16 May 2011

Target attribute - what's the thinking?

How many new windows can you open?
Ok you programmers & developers out there, what's the latest thinking on this?

Site wide external links should open in a new tab/window (target="_blank") or the current tab?

The purists always used to say 'current', but that's not the way I like to work so I've always made my links open in new tabs. 

That's because when I'm browsing I ALWAYS open links in new tabs so I can go straight back to the original page. Eg on a Google search, I right-click+tab three or four results that interest me, leaving the results page open so I can go back for more if they prove useless.

This is especially important on Travel-Lists, because... they are lists! It would do fabulous things for my stats if visitors had to re-open the list every time they wanted to click the next listing, but would be pretty irritating to use.

However, with a site re-design in the pipeline, I'm beginning to wonder. 

Not least because of the increase in mobile users. If I visit my site on my mobile, I can only open a couple of links before Android tells me I can't open another window. (According to tech forum posts the limit is 4 windows).

So is it time to ditch the 'blank'?


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