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  1. #101
    Non-Member Icheb's Avatar
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    No one here is saying that *all* links within a website should open in a new window except... you. It's commonplace all around the internet to open new windows for *external* links, so how on god's earth can you argue that it will be detrimental to the user experience when they get what they are used to get? It seems to me that everyone who is saying that opening new windows for external links will have a negative impact on the user experience either has his eyes blind folded while they were surfing the web for the past couple of years or you are only navigating on your own websites.

  2. #102
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    Gosh,

    Did I really sound that forceful? Not my intention to be so. My point was a moot one really since I agree with the concept of new windows for external links. My concern is the indiscriminate use of new windows within a site: the new window for every image or feedback/contact us forms. That is what I meant by the loss of navigation history.

    I still stand by my point that the site is for the customer not the designer. My dad is a bit ancient: if he wants to buy something online he just wants to churn through the site, selecting, confirming and paying without heading off in a plethora of pop-ups and new windows. This actually happened on one site he was using. When the 'pay now' button was clicked a whole new window opened up along with a pop up asking him to comment on the site.

    And if the site is for the beginner, then tell them that the links will open in a new window. If the site is for experience web users then they will get what they expect. It's all part of the design and the use of a new windows will depend much on the prospective audience.

  3. #103
    SitePoint Enthusiast tenfingers's Avatar
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    We have been tossing this ball around for some time, now, without a clear, or even vaguely evident winner. As long as the "win by three points" rule is in effect, I'm afraid this volley will continue, neck-to-neck, ad nauseum.

    That the back button leads the pack as the principal navigation tool is only too evident when we study the logs. Folks will jump out to a page on another site, then return to ours, then jump out again, then return.

    We really are helping our visitors in two ways: (1)We're leading them to the information they seek, both on and off the site; and, (2)We're letting them apply their own navigation techniques and get the behavior they expect.

    If the information 'scent' is there, they won't lose your site, they'll bookmark it, or even make it their home page. In my own experience, there's a zero probability of someone returning to a site that hasn't been helpful or useful in some way.

    Now that the fascination of the web is wearing off, folks are turning to the internet as they would a dictionary, a newspaper or any other utility. The trend toward accessible, straight-forward and simplistic web design is not an accident, it is the result of years of evolution--thank goodness the user has emerged as the winnner.

  4. #104
    Burak KALAYCI
    SitePoint Community Guest
    I don't agree. Auxiliary links should open in a new window (I'm not talking about pop-ups).

    Web users expect some links open in new windows and some in the current window. And Back button is still available, where it is appropriate.

    The trouble with the Back button is that it still takes time to load the previous page. And probably the link was not the only link - so you click a link then go back, click a link, go back... Not usable at all.

    People use the Back button because they are lazy about doing right-click and choosing 'open in a new window' command, or, because they assume the link will open in a new window, in the first place - if they are not total newbies.

    The fact that the Back button is used a lot, in fact, is a strong argument to open some links in a new window.

    If the next page is not the ultimate destination you want your users to go, or, if it does not have a link to the current page (like in-site links), opening links in a new window is the way to go.

    I agree, if someone is in the first few hours of his first ever web experience, he might be surprised. But still, you can't really design pages for absolute newbies.

    Best regards,
    Burak

  5. #105
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    funny how clickibng on some links here at sitpoint opens popups...

  6. #106
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    And external (auxiliary?) links from this forum open in the same window....

    I also disagree. Not everybody knows about 'right click'. And I never open in a new window - new tab maybe but never new window.

    To say that the 'back' button is for lazy people is also incorrect. I use it all the time to go back within a site. It is an alternative to the 'breadcrumb trail', primary navigation, 'history' in IE and any other navigaytion system in use.

    And some sites are for the newbie. So they need to be designed for the newbie: tell them a new window will open when you click on links.

  7. #107
    SitePoint Wizard mcsolas's Avatar
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    useit.com .. what an ugly website. If thats what usability is about, sorry but lost interest in your user friendly site because I couldn't bear to look at your color scheme direct from 1981. ;)

    Taking notes on not opening up the popups without using that little window icon. Makes sense. Work on content, which I do, then let them decide.

  8. #108
    SitePoint Addict Green Beast's Avatar
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    Personally, I really prefer external links to open a new window. Otherwise I tend to lose my place. But I see the other side of the argument as well. Both sides are valid. This is one I've tossed around for myself many times. I'm making a fairly involved site right now and have chosen to open off-site links in a new window (and most people don't know keyboard shortcuts, the average user that is). As a compromise, in all fairness to my expected visitors, I warn of this in three ways.

