There doesn't seem to be a clearly defined or demonstrated best practice on the Internet regarding whether clicking on a link should leave the existing page and go to another, or should clicking on a link open the resulting page in a new window/tab. There are some general rules that seem to work well. For example, advertisement links shouldn't cause site visitors to be transported away from the current site. Links to citations and references should open a new window, so the current page is left open for continued and/or simultaneous reading/reference. Leaving some windows open serves as a kind of breadcrumb path. For links at the bottom of a page to similar articles or other places of interest, it would be reasonable to have those leave the current page and go to another. Links going to pages within the same website should probably not open a new window, since the existing site navigation offers a context to move around and get back to where you've been. Given the above reasoning... For the media icons that appear at the top of the iBlogPro 3 theme sites, those icons should probably open a new window for sites such as Linked In or Facebook, since there's no page navigation on the resulting page to remind the Internet visitor where they were. This may seem like a small issue, but it does result in lower analytic traffic statistics since people are less likely to click the back button to get back to where they were. Creating new windows creates an "opt-out" kind of situation so the person must intentionally close the originating site window if they really don't want to be there anymore. Since there are differing views on this, perhaps an option on the Media Options page to control this would be nice.
iBlogPro3 3.5.1 - Media Options Icons Transport Users Elsewhere
1 reply to this topic
Posted 30 October 2009 - 06:22 PM
The other reason for having icons and other links opening new windows is because some landing pages may include mousetrapping techniques either intentionally or unintentionally that result in the back button not working. This can be an irritation if a user genuinely wants to get back to where they were but can't.