This is a repost as I’ve received more emails about opening links in new windows. Click here to read the original comments. Great insights!
I’m not sure if you guys know but my background is in Instructional Technology. I earned my Masters almost 10 years ago (HOLY CRAP I’m OLD) and have been fascinated by web and multimedia usability ever since. I read books like Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Designing Web Usability and Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed. (go ahead… say it… GEEK!)
Anyway, I make decision on my sites based on what I learned in books like these and my own thoughts on the subject of web design and usability. So when I received this comment and others like in on my weight loss blog I became intrigued.
I know this is piddly, but could you make it to where the clickable links open in a new window rather than redirect?
See, my take on opening a new window is simple… let the user decide. Links are what make the web go ’round. If everyone made an external link to their site open in a new window surfing would be annoying and, for me anyway, unbearable. Of course, this is my opinion but I’m not alone…
Opening up new browser windows is like a vacuum cleaner sales person who starts a visit by emptying an ash tray on the customer’s carpet. Don’t pollute my screen with any more windows, thanks (particularly since current operating systems have miserable window management). If I want a new window, I will open it myself!
-Jakob Nielsen (from The Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 1999)
Now I realize that quote is from 1999 and since we already came to the conclusion that I’m OLD, maybe my thoughts are outdated. All I know is when I surf the web I want to decide when a new window (or tab) gets opened and when a web designer (or blogger) makes that choice for me I get annoyed.
I’d love you thoughts on the subject! Please respond to the poll below and leave your own theories on opening new windows in the comments. Maybe I’ll stand corrected. Lord knows I’m been wrong before. :)