Links to new windows

9 Jan 2004 - 4:06pm
10 years ago
18 replies
785 reads
Jim Hoekema
2004

It always bothers me when links on a website lead to a new window when I'm
not expecting, especially when they open a PDF. For that matter, it bothers
me when I do expect a new window and it doesn't happen (an external site).

It seems to me this is an area where the web could use a new convention, so
that users would better understand the consequences of an interaction before
taking it.

I sometimes add "(pdf)" or "(ppt)" etc after the link, which helps a little.
But would the web be a better place if there were convention that always
indicated "new window"?

Any thoughts? Any good examples out there?

- Jim Hoekema
www.hoekema.com

Comments

9 Jan 2004 - 11:21pm
Brad Lauster
2003

Personally, I think this is the kind of thing that should be built into
web browser software, rather than coded into individual pages.

Some browsers already do this, such as Apple's Safari. If you enable
the status bar and hover over a "new window" link, a message in the
status bar will tell you that the link will open in a new window or
tab.

Unfortunately, this feedback is not at the user's locus of attention,
so I imagine it is often overlooked. I doubt most users of Safari even
know about the feature (the status bar is turned off by default).

A better solution would be to change the mouse pointer, which by the
way, you can do in most newer browsers using the css "cursor"
property...though the only time I ever used it was on Stanford's
Webmail. If anyone else is using it, I'd like to see.

Cheers!
--Brad Lauster

On Jan 9, 2004, at 1:06 PM, Hoekema, Jim {PBG} wrote:
> It always bothers me when links on a website lead to a new window when
> I'm
> not expecting, especially when they open a PDF. For that matter, it
> bothers
> me when I do expect a new window and it doesn't happen (an external
> site).
>
> It seems to me this is an area where the web could use a new
> convention, so
> that users would better understand the consequences of an interaction
> before
> taking it.
>
> I sometimes add "(pdf)" or "(ppt)" etc after the link, which helps a
> little.
> But would the web be a better place if there were convention that
> always
> indicated "new window"?
>
> Any thoughts? Any good examples out there?
>
> - Jim Hoekema
> www.hoekema.com
>

10 Jan 2004 - 11:31am
Jens Meiert
2004

Hi Jim,

> [...] especially when they open a PDF.

there already is an interesting assessment from Jakob Nielsen [1]...

> It seems to me this is an area where the web
> could use a new convention, [...]

...who suggested to use special gateway pages [2]. -- I absolutely agree
that the current 'guess what's next' ain't satisfying; it is a serious usability
or accessibility issue, respectively.

Best regards,
Jens.

[1] http://useit.com/alertbox/20030714.html
[2] http://useit.com/alertbox/20030728.html

--
Jens Meiert
Interface Architect

http://meiert.com/

10 Jan 2004 - 7:53pm
Brian Forte
2004

Brad,

>A better solution would be to change the mouse pointer, which by the
>way, you can do in most newer browsers using the css "cursor"
>property...though the only time I ever used it was on Stanford's
>Webmail. If anyone else is using it, I'd like to see.

Not quite the same thing, but iCab -- a Mac OS- and Mac OS X-native
browser -- changes the pointer depending on attributes within the
Anchor tag, including taking note of the value of the TARGET
attribute (if any).

See <http://users.on.net/bforte/icabpointers/> for the pointers
presented by iCab for varying TARGET values.

Regards,

Brian Forte.
--
Brian Forte, <mailto:bforte at betweenborders.com>
Writer, editor, scripter, dangerous mind.

11 Jan 2004 - 12:38pm
Becubed
2004

> Personally, I think this is the kind of thing that should be built into
> web browser software, rather than coded into individual pages.

Good idea. BTW, there's a convention in the desktop UI world that menu items
resulting in a dialog box end with an ellipse ("Save As...").

Combine your suggestion of modifying the cursor with the ellipse convention,
and I think we're on to something.

