On the Web, users have a clear mental model for a hypertext link: it should bring up a new page. Within-page links violate this model and thus cause confusion.
What is wrong with this assertion?
Anchor links have conventions and mental models that are independent of other types of hyperlinks.
There’s nothing new about anchor links. They’ve been around almost as long as hyperlinks themselves.As
Not only that, but these days, clicking a link can do so many things – anchor links and bringing up new pages are just a few of them (think RIA design… now, some of those uses violate mental models!)
My opinion: provided you use anchor links where appropriate (being where pages are necessarily long and broken into easily identifiable sections) and providing you utilise appropriate conventions for anchor links in the page (including ‘back to top’ buttons), then anchor links can enhance the usability of your website. (The obvious disclaimer being that you should, where possible, minimise the length of your pages).
So. Where do you stand? Are you with Jakob or against him on this one?