ISO: Pop-up window icons

12 Mar 2007 - 10:18am
7 years ago
4 replies
2321 reads
Dan Brown
2004

Hello!
I'm doing a usability test and I'd like to test the effectiveness of
icons that communicate "opens new window". If you have a favorite icon
on the web, please send along a link!

Thanks,
-- Dan

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Comments

12 Mar 2007 - 7:40pm
jbellis
2005

Dan,
I thought there was a need for this back in '02...
http://www.usabilityinstitute.com/genericUI/default.htm#popup
but seein' as you're the first [or second] one in five years to ask, maybe
we both need a reality check. Maybe just underlined links will be the cue.
(Now where did I leave that darn contextual inquiry book?)

www.jackBellis.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dan Brown" <brownorama at gmail.com>
To: <discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com>
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2007 11:18 AM
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] ISO: Pop-up window icons

> Hello!
> I'm doing a usability test and I'd like to test the effectiveness of
> icons that communicate "opens new window". If you have a favorite icon
> on the web, please send along a link!
>
> Thanks,
> -- Dan
>

12 Mar 2007 - 10:40pm
Janna DeVylder
2006

Funny, just this afternoon I said to some colleagues, "I think this is an
IDxA question to throw around."
We weren't speaking only about icons, but more generally wondering about the
need (or lack of need) for different kinds of link treatments for links that
serve different purposes. For example, is there any need to treat a link
that exposes a microcontent layer differently than a link that launches a
lightbox or a link that takes you to a new page or a pop-up? Does the
context of the link serve as enough of a cue, or do you need color, dotted
versus solid lines, or icons to 'warn' users that the unexpected may happen?
Do we just create more chaos in the drive to create clarity?

Janna

On 3/12/07, jackbellis.com <jackbellis at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Dan,
> I thought there was a need for this back in '02...
> http://www.usabilityinstitute.com/genericUI/default.htm#popup
> but seein' as you're the first [or second] one in five years to ask, maybe
> we both need a reality check. Maybe just underlined links will be the cue.
> (Now where did I leave that darn contextual inquiry book?)
>
> www.jackBellis.com
>
>
>
>

13 Mar 2007 - 8:38am
jbellis
2005

Janna,
Excellent point... I agree that it is not necessarily the case that web links should always be loaded with cues. Studying the matter, I see two different factors that determine when there's benefit:

1) In some cases, we as users want controls to tell us what something can do FOR us. The classic desktop-style elipsis (. . .) tells us we will get an additional chance for information or a decision before committing to perhaps a cryptic function. More precisely, the elipsis is a cue of what a system won't do TO us... it won't commit us to a function. In Homer Simpson hyperbole, think of a button labeled "Shut Down Nuclear Plant..."

2) In other cases, we want controls to forewarn us what the system will do TO us. I always want to see a PDF cue (text or graphic) so I know the entire behavior of my browser might get hijacked for 20-40 seconds; I can then decide whether I A) actually am interested in a comprehensive/print-style document, and if I do, B) whether I want to force a second window/tab for it.

I think there's some inertia gaining around the use of dashed underlines for glossary-style links... implying no server round-trip, the page stays in place.

http://usabilityinstitute.com/resources/learnabilityGallery.htm#rollover

Maybe all we really need is to convene on this second style of link (whether dashed or dotted, but I like dashed), to tell the user "Don't worry, I'm not going to unload/replace your current page!" For me that's 95% of the battle since so many pages function as tables-of-contents rather than content. When I use google and ebay I never want that listing page unloaded until I say so.

I recommend we all use dashed underlines to indicate popups, Ajax, and other links that don't unload the page.

www.workathomewednesday.com
----- Original Message -----
From: Janna Hicks DeVylder
To: jackbellis.com
Cc: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2007 11:40 PM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] ISO: Pop-up window icons

Funny, just this afternoon I said to some colleagues, "I think this is an IDxA question to throw around."
We weren't speaking only about icons, but more generally wondering about the need (or lack of need) for different kinds of link treatments for links that serve different purposes. For example, is there any need to treat a link that exposes a microcontent layer differently than a link that launches a lightbox or a link that takes you to a new page or a pop-up? Does the context of the link serve as enough of a cue, or do you need color, dotted versus solid lines, or icons to 'warn' users that the unexpected may happen? Do we just create more chaos in the drive to create clarity?

Janna

On 3/12/07, jackbellis.com <jackbellis at hotmail.com > wrote:
Dan,
I thought there was a need for this back in '02...
http://www.usabilityinstitute.com/genericUI/default.htm#popup
but seein' as you're the first [or second] one in five years to ask, maybe
we both need a reality check. Maybe just underlined links will be the cue.
(Now where did I leave that darn contextual inquiry book?)

www.jackBellis.com

13 Mar 2007 - 9:33am
Arjan Geven
2006

> I'm doing a usability test and I'd like to test the effectiveness of
icons
> that communicate "opens new window". If you have a favorite icon on
> the web, please send along a link!

In Firefox, I'm using a plugin called TargetAlert for Firefox, which
gives me a visual cue for various kinds of hyperlinks, see
http://www.bolinfest.com/targetalert/

See the picture at
http://www.bolinfest.com/targetalert/preferences_window.png, these small
icons appear when you hover over a hyperlink. If just everyone were to
use it..

Anyway, it might be helpful in your search for visuals.

Best,
Arjan

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