W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > May 2004

Re: No "target" allowed

From: Pete Prodoehl <pete.prodoehl@cygnusinteractive.com>
Date: Fri, 28 May 2004 11:17:19 -0500
Message-ID: <40B7660F.9040208@cygnusinteractive.com>
To: Www-Validator <www-validator@w3.org>

Aapo Romu wrote:
> Bernhard Kraft wrote:
>>David Dorward wrote:
>>>Unfortunately I have lost the reference, but I recently saw a report
>>>written after observing users testing a website. Some links opened new
>>>windows to Amazon.com - this caused a significant number of users great
>>>difficulty because the back button was greyed out.
> See "The Top Ten New Mistakes of Web Design"
>    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html
> 1. Breaking or Slowing Down the Back Button
> 2. Opening New Browser Windows
> (Violating the first two...)

>>So some usability studies returned a result for a long question of mine.
>>If I really should open links to external pages in a new window ...
>>I personally never had a decision on this but my boss wants me to make
>>links like this, so "our" website stays open.
> If your boss thinks this will keep people on your site he is sadly
> mistaken... They way to keep people on your site, and get them to
> return, is to provide something of value to the user, not through
> trickery or poor usability.

 > I often surf the web in the manner that I find few good pages
 > linking to ie.
 > different manufacturers with appropriate search engine. Because
 > in that case
 > I'm mainly looking for good link sites I prefer that those links
 > are opened
 > in new window so that I get back quickly to the link site when
 > I'm done with the target.
 > So my personal opinion is that the technique is good when used in
 > appropriate situations.
 > Of course as with any technique you can make the usability a horror 
if > you use it unwisely.

The technique is fine, the issue is, the behavior (choosing to open new 
windows, tabs, etc.) should be in control of the *user* not the author 
of the page. For the last 4 or 5 years, graphical web browsers have 
allowed people to open links in a new window or tab. The feature is 
there, you don't have to build it into your pages. Give the user the choice.

With modern browsers you can even override the opening of new windows to 
never happen, or always happen in a tab, etc. (Firefox + TabBrowser 
Extension is quite nice!)

Received on Friday, 28 May 2004 12:17:51 UTC

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