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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot bo diddly's Avatar
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    re: New-Window Links in a Standards-Compliant World

    Hi, I've been reading the discussion concerning new window links - whether to underline, bold etc - personally I fall into the differentiate by colour and a 'mouse over' transformation camp. At present I am re-building part of the site for the University of Worcester (UK) and as normal I am testing on users who have accessibility issues and in this case who rely on screen readers. One such user raised the following point - "the navigation links are obvious because they are part of the navigation menu, but it would help screen readers if there was some kind of textual message with the link that would be read by the screen reader to let the user know what the link was for". Surely it would make sense to include a comment about the status of the new window. For example this link from sitepoint could be adapted as shown: -

    <a href="search.php?do=noreplies" class="toplinks2" title="View all the discussions with no answers. Be the first to help someone. This link wil open in a new/same window">Unanswered Topics</a>

    Those users using screen reader software are told exactly what is happening and all other users see the message in the title text.

    seems like a workable solution to me?
    You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on

    www.idezign.me.uk
    www.theonlinediary.com

  2. #2
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    interestingly enough, i'm currently reworking the horrible design and code i've inherited when i started maintaining the site for the univeristy of salford, and - talking to a 100% visually impaired user with JAWS - have been discussing the issue of title attributes and new window links. he is of the opinion that a long title attribute can actually have a negative effect in some cases. he prefers link titles that are short and to the point, as otherwise it becomes a pain to listen to all the lengthy explanations on each link. i would only warn users when a link opens in a new window, and not when it's doing the default behaviour of opening in the same window. also, "Be the first to help someone" in your example seems like "fluff" to me as well.
    sometimes, too much can be just as bad as too little. at least, that's the conclusion i have personally come to, working with this particular visually impaired member of staff.
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    What about just appending "Offsite:" or whatever's most accurate to the title attribute (alternatively, SP uses rel="external"), and then state that all offsite links open in a new window in the accessibility statement?

    BTW, you can check for "Offsite:" in the title attribute just like SP does on the rel attribute for "external" to style it different if you'd like:
    Code:
    :link[title~="Offsite:"] { /*... */ }
    ~~Ian

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
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    IMO you should never really open links in new windows, if someone wants a link opening in a new window they'll right click it, they don't want you to decide for them.

  5. #5
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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