Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability/Clickable images

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The Template:Click was fixed in 2008. And now, MediaWiki offers a good syntax to change the link of an image, through the |link= parameter. This is no longer a problem.

Original introduction[edit]

Usually, when you click on any image of Wikipedia you go to the image description page, where you can find a lot of info about it like the source, the license, or a full size version. However, a template —Template:Click— was created to change that behavior so clicking on an image will lead to any page. This template is an ugly CSS hack with several accessibility, usability, browser-compatibility, and even copyright problems. And although its documentation clearly says it shouldn't be used "unless absolutely necessary," it is totally out of control (it was used even in a user signature!).

Template:Click was proposed for deletion, many times and per [1],[2] there was no consensus.

We aren't against clickable images, we are against this template because it is bad for Wikipedia. In fact, its seems MediaWiki has special syntax for clickable images (of course, with no accessibility or browser compatibility problems), but it is disabled in the Wikipedia (I suppose due to copyright and usability problems). See an example of this syntax at Wikia . Clickable images are very cute, but Template:Click has too many problems (don't you think accessibility is more important than a pretty portal?). Ask Jimbo to enable that special syntax if you really want clickable images (maybe there it can be enabled in User: or Portal: namespaces without disrupting the articles).

Related work: Wikipedia:HiddenStructure (another hack that had to be removed in the English Wikipedia because it had accessibility and browser-compatibility problems)

Problems caused[edit]

  • Accessibility: Those links can't be read by all screen readers, so blind wikipedians can't follow them.
  • Usability: Breaks the user notion of "clicking on every image I go to its description page".
  • Browser compatibility: It doesn't work in text-only browsers, and in screen readers for the disabled as explained above, and possibly other situations.
  • Copyright: Image descriptions cannot be reached, so their license isn't available.

Can't it be fixed?[edit]

The template cannot be modified to fix all these problems. Moreover, template:click is used in different types of situations, so trying to fix some problems in one of them will break all the other pages. So the best (an only solution at this moment) is to replace the pages using this template.

The <imagemap> tag provided by the ImageMap extension can now be used to create clickable images. This also works in templates.

Technical info[edit]

Template:Click attempts to superimpose an invisible link to an off/site page or a page link in "title=" form on an image. The technique of using CSS to change page content also completely breaks an article's web accessibility by contravening a WAI priority-one checkpoint [3].

See also m:Template:Click, and Bug 539: Allow images that link somewhere other than the image page.


We have replaced (or are going to replace) pages using Template:Click with equivalent contents. The proposed ideas successfully fixed Template:cquote (and similar templates: template:cquote2 template:rquote), and we are currently working to fix the featured article top icon (and similar top icons). However, other clickable images (e.g. links to related portals) cannot retain its clickable nature (unless that special syntax is enabled), but the links still remain, so the functionality is the same.


I'm proud to say there are promising advances: template:click has nearly disappeared from articles, and it is only used in portals and user pages. The objective of project was to remove this template completely, or at least to use it only when "absolutely necessary" (I'm optimistic, I think it can be completely removed).

Similar templates were successfully removed, as you know: Template:Wikisourcesmall, Template:Noclick.

You can help![edit]

Please see this page's talk page for activities underway to fix other instances of this issue. If we have replaced the clickable image without adding the link please, let us know to fix it.