--
Robert Barlow-Busch
Interaction Design Group
Quarry Integrated Communications Inc.
rbarlowbusch at quarry.com

11 Jan 2004 - 10:31pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Friday, January 9, 2004, at 04:06 PM, Hoekema, Jim {PBG} wrote:
>
> It seems to me this is an area where the web could use a new
> convention, so
> that users would better understand the consequences of an interaction
> before
> taking it.
>

By the way, there's a term for this, coined by Tom Djajadiningrat, Kees
Overbeeke and Stephan Wensveen at ID StudioLab in The Netherlands:
feedforward. That is, understanding what a control does *before* you
use it. Introduced at DIS2002 in this paper:

But How, Donald, Tell Us How?
http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/djajadiningrat/publications/
02DjajDISButH.pdf

(large pdf file)

The Donald in this case not being that fat-fingered vulgarian Donald
Trump, but Donald Norman. These folks argue that affordances aren't
enough: once you know that you can turn a knob (or click on a link) you
need to know what it's going to do in order to make an informed
decision. Interesting stuff.

Dan

Dan Saffer
M.Des. Candidate, Interaction Design
Carnegie Mellon University
http://www.odannyboy.com

12 Jan 2004 - 1:07pm
Anirudha Joshi
2003

It is a nice idea to use ... (ellipsis) at the end of the link to
indicate a new window. This has become almost a GUI standard. I remember
someone once told me that anything with a ... opens a new window long
ago, and that was it. I remembered for ever.
Anirudha

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com] On Behalf Of Hoekema, Jim {PBG}
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 1:07 PM
To: 'discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com'
Subject: [ID Discuss] Links to new windows

It always bothers me when links on a website lead to a new window when
I'm
not expecting, especially when they open a PDF. For that matter, it
bothers
me when I do expect a new window and it doesn't happen (an external
site).

It seems to me this is an area where the web could use a new convention,
so
that users would better understand the consequences of an interaction
before
taking it.

I sometimes add "(pdf)" or "(ppt)" etc after the link, which helps a
little.
But would the web be a better place if there were convention that always
indicated "new window"?

Any thoughts? Any good examples out there?

- Jim Hoekema
www.hoekema.com
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to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
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11 Jan 2004 - 11:08pm
boese
2004

Is this not something similar to the old pre-Web hypertext theory
concept of the "interstitial link," these days usually signified by
some roll-over signal system, but in its most basic form, just an
intermediary link that tells you where or what kind of place you are
going to before you commit to going?

On a tangential (hypertextual) note, when writing this above, I was
struck by a line from a Theodore Roethke poem:

"I wake to sleep and take my waking slow
I learn by going where I have to go."

Chris

>On Friday, January 9, 2004, at 04:06 PM, Hoekema, Jim {PBG} wrote:
>>
>>It seems to me this is an area where the web could use a new convention, so
>>that users would better understand the consequences of an interaction before
>>taking it.
>>
>
>By the way, there's a term for this, coined by Tom Djajadiningrat,
>Kees Overbeeke and Stephan Wensveen at ID StudioLab in The
>Netherlands: feedforward. That is, understanding what a control
>does *before* you use it. Introduced at DIS2002 in this paper:
>
>But How, Donald, Tell Us How?
>http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/djajadiningrat/publications/ 02DjajDISButH.pdf
>
>(large pdf file)
>
>The Donald in this case not being that fat-fingered vulgarian Donald
>Trump, but Donald Norman. These folks argue that affordances aren't
>enough: once you know that you can turn a knob (or click on a link)
>you need to know what it's going to do in order to make an informed
>decision. Interesting stuff.
>
>
>Dan
>
>Dan Saffer
>M.Des. Candidate, Interaction Design
>Carnegie Mellon University
>http://www.odannyboy.com
>
>_______________________________________________
>Interaction Design Discussion List
>discuss at interactiondesigners.com
>--
>to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
>http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
>--
>Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
>--
>Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements already)
>http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
>--
>http://interactiondesigners.com/

12 Jan 2004 - 6:14am
jaubin
2004

RE: Ellipsis at end of of link [1]
Then we would have to explain what the ellipsis means to the public? (via
mouse over?) Thus adding another "information" on a "content page"...
Hmmm... Note: Shouldn't users should always be focusing on the "content",
not on the "How to use the content holder"?
RE: Opening a new window: Those new windows can be a pain: it reacts like a
pop-up. and many of us hate those...

