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What is a Clickable Image?

Article Details
  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A clickable image is a graphical button on a website that functions as a hyperlink. Using the computer mouse and cursor on the screen to click on the image will take the user to another page on the original website, or to a different website altogether. Using a clickable image as a link on a website can be a great way to make the site look more interesting and well-designed, rather than simply relying on text-based hyperlinks throughout.

Any image that is loaded onto a website through the use of an IMG tag in HTML can be made clickable by adding an extra line of code beginning with "A HREF"; specific instructions for this may be found online, but it is quite simple. This is the most basic way to create a clickable image. It is common for website designers to create clickable images that look like buttons, but the image can be anything the designer wants.

To create more complex clickable images, or image maps, HTML coding may also be used. It is more common, however, to use JavaScript or CSS. A clickable image is often part of what is known as a graphical user interface or GUI, which is used in operating systems or computer programs, for example. The purpose of any clickable image is to make the website or computer program easy to use and understand.

It is important, when designing a website, to not go overboard with different clickable images. Of course, everyone's preferences may vary, but website users may become frustrated if there are too many different or unclear images to click on. The purpose of the button should be clear, as well as whether it will take the user to an external website, or to a different page within the website. Unless the reason is clear, it is generally a good idea to make sure that links do not all open in separate browser windows.

In addition, it is important to make it clear when images can be clicked on and when they are just images for design or illustration purposes. While it may seem more attractive to make the images blend into the web page, if a user cannot find where he or she is supposed to click, they will be more likely to just give up and go to a different website. When used correctly, with ease of use in mind, clickable images can be a great way to brighten up a website and give it a more personal touch.

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