Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ask the Readers: Open in New Window, or Not?

Since this blog relies so heavily on linking to older posts and articles from other sites, I am faced with the dilemma about whether or not to set it so that links open either in the same window, or in a new window. I thought I had it figured out, but looking around online maybe I don't.

As it stands, I've set every link to open in its new window. Since some of the pages here don't load very quickly, and are very long to read, I fear that a person accidentally clicking a link will cause them to lose their spot in what they were reading originally. I fear this is especially true for people clicking on thumbnail links.

However, I've since read quite a few sites online that advocate giving readers the choice of opening in new windows/tabs as they wish. Since a vast majority of my users use Firefox, I would assume that most of you are smart enough to figure out how to middle click for new tabs if you wanted to. Many people are actually annoyed by the choice of browser window being made for them.

Unfortunately, as in almost all cases with design, websites are most likely designed to function for the lower end of the bell curve (i.e. lower resolution screens, lower colors, older browsers, and most especially, less experienced readers). So I am at quite a dilemma. What do you think?

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Michael said...

I've always preferred a new window. It is frustrating to lose my place, particularly if I am only marginally interested in the link's content. I tend to click, then return to the home tab I was just on and finish reading before moving on to whatever I clicked. I eat this way, too. No fries before the burger's finished.

My vote's for new windows-- particularly for in-house links.

Provarications said...

I always middle click these days, so much so that I think I have an addiction to tabs... But they must open in the background, of course. To eventually be stumbled upon later... I absolutely hate Javascript links though, because all I get when I middle click them is a completely blank tab. Brilliant.