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Guide to Website Link Styling for a More Accessible User Experience

Guide to Website Link Styling for a More Accessible User Experience

In the world of web design, aesthetics often take the spotlight, but one critical aspect that deserves equal attention is accessibility. Web links, the essential threads of digital navigation, play a pivotal role. Focus states, which indicate active elements for keyboard and screen reader users, are a key consideration. Default focus states provided by browsers, although functional, often clash with the overall design. In this article, we explore the importance of aligning focus states with hover states, especially to cater to impaired users.

The Role of Focus States

Focus states ensure a user-friendly experience, indicating where user interactions are occurring on a webpage. Traditional browser defaults, such as a simple outline, serve their purpose but might not align with the design, potentially causing confusion for users, especially those with disabilities.

Balancing Aesthetics and Accessibility

As web designers strive for visually engaging interfaces, the allure of crafting intricate hover states can overshadow accessibility considerations. While hover states add interactivity, they mustn’t compromise the experience for keyboard and screen reader users.

Why Focus States Matter

Accessible design is essential for an inclusive web experience. Aligning focus states with hover states bridges the gap between different modes of interaction. Users relying on keyboard navigation or screen readers benefit from a consistent experience, fostering confidence and usability.

Achieving Alignment

To align focus states with hover states:

  1. Color and Contrast: Ensure focus states match hover states in color and contrast, ensuring visibility even without visual cues.
  1. Animation: Replicate hover state animations in focus states, offering visual cues for changes.
  1. Size and Shape: Maintain consistent size and shape for both states to avoid disorientation.
  1. Feedback: Use subtle visual cues, like shadows or outlines, in focus states to indicate active elements.
  1. Testing: Regularly test keyboard navigation and screen reader interactions to ensure seamless alignment.

The Business Benefits

Incorporating accessibility into the design not only upholds ethical standards but also offers business advantages:

  • Wider Audience: An accessible website appeals to a broader user base, potentially increasing engagement.
  • SEO Enhancement: Search engines favor accessible sites, as they are easier to index.
  • Reputation Boost: Demonstrating commitment to accessibility enhances brand reputation.
  • Legal Compliance: Meeting accessibility requirements safeguards against legal issues.


At StatenWeb, we blend captivating design with inclusivity. Our experts craft visually appealing and accessible websites that cater to diverse audiences. Aligning focus states with hover states ensures a seamless experience for all users. Elevate your online presence with us. Contact Mat at StatenWeb today to embark on an inclusive web journey.


In the world of web design, accessibility should never take a back seat to aesthetics. Focus states, often underestimated, play a crucial role in creating an inclusive user experience. Aligning focus states with hover states is a small change that makes a significant impact, ensuring impaired users enjoy the same engaging experience. By prioritizing accessibility, we create a digital landscape that truly caters to all users, reflecting a commitment to user-centric design.

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