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Re: Inline link icons

From: Terrence Wood <tdw@funkive.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 17:05:55 +1200
Message-Id: <48796D3D-FA6E-11D9-9AFE-0003931722DA@funkive.com>
Cc: Terrence Wood <tdw@funkive.com>, fstorr <fffrancis@fstorr.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Is the recommendation to open windows from the usability experts based 
on actual observations with your actual users? If not, then run some of 
your own informal tests to determine your users behaviour, and proceed 
from there.

If there is nowhere else that you open new windows then I think 
consistency within the rest of your system is more important than 
blindly following the advice of your usability consultants.

As an aside I'm not entirely convinced that Patrick's assertion about 
user behavour with PDF/WORD plugins is correct (despite the fact he is 
usually correct :) - sure some users might close windows - but is that 
really what the majority of people do?

regards
Terry Wood.

On 22 Jul 2005, at 4:58 AM, fstorr wrote:

>> I believe it's up to the IT department of the company to setup the 
>> machines how they should be setup. That's not to say that opening in 
>> a
>> new window is the right behavior (that's for usability studies to 
>> determine). But given the difficulty in changing the default 
>> behavior,
>> it should be up to the more technical body to do so.
>>
>> Then OS and software manufacturers should fix their software.
>
> Hi
>
> Yep, we're in the usual "large corporate company with IT department 
> and fairly hefty lockdown settings" set up.  Normal, everyday users 
> have very little control over what they can and can't do with regards 
> to changing the behaviour of things like preferences for opening 
> links, so it's down to us web developers to decide what to do with 
> things like links.  Personally I dislike links opening in new windows 
> and we don't, on the whole, code them.  The observation made by 
> Patrick elsewhere in this thread that users normally close PDF/Office 
> documents when they've finished with them and, because these currently 
> open within a browser window, users shut the browser by mistake, is 
> what we're currently up against.  This is why we have the 
> recommendation from the usability company to now open all of these 
> documents in a new window, rather than maybe educating them to use the 
> back button.
>
> I'm liking the Wikipedia approach of adding a CSS background image to 
> a link - at least that way there's no extra image tag and alt text to 
> contend.  The downsie of this approach is that it leaves having to add 
> in a title attribute or more inline text to notify the user of a new 
> window.
>
> Regards
>
> F
Received on Friday, 22 July 2005 05:06:20 GMT

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