, in a map of the United States, if individual states are clickable, sufficient cues should be given to indicate the clickable states.


  • Detweiler, M.C. & Omanson, R.C. (1996). Ameritech Web Page User Interface Standards and Design Guidelines. Ameritech (now SBC).
  • Levine, R. (1996). Guide to Web Style. Sun Microsystems.
  • Lim, R.W. & Wogalter, M.S. (2000). The position of static and on-off banners in WWW displays on subsequent recognition. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting Proceedings, 1071-1813.

Good Example:

Dramatically different colors delineate clickable regions.


The use of white space between clickable regions in this image map define the boundaries of each individual 'hot' area.