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Action link

Use action links to help users get to the next stage of a journey quickly by signposting the start of a digital service.

They include a few simple words which tell the user what to do next, like “Find a pharmacy” or “Order a test kit”.

Code and design

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<div class="nhsuk-action-link">
  <a class="nhsuk-action-link__link" href="https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/minor-injuries-unit/locationsearch/551">
    <svg class="nhsuk-icon nhsuk-icon__arrow-right-circle" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 24 24" aria-hidden="true">
      <path d="M0 0h24v24H0z" fill="none"></path>
      <path d="M12 2a10 10 0 0 0-9.95 9h11.64L9.74 7.05a1 1 0 0 1 1.41-1.41l5.66 5.65a1 1 0 0 1 0 1.42l-5.66 5.65a1 1 0 0 1-1.41 0 1 1 0 0 1 0-1.41L13.69 13H2.05A10 10 0 1 0 12 2z"></path>
    </svg>
    <span class="nhsuk-action-link__text">Find a minor injuries unit</span>
  </a>
</div>
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{% from 'action-link/macro.njk' import actionLink %}

{{ actionLink({
  "text": "Find a minor injuries unit",
  "href": "https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/minor-injuries-unit/locationsearch/551"
}) }}

When to use action links

Use action links to signpost the start of a digital service.

When not to use action links

Do not use action links in forms. Use a button instead.

We don't use action links just to link to another page or site. If you need a link to stand out, you can use inset text.

Keep the words on the action link short. Start with a verb, for example: "Book an appointment" or "Apply for an EHIC card".

Action links usually sit in a block of text. You can also put one in a care card.

You can have more than one action link on a page but avoid putting them near each other.

Accessibility

The link colour and background colour contrast ratio is 5.76:1, which passes AAA guidelines at that font size.

Research

We tested the action links on health information pages with lots of content, callout boxes and multi-page navigation.

Users didn't notice early versions, so we made the size of the text larger than body text size.

We used NHS blue first but users didn't notice it. So we changed the arrow colour to green - our "action" colour. Users seemed to see the green better.

In follow-up tests on busy content pages, users pointed out the action links and said they found them useful.

Get in touch to share your research findings about this pattern.

Discuss

Discuss action links on GitHub

Get in touch

If you have a question:

Updated: January 2019