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View Full Version : Suggestion for the external links on the RPS website



jayP
17-02-2012, 10:31 PM
I notice that links that take you off of the RPS website end up replacing the RPS site with the site that was just linked to. So for example I read the story about Guild Wars2's "epic" siege wars and there is a link to the original article on ArenaNet.com, when I click that link, rather than opening the page in a new tab it just replaces the RPS page with the new ArenaNet page.It's a small thing but it is annoying (and takes your users from your site altogether, bad for your traffic I'd imagine) so I'd like to suggest a simple fix; when creating an external link just set the target of the link to "_blank". This will make the links load into a new window.

Jams O'Donnell
17-02-2012, 11:32 PM
I strenuously disagree - the choice of whether to open a new tab or a window for a link should be up to the user, not enforced by the page.

However, after some badgering from Mrs Jams, I'm prepared to accept that other people (however diseased their minds might be) might prefer it to automatically open in a new tab. Some people might not have the luxury of a middle mouse button or wish to use the ctrl-click shortcut.

I am writing this last part under duress. Send help.

Nalano
18-02-2012, 12:01 AM
Some people might not have the luxury of a middle mouse button or wish to use the ctrl-click shortcut.

They make mice without a middle button?

Jams O'Donnell
18-02-2012, 12:18 AM
They make mice without a middle button?
No, but I'm thinking of laptop touchpads.

Nalano
18-02-2012, 01:00 AM
No, but I'm thinking of laptop touchpads.

Oh, right. But touchpads are a hell I wouldn't wish on anybody.

jayP
18-02-2012, 01:55 AM
The option to load a page anyway you want is still there, I just don't see the need to force your users to do extra clicks just to stay on the site. I think the RPS website is the only site I ever go to that requires that.

Kaira-
18-02-2012, 03:06 AM
Forcing a new tab/window goes against basically anything that is good in UX design for websites.

jayP
18-02-2012, 04:01 AM
I'd have to disagree with that, I can't see how being forced to leave the site every time I click an external link and then having to click back with the browser button if I want to go back to what I was reading before is considered good UX design. I guess I'm the only one that finds that annoying...

Anyway just a suggestion

FuriKuri!
18-02-2012, 08:43 AM
It's bad design because it takes power away from the user. By default the user chooses how to navigate to a link through left or middle clicking. Forcing a new tab removes that power and the user has no choice. That behaviour was very deliberately removed from the HTML spec by the W3C and while professional opinion on following it remains split (the key problem being users too stupid/ignorant/stubborn/lazy to learn how to open things in the manner they want) I am very firmly in the camp that forcing new tabs is strictly a bad design.

jayP
18-02-2012, 05:38 PM
That all sounds really good in theory, I mean I agree with empowering users to use the browser in a fashion that best suits there needs. However I also think that reducing the number of clicks and establishing a clear sense of place when browsing are important parts of a good UX as well. I think the sense of being in a distinct "place" gets really watered down into this sort of amorphous shifting netherworld when by default external links wipe out the original page. As much as overwhelming numbers of tabs can be annoying too, what it does succeed at is giving some sense of boundaries between distinct pages. That gets lost when one external website loads one on top of the other.

Personally, I don't consider myself to be "
stupid/ignorant/stubborn/lazy" and I do know how to select the link and choose to load a page in a new tab; it's just annoying to have to do it when just about every website I ever visit sets external tabs to load in a new tab by default. .....I guess that puts me in the other camp :o

FuriKuri!
18-02-2012, 07:08 PM
Then I'm afraid there is only one way for us to settle this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AphxyjrH4SE)

DarkNoghri
18-02-2012, 08:12 PM
Please do not open links in a new tab by default. It's one of those things that I dislike about any website, where control is taken away from me. If I want to open a new tab, I'll open a new tab. If I don't want a new tab open, I won't open a new tab. What I really dislike is wanting to do something, like not opening a new tab, and I can't do that because the designers decided that I will always want to stay on their page. Now that I type that out, it actually sounds awfully presumptuous of any designers who make that choice. "You want to leave our page? Too bad, you can't. No one should ever want to leave anyway."

It's not as bad as those sites that still deny tabbed-browsing's very existence (I'm looking at you, any site that uses flash), which annoy me even more.


I'd have to disagree with that, I can't see how being forced to leave the site every time I click an external link and then having to click back with the browser button if I want to go back to what I was reading before is considered good UX design.
That might be true if you were actually being forced to leave. The default behavior is to leave, with the option to stay and have a new window pop open. Do what the rest of us do and use middle-click (no extra clicks!) or ctrl-click (still no extra clicks!). What you're arguing for is for new tabs to open for everything, and for there to be no option to use the current one, unless I've been missing something obvious for the last decade. THAT is forcing someone to do something. You're complaining because you have a choice and you're ignoring it. Which, honestly, does strike me as a bit lazy. You'd have an argument if there was a way to not open a new tab when the site wanted it, but there isn't that I know of.


However I also think that reducing the number of clicks and establishing a clear sense of place when browsing are important parts of a good UX as well. I think the sense of being in a distinct "place" gets really watered down into this sort of amorphous shifting netherworld when by default external links wipe out the original page. As much as overwhelming numbers of tabs can be annoying too, what it does succeed at is giving some sense of boundaries between distinct pages. That gets lost when one external website loads one on top of the other.
What does this even mean? The whole point of the web is that you can easily go from one place to another. Seamlessly. It's not that every site should be distinct. I mean, if you kept going with that way of thinking, why not force a new window open every time you site-jumped? You can then have all new pages at that site within that site's window, and everything can be properly organized.

Or, you can leave such choices up to the user, like they should be.

Nalano
18-02-2012, 09:20 PM
stupid/ignorant/stubborn/lazy" and I do know how to select the link and choose to load a page in a new tab; it's just annoying to have to do it when just about every website I ever visit sets external tabs to load in a new tab by default.

You must not go to a lot of sites.

BillButNotBen
19-02-2012, 07:44 AM
Web Designer -> Head in hands.

It's something I personally hate, and which is always taught as very bad UI design. But I guess i can understand why people might want it if they're used to it on other sites. Of course, the idea would be for other sites to do links properly...