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Hennepin County Design System

Link standards

Useful links help people decide whether to click and visit a page or download a file. They also help people navigate among pages.

Anchor links

Effective anchor links help people navigate long scrolling content. But avoid using them as a workaround for content that is longer than needed.

Only use anchor links when:

  • You have long content
  • You organize the content into logical topics
  • It will be easier for the user to navigate links rather than scroll

For help with anchor links, complete a request form (must have network access).

Inline links

Do not include periods as part of a link.

Correct: this is a link.

Incorrect: this is a link.

Link labels

Link text must describe where the link will take the user.

Link text should avoid vague and unclear labels like “Read more” and “click here.” 

Do not use the same link text for links that lead to different destinations.

For guidance on how to style a link visually, visit Link styling.


Standard (long) URLs

Useful URLs let people identify the page, screen, or file before they click on it. A consistent URL convention also supports the maintenance of our websites and applications.

All URLs for pages, screens and files must:

  • Display in lowercase
  • Use a hyphen to separate words (e.g., /human-services/child-support)
  • Contain no spaces (“%20”) or other special characters
  • Leave off file extensions with no value (for example, use “path/to/file” instead of “path/to/file.aspx”)

Short URLs

Effective short URLs make it easier to read a link, by replacing some of the URL path:

  • Before:
  • After:

They also help promote programs, services, and initiatives in print and digital channels.


  • Use no more than 3 words.
  • Use simple words.
  • Avoid abbreviations unless your audience understands them.


  • Create short URLs that reflect the content of the page.
  • Use hyphens to separate multiple words.
  • Use lowercase letters.
  • Avoid special characters.
  • Avoid duplicating other short URLs.
  • Avoid using a short URL for linking between pages or drawers.
  • Use just one short URL per page.
  • Use the website’s domain.
  • Do not use a link shortening service for links that appear on websites or in applications, except for social media platforms.