24 May 2004

HTML design issue with links

One of the eminently respectable HTML design gurus declared links that open new browser windows as UI-unfriendly. This is obviously something I use consciously and consistently, and now I have to rethink that decision.

My main argument was based on personal habit. When articles reference an external source, I always open that external source in a new window. I don't like having to use the back and next buttons to refer to both texts.

Nielsen's argument is that opening new windows is a hostile way to try to keep users on your site. He also points out that the user can choose to open a new window if they want to.

The second argument, although Nielsen glosses over it very quickly, is complelling. A _blank target eliminates a choice they would otherwise have from the context menu.

I am undecided.

[ posted by sstrader on 24 May 2004 at 10:14:38 PM in Programming ]