    1) I put it in writing on the site in more than one place.
    2) I warn of this in title text (tool tip).
    3) I use a consistant link protocol: Uppercase links are internal, lowercase are external. Not everyone will catch these, but at least some will be forewarned.

    Mike

  9. #109
    Seb_
    SitePoint Community Guest
    What about placing an extra link next to the original *link* *open link in new window* so that if a user wants the page in a new window they have that choice..

  10. #110
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb_
    What about placing an extra link next to the original *link* *open link in new window* so that if a user wants the page in a new window they have that choice..
    users need to bl**dy learn how to operate their browsers. if you hold them by the hand all the time, they'll just expect that feature from all other sites, and never bother to understand what they should do.

    offering two links next to each other that go to the same place is redundant for users of assistive technology such as text browsers or screenreaders...it just adds to the clutter they have to work their way through.
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  11. #111
    SitePoint Addict elemental70's Avatar
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    alright. HOwever, what if a client is insisting upon it. I wanted to use a gallery type technique from FoE's Web Designers Reference but the client was most insistent. Its for pictures of his stock. so since he pay the bills....

  12. #112
    Non-Member Icheb's Avatar
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    He pays the bills, but you are the expert. You have to educate the client on what is best for his website.

  13. #113
    SitePoint Addict elemental70's Avatar
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    I did educate. Showed articles, business related. explained about how we need to consider all suers not just ones that have no motor/vision probs. He didn't care. I got into this for love of the industry. Sometimes the people leave me cold!

  14. #114
    mordie
    SitePoint Community Guest
    My favorite part comes after you finish reading this article. The site asks you to rate it, and when you do, it opens up--you guessed it--a new window.

  15. #115
    Nickel Back
    SitePoint Community Guest
    Now tracking users surfing habits through browser history will be a piece of cake

  16. #116
    Non-Member Icheb's Avatar
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    What exactly does one have to do with the other?

  17. #117
    poitou
    SitePoint Community Guest
    j'aimerai avoir les information en français merci à l'avance

  18. #118
    matthew
    SitePoint Community Guest
    Why is it, in an article denouncing the practice of links which open in a new window, there are <em>four links that open in new windows</em>?! Seems a little hypocritical to me.

  19. #119
    Non-Member Icheb's Avatar
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    What wonders me more is the fact that you reiterate something that has already been discussed and that you want to use HTML in a discussion forum.

  20. #120
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    @Icheb

    As you can guess from his status of being a guest, he has just read the article and posted a comment below it. There you don't see the whole discussion, just the last few posts of this big thread. You don't get a feeling for how big it already is and how much has already been discussed if you don't click on "View all comments"

    P.S. by the way, him using <em> comes also because he writes a comment rather posts in the discussion forum, so he wanted to emphasis something but there is no clue how you do it, maybe he's just a beginner with all this, so he tried the html tag. What's so wrong with that?

  21. #121
    Dave Mertens
    SitePoint Community Guest
    What i don't like about this article is that the author says you shouldn't use new windows because it's not nice for visual impaired people. But only a few line further the author is abusing the alt and title attributes to let the visitor know the links opens in a new windows, unfortunally the visual impaired visitor who's using a text-to-speech browser only hears 'opens in a new window'.

    The last method looks the best, but the part '(opens in a new window)' should not be part of the link itself.

  22. #122
    Non-Member Icheb's Avatar
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    I would say it's the CMS that formatted that link and not the author, so blame SitePoint and not the author .

  23. #123
    011110010110000101111001 jabird's Avatar
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    I really hate how if you're not logged in yet, you goto sitepoint.com then click the forums link... it opens a popup about one of there books... I browse in single-window mode in Firefox, and it shrinks the window down to a box, I have to close the tab, and find the one I wanted... I usually have about 10+ tabs open, so it can be tedious...
    ~Jabird
    Jabird.com
    If I were binary... I'd be all 1's for you.
    BBCode trouble?

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mertens
    The last method looks the best, but the part '(opens in a new window)' should not be part of the link itself.
    Actually including "opens in a new window" within the link text is advisable IMO. Screenreader users can get a list of links on a page. The list shows the links in order on the page and the text that is used.

    A better option would be to use "title" on the link and include the "opens in a new window" in there along with the text that is displayed with the lnik.

    I rather like having a link open in a new window and I expect it when Im on one site and the link is directing me to another site. How many times now have I been on SPF and followed a link only to read the information and close the window then have to start all over again at SPF.

  25. #125
    Spaceboy
    SitePoint Community Guest
    Oh dear! An article about the importance of highlighting links that open a new window fails to do so itself (see links to Yahoo and AOL)

    Do as we say, not as we do....?


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