Do you think that all links in websites should open on new tabs (or windows)? I think so, but thats just me…
I figured I’d share it with you all to widen the audience, but first, my take.
I’ve never been a fan of websites that mess with my browser, including popping new windows or tabs when I click on links. It’s much easier to live with new tabs (thank you Firefox) than new windows, but still, it’s disruptive.
Even so, for a long time, I set the links here to open in new tabs, thinking it would a) keep you on my oh-so-important blog posts and b) make it easier to read accompanying content and then come back to my still-very-important post.
Then one day, I decided to stop doing that. The main reason was the additional memory consumption of tabs. I love Firefox, as I’ve previously documented, but it gets really bossy with memory when you open a slew of tabs. Firefox 3.5 has made great improvements over Firefox 3, but still, I didn’t want to pop tabs all over the place because I’ve become increasingly sensitive to that myself.
Yeah, Chrome/Chromium do a better job of handling the memory, but still, there’s overhead you don’t see if the links open in the same tab.
Besides, the Back button works just fine, *if* you want to come back and read some more.One contributer to Noel’s thread pointed out correctly that I was penalizing the feature for a defect in Firefox. This is true, but at its base, my objection is more about controlling the browser’s and my reading behavior.
Like I said, I find it disruptive if a link opens in a new tab. Yeah, I know I can open in a new tab myself, but what if I don’t want to do that? It’s all about me.
Others on the thread prefer new tabs because they can refer have both the original page and the referenced one open at once. I’m not completely sure that’s different than what I want, minus the ability to control the link’s behavior.
This reminds me of reading an article with a sidebar. Your eyes are immediately drawn to a sidebar because it’s a different UI element; it says, “Hey, look at me I’m not boring text. Check out my colored background. You know you want to read me.”
But it disrupts the reading flow.
Anyway, I was in the distinct minority on this one. So, what do you think?