Elise Blanchard goes on a deep dive of ancient GUI design and early browsers to figure out why hyperlinks are blue.
But now, I find myself all consumed by the question, WHY are links blue? WHO decided to make them blue? WHEN was this decision made, and HOW has this decision made such a lasting impact?
I turned to my co-workers to help me research, and we started to find the answer. Mosaic, an early browser released by Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina on January 23, 1993, had blue hyperlinks. To truly understand the origin and evolution of hyperlinks though, I took a journey through technology history and interfaces to explore how links were handled before color monitors, and how interfaces and hyperlinks rapidly evolved once color became an option.
I find the claim that it had anything to do with the adoption of colour monitors somewhat questionable. At least in the home market, PC monitors had been colour ever since VGA was the predominant standard, Amiga (always?) and Atari (mostly) had been colour, and even before that, at least from personal experience, at best it was 50/50 monochrome/colour with earlier PCs. Could be though that since the early web was still pretty university-oriented, that they’re talking about adoption of colour monitors for UNIX workstations, in which case that may be true.