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Graham Perrin

Forcing new windows, disrespecting user preferences: the target="_blank" effect - 39 views

UI GUI dislike target _blank new window suggestion gpd4

started by Graham Perrin on 07 Aug 09
  • Graham Perrin
    The user, *never* a site, should decide whether something is to open in a new window.

    If a new window is intended, it should be explicit before a link is followed.


    Use raw HTML when writing.

    That's tedious, and prone to human error, and in some parts of Diigo the errors are difficult or impossible to correct.

    Also, some Diigo URLs don't work first time - even when correct HTML is used.


    At the setting
    [√] Open the link in the same window
    should be more effective.

    At least, the preference should be respected in groups.

    See also

    Diigo on Kosmix - 74 or more links, a mixture of relative and absolute, none of which spawn a new window.

    Please get rid of nofollow
  • The Ravine / Joseph Dunphy

    Graham Perrin wrote:

    > If a new window is intended, it should be explicit before a link is followed.
    > Workaround
    > Use raw HTML when writing.

    Simpler workaround - simpler for us, that is. Less so for Diigo's staff. Just have the system insert this code:

    title="Link opens in a new window"

    if this is the case. The little bubble with that message in it will pop up the moment that the visitor beings his cursor up to the link. Plus, have user settings override group and profile defaults when one is logged into Diigo - which I believe they already do.

  • Graham Perrin
    > title="Link opens in a new window"

    Thanks (on behalf of community) for the code suggestion.

    > Plus, have user settings override group and profile defaults when
    > one is logged into Diigo - which I believe they already do.

    AFAICT the user preference to not open links in new windows is not effective in group topics (sorry for the double negative), try for example the link within
  • The Ravine / Joseph Dunphy
    Graham Perrin wrote:
    > > title="Link opens in a new window"
    > Thanks (on behalf of community) for the code suggestion.

    If I didn't feel like strangling you over issues arising elsewhere, at this point, I'd probably say something like...

    Don't mention it. Glad I could help.
  • Graham Perrin
    Suggestion (2010-09-18) is
    do not **force** target="_blank" — it disrespects a strongly-held user preference
  • The Ravine / Joseph Dunphy

    I notice that Uservoice will not let me reply to your post, Perrin, so I'll repost those remarks here:

    "Spoiling contexts and histories reduces the usefulness of Diigo as a knowledge management tool. Most users will not care about this type of thing but for people who *do* care, it *is* very important."

    And in your usual narcissistic way, Mr. Perrin, you ask those reading this to just assume that those who do care about the issue will feel the same way about it as you do, even though you, yourself already know this to be absolute nonsense. We've briefly discussed this subject in this discussion

    in which I've already given you a remedy to the non-issue you've been raising, and in this discussion

    in which I explained why giving in to you on this issue would create a real problem for a number of us, and in the long run, for the company as well. One might notice that my first post in that discussion has been censored, and as I've seen you call for censorship, before

    I think I can make a reasonable guess as to who wrongly flagged that remark. Pushy little fellow, aren't you? But let's take a look at why this idea that you've fixated on is such a terrible one ...

  • The Ravine / Joseph Dunphy

    Having offsite links open in a new window in a page of website reviews - something that really is a good practice - means that the visitor can easily find his way back to the page and read more reviews, when he's done reading each review in turn.

    All that the reader needs to do is keep the old window open, and when he goes back to it, there he will be, right where he was before, ready to look at the next item in turn, if he so pleases. This represents effortless convenience for the average reader, whose attachment to the Internet is likely to be shaky, and who does have better things to do with his time than to learn how to become a "power user", and learn the quirks of this system or that.

    Now, let's take a look at the consequences of granting the whims of users like Mr. Perrin, whose argument, as you can see just by looking at his post, is that you should give him what he wants, just because he's been willing to make a scene about this, and go on making a scene about this over a period of years. The average reader will come to that link, and not only not knowing the difference between right and left clicking on a link, but not really wanting to know, will go through that link into the same window he was on, when looking at the menu of links, and what is likely to happen, next?

    Most pages we will link to will, themselves, have other links, which the reader will then follow, meaning that if he's doing so in the same window as the bookmark page was on, in order to get back he'll either have to backarrow his way back, watching each page he was at open sluggishly, as they tend to at such times, just to get back to where he was. Sites will often link to other sites, and curiosity can and will carry our readers quite far. Backarrowing through all of that, over and over, is going to get to be a real nuisance when it's possible at all, and in many cases, it won't be. After a certain number of backarrowings, the system usually forgets exactly where the previous site had been.

    End result: In exchange for appeasing our boy with the Napoleon complex, Diigo will be bleeding traffic. Visitors, on a continuing basic, will be failing to return to our pages and Diigo's site. Was Diigo hoping to monetarize itself, someday, probably by carrying advertising? If Diigo becomes a place where visitors linger for only seconds before not being seen again, because getting back to where one was is either too much work or not possible at all, then those ads aren't going to be worth anything to the advertisers, and potential advertisers are going to learn this, very quickly. At that point, say goodbye, not just to your ad revenue in the present, but to the possibility of ever earning such revenue, because your company will have squandered whatever trust those potential advertisers would have been willing to give, by offering them the chance to pay for a worthless opportunity. Nobody enjoys being hustled.

    As for the users ... a number of us have memberships on Webring, and I can assure you that despite the impression that the loudmouthed Mr. Perrin would leave, some of us very much do care about this, and would most strongly object to his wishes on this point being granted. Webring is rightly opposed to the creation of one way sites - sites that the visitor, having visited, will have trouble returning from - and having the links open in this way effectively turns our homepages into such sites, if we should integrate them with our pages on Diigo, at all. Some of us might even want to put our Diigo pages, themselves, on the Webring system - something that has been around and has been a notable presence on the Internet long before this odious and otherwise inconsequential little man who has nominated himself to be the king of Diigo first decided to blight our days with his presence. Granting him his wish eliminates that as a possibility.

    Perhaps, as a user, one might want to carry on a sort of extended discussion, making a microblog of one's favorite page, linking into this site here and that site there, as one makes one's points. One would be asked to accept that one was to lack the freedom to do so, because Mr. Perrin personally felt strongly about this, and decided that he had the right to decide for others how their pages would work. I assure you that despite any incredible lies Perrin will have told you to the contrary, that creative freedom is something that those whose work is worth reading will care about most intensely, and that they are not going to find this acceptable.

    And what does Perrin have by way of rebuttal, in this case? A willingness to play the broken record game, as he pretends that an opposition does not exist, and seeks to foster that illusion by asking that any arguments that he doesn't care for be deleted. That, and a willingness to throw a temper tantrum over the fact that the design of somebody else's page ignored HIS "strongly held preferences".

    The problem with Diigo is that this flimsy rationale will probably be reason enough, as appeasing crazy people like Perrin seems to be the main corporate strategy for this company. But it's no recipe for success.

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