I know the issue has been discussed before in the last couple of years (here, here and kind of here), but nothing has been done to solve it, so I thought it would make sense to bring it up again. If instead you believe this question is just a pointless duplicate, let me know and I'll delete it.

I am well aware that nobody that reads my question is able to fix the problem directly, so I am not trying to say "Fix it!!11!", or anything like that. I am sure it has been brought up by moderators to whomever needed to know and nothing has happened. Maybe it's worth trying again?

It's a problem that heavily affects the site, I believe.

Also, it would be nice if, in the meantime, we could start using some convention (this is not math.stackexchange where users come and go, I believe that the most active users here visit almost daily). E.g. making the links bold, or italic, or something that would make us notice them, emphasizing them with respect to the rest of the text. Sometimes it took me more than I am willing to admit to find a link I had opened before.

That's a long shot, I know, also because I am a very inexperienced user, so what do I know? I don't remember the good ol' times... I thought I would just mention it and see what happens, feel free to tell me it's a dumb idea.

P.S.: I was a little puzzled by the options for the tags, please change them to something more relevant if you will.

• There is another very recent post on the subject The tags were fine, I still tweaked them a bit: I added 'discussion' (such posts get more visibility) as you also call for a discussion on how to proceed, and the more specific design. – user9072 Nov 10 '15 at 16:58
• Thanks! I searched for a while, but failed to find it. – Silvia Ghinassi Nov 10 '15 at 17:00
• Concerning the visibility of visited links: I think you can make them look the same as unvisited links by switching off the browser history. – Stefan Kohl Nov 10 '15 at 18:03
• @StefanKohl that's a way around it, but it generates other (bigger?) issues. Sometimes I need to dig into my history for websites I visited, so I really like to have a browser history, and I am sure many other people feel the same. – Silvia Ghinassi Nov 10 '15 at 19:10
• @quid I realize now that one scroll down on the newest questions page would have been enough to find the very recent post... I apologize again. – Silvia Ghinassi Nov 11 '15 at 1:22
• Don't worry. The posts are complimentary. And, as discussed, the subject might need some more visibility. – user9072 Nov 11 '15 at 1:42

Based on this request, we've updated the link colors using a brighter blue that is more distinguishable from the surrounding text, and tested with a colorblindness simulator (though it's not an exact science and if you are still having issues, let us know).

We didn't make the main question link color in the question list the same blue because now that the blue is brighter, it became a bit overwhelming, but it maintains the same underline on hover effect as before.

Hopefully this solves some of the issues you've been having. Thanks for your patience!

• It seems that now the same colour is used for visited and unvisited links, which is confusing. – Emil Jeřábek Nov 11 '15 at 13:34
• @Emil: That reminds me of my linear algebra I professor. He would write some proof and use $\alpha$ for one thing, then he would use $\alpha$ for another... then he reaches the end of the proof with, say $\alpha=2\alpha$ or some other obviously false equation. I'd remark that the second $\alpha$ should be denoted as $\beta$ instead and he would go to replace all the $\alpha$'s by $\beta$ only to arrive at $\beta=2\beta$ again. Then I'd guide him through which $\beta$ should be $\alpha$. And my classmates would also be angry at me for not doing that from the get go... :-P – Asaf Karagila Nov 11 '15 at 13:41
• I think the situation now is far away from being optimal, but (IMO) better than before... So I consider myself satisfied. And, that's quite a result, as an Italian, complaining is my thing. – Silvia Ghinassi Nov 11 '15 at 15:41
• @SilviaGhinassi what would you consider being optimal? – Kurtis Beavers Nov 11 '15 at 15:46
• Thanks for asking! As mentioned by @EmilJeřábek, visited and unvisted links have the same color; also, visited questions are now a very light gray (both on the columns on the right, and on the questions page), sometimes hard to see on some screens. – Silvia Ghinassi Nov 11 '15 at 15:49
• I will push a few tweaks that address these concerns as soon as I get a chance. – Kurtis Beavers Nov 11 '15 at 15:57
• Concerning the very light gray, I’d add that it looks quite like the dimming that up till now indicated heavily downvoted questions, which is also confusing. But this may be just a matter of getting used to it. – Emil Jeřábek Nov 11 '15 at 15:58
• My eyes hurt now when I look at the main page. – Asaf Karagila Nov 11 '15 at 18:30
• @AsafKaragila Sigh. I too like the black question titles better, but when we have that the only way to show visited links is by having them be gray. This is the same convention we have on multiple other community sites and it works quite well. I don't believe we'll reach a solution that 100% of the community members are 100% happy with. – Kurtis Beavers Nov 11 '15 at 18:33
• Can we make the shades ever so slightly darker, though? In terms of HSV decrease the hue and value by 5% maybe. Not sure how that would translate to RGB. – Asaf Karagila Nov 11 '15 at 18:41
• Can we perhaps change the background colour of favourite-tagged questions to something else than blue? Especially visited questions now almost blend in. – Emil Jeřábek Nov 11 '15 at 20:26
• @AsafKaragila and Emil, I will make a few tweaks as soon as I can. – Kurtis Beavers Nov 11 '15 at 20:27
• Kurtis, what @Emil says is not news. meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/1488/change-of-colors – Asaf Karagila Nov 11 '15 at 20:37
• @KurtisBeavers One simple question: why is it important that previously visited questions have different colors? On MSE, for instance, the color stays the same and nobody has issues with that, as far as I know. – Silvia Ghinassi Nov 14 '15 at 18:11
• It took me a moment to get used to, but now I am very happy with the new link colors. Thanks for the change. – user9072 Nov 18 '15 at 10:50

The idea for a convention is in principle a good one, in practice I very much doubt that a convenient will gain enough traction. What might be easier to achieve is just to raise awareness in the user base that the presence of links should be made clear in some way. (It is not that important everybody uses the same way.)

Another temporary workaround could be to have some browser plug-in/user-script that would highlight links in some way. Unfortunately, I am pretty clueless how to create such things, but I'd assume for somebody who knows how to do such things it should not be a major task.

Finally, I agree that it might we worth it to push the matter a bit more with SE. (I cannot know how much happened behind the scenes, but somehow I doubt that persistent efforts related to this happened and still got ignored by SE. Maybe I am wrong, in which case I apologize to whoever made those efforts.)

• The main problem of a user script is that it means the problem is "essentially" correct. Which is why we don't have MathJax support on chatrooms associated with "scientific sites" (i.e. sites with MJ support). Because there's a ChatJax script. – Asaf Karagila Nov 10 '15 at 18:23
• I agree with you. I have been trying to use something like "click here", but I haven't seen any other attempt by others, so far (maybe I don't open enough questions, because of my area of interest). The idea of making some noise about it is exactly the one I had in mind. I'm too ignorant about scripts or anything else to guess what is possible and what's not. – Silvia Ghinassi Nov 10 '15 at 18:24