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Links opening in a new tab

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Can you not use the right-click method, which gives you a choice?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Still a strong proponent of a new tab as default for links. Not to forget a "return to top" at the bottom of each page.

EHLE / Lelystad, Netherlands, Netherlands

A we will never agree on this an option in the user profile would be workable solution. Everyone can customize this to his/her liking.

EGBE - Coventry, United Kingdom

Could the people who would prefer "open in a new tab" voice an opinion about doing an alternate click - either a right click and choose from the menu, a long click on a mobile device, ctrl-click on Windows, or cmd-click on a Mac. These methods give every user the option to do what suits them at the time. Yes we can make it an option to behave either way, but I'd like to understand what's really at play here.

Administrator
EGTR / London, United Kingdom

Ah, been away a few days, and the site rears it's ugly Tabs again ;-))

Seriously - the worldwide standard is to open in a new tab (or window, user-defined in the browser prefs). I somehow fail to understand your reluctance to implement this. All this option/right/whatever clicking is a holdover of bad old windoze days. Sorry chaps, but while most of us fly behind prehistoric engines, doesn't mean we like all things old and outdated. Not to mention the PITA doing this on a tablet (not even sure you can).

As I said, new software is being tested.

On a tablet, you normally hold down your finger for the options menu.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

172, thanks for the feedback.

It's mostly moot, because the next release of our software does include the ability to set the behaviour in your preferences. However, you raise some points that I thought you might want addressed.

I don't accept that opening in new windows/tabs is a worldwide standard. There are good reasons for it not to be and scientific research backs this up. There are a number of issues around it. First there is the question of consistency: some links will open in the same window/tab, others will do something different. One can partly solve this by visually distinguishing the links, but that's still something for a user to learn and/or it can look a bit ugly to put an icon next to external links. Secondly, and probably the biggest point, is that it "breaks" the back button. The very essence of the web is the hyperlink idea where documents are linked together and you can move forward and back through them in a connected way, and this breaks that. This is particularly a problem for people with accessibility issues (I realise there aren't a great number of blind pilots, but that's not a reason to ignore the needs of users with accessibility needs). Thirdly, more subtly, some users find it confusing and disruptive. There is a PhD thesis on this which claims that it increase the cognitive burden on users. So, if you really want to understand reluctance, those are the reasons.

As Peter said, on a tablet you do a long press and then a context-menu should appear and give you the chance to open it in a new window.

Administrator
EGTR / London, United Kingdom

Well, David, I guess we just have to agree to disagree on this one. In any case, moot as you say if the next iteration makes this user-definable.

I am just testing the new software now and this feature works OK.

FWIW, referring to the copious amount of feedback I get on my trip reports, I reckon a minority want a new page to open. I have implemented that mode on my longer reports, though it is a hassle in Dreamweaver as I have to edit every link manually and insert the target="_blank" string in there.

But as David says, this breaks the Back button and requires a lot more user interaction to clean up afterwards.

Maybe on the relatively functionally crippled portable devices it really is better to open a new page... Just watching how people browse on say our Ipad, I strongly suspect most people have difficulties running any sort of "organised" browser setup on those. Whenever I get back our Ipad after one of the kids have been on it, I see a huge mess of open web pages, and the quickest way to clean it all up is to use the close-app feature and just kill the whole browser.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Sure. My broader point is that whilst it might be your preference, it's not universal by any means and for reasonable scientific reason. Still, that's what having preference options is all about.

Administrator
EGTR / London, United Kingdom
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