U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Web Services  

IHS.gov Linking Standard

Standard:

All links must follow all the following requirements to ensure Section 508 compliancy, usability, appropriateness and consistency. Links must be used sparingly in body content. The majority of your links should be placed outside of the informational content (paragraphs) on the page. Over linking interferes with readability of the content in addition to decreasing link usage. Links must have descriptive text. Using text "Click here", "Read more" or similar should be avoided.

Requirements:

  • All non-left navigation links must be standard blue (unvisited) and purple (visited).
  • The URL string may not be displayed as a link.
  • Standard IHS.gov template skip navigation via anchor tag is present.
  • New non-navigational links to pages & files need to have the standard NEW icon used to the immediate left of the link text.
    Required Code: <cf_act_NewItem docCreation="DD/MM/YYYY" RemoveNewAfter="10">
  • Links to documents must open in new browser tabs (target="_blank")
  • Links to files must have [Format - Size] immediately following the link. Acceptable file formats are PDF, Word, Excel, PPT, MP3, MP4, ZIP, and Flash.
  • File sizes must be labeled as KB, MB, or GB
  • If a file is smaller than 1MB its Kilobytes must be written out, if it's over 1MB only show the size with one decimal place. (Examples: 975KB or 2.4MB)
  • All files must be less than 5MB in size with the exception of downloadable video
  • All navigation links must stay within the respective website and must only be to webpages NOT files (PDF/Word/etc)
  • All external links (non IHS.gov) have the standard IHS.gov exit disclaimer ColdFusion tag to the right of them.
    Required Code: <cfinclude template="/GeneralWeb/HHSexitDisclaim.htm"/>
  • All external links must be free from hate, bias and discrimination. In addition, they may not contain misleading, unsubstantiated claims or information that conflicts with the mission of IHS.
  • Links to non-IHS.gov websites must open in a new browser tab
  • All links must point to a legitimate website. If a link is broken and cannot be fixed it must be removed.

Justification and Reasoning:

This standard ensures consistency across all of IHS.gov and allows visitors to easily locate and identify links. In addition, this standard ensures the end user knows what/where the link will take them.

Exemptions:

None