RE: PDF [2]
I agree that PDF's can also be a pain (re: Jacob Nielson
http://useit.com/alertbox/20030714.html ) But they still do have one good
thing: they disable the possibility of copying a document. ( so far, not
much proposed takes care of this important feature- aside using flash
technology to disable users from copying. Unfortunatly, to transfer a
document in flash, requires to much time and effort... That's why PDF's are
kept, i suppose ) . I beleive we should keep PDF until someone comes up with
a web-anti-document-copying solution...
As for what to do with them: As Jacob mentions, I suggest as well: The PDF
link: should include a short summary of the PDF file, + size and download
time. and The PDF link should be used only to able user to download on
personal PC, not while on line...

Juli Aubin, M.A (Des.)
Licef research center, Télé-université.

--------
[1] From: "Anirudha Joshi" <anirudha at iitb.ac.in> January 12, 2004 1:07 PM
"It is a nice idea to use ... (ellipsis) at the end of the link to indicate
a new window. This has become almost a GUI standard. I remember someone once
told me that anything with a ... opens a new window long ago, and that was
it. I remembered for ever. Anirudha"

[2] From:Hoekema, Jim {PBG}> January 09, 2004 1:07 PM
"It always bothers me when links on a website lead to a new window when I'm
not expecting, especially when they open a PDF. For that matter, it bothers
me when I do expect a new window and it doesn't happen (an external site).
It seems to me this is an area where the web could use a new convention, so
that users would better understand the consequences of an interaction before
taking it.
I sometimes add "(pdf)" or "(ppt)" etc after the link, which helps a little.
But would the web be a better place if there were convention that always
indicated "new window"?
Any thoughts? Any good examples out there? Jim Hoekema www.hoekema.com"

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To change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
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12 Jan 2004 - 8:21am
ben hyde
2004

This is a really interesting area - knowing what something is going to do before you use it would seem like common sense. I cannot think of another product where you would expect the user to turn/push something without some indication of what it is likely to do, though I guess a lot of this it learnt... Though again, somethings encourage safe play more than others.

I agree that this shouldn't have to be coded for ind. pages - but cannot see the browsers catching on to this for sometime. I have seen plenty of sites that state all links open in new pages or of course those that indicate the content of the link (particularly important for pdf/swf etc. where the user needs to have the capability of viewing the file!)

A possible way around this would be to make the information in the status bar more meaningful. I normally expect internal links to open in the same window - but cannot pedict where external links will open. If there was a simple target clue - appendix to the address such as new/self/full - maybe this would be a start - but is it do-able?

Anyway, what prompted me to write this was a current gripe I am having with IE6 - the first window I open displays the status bar fine, but any subsequent windows (I am a multi-window person, and my google toolbar also opens new windows for search results...) doesn't display the status bar - so I have to keep turning it on manually! I have hunted through the help but cannot find anyway of selecting for this to be displayed all the time. I think the status bar is one of the few clues to the user of what a link is going to do - e.g. javascript pop-up, url, etc. And I rely on this a lot.

So, I wonder if anyone can let me know how to fix this?

In terms of a convention for links that open in a new window - I like the idea of using the cursor to indicate this - maybe it could indicate the file type too? Anything that is automated and reduces the work for the designer and the inconsistencies for the user would a great FMM.

Happy new year to you all.

ben

http://hydesign.blogspot.com

p.s. thanks for the link to the DIS paper Dan

p.p.s. I am currently having a weird problem with pdf files on the web - I have just installed v6 reader but when I open a pdf in a web page it opens using v4 - is this something I am doing wrong?

Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

On Friday, January 9, 2004, at 04:06 PM, Hoekema, Jim {PBG} wrote:
>
> It seems to me this is an area where the web could use a new
> convention, so
> that users would better understand the consequences of an interaction
> before
> taking it.
>

By the way, there's a term for this, coined by Tom Djajadiningrat, Kees
Overbeeke and Stephan Wensveen at ID StudioLab in The Netherlands:
feedforward. That is, understanding what a control does *before* you
use it. Introduced at DIS2002 in this paper:

But How, Donald, Tell Us How?
http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/djajadiningrat/publications/
02DjajDISButH.pdf

(large pdf file)

The Donald in this case not being that fat-fingered vulgarian Donald
Trump, but Donald Norman. These folks argue that affordances aren't
enough: once you know that you can turn a knob (or click on a link) you
need to know what it's going to do in order to make an informed
decision. Interesting stuff.

Dan

Dan Saffer
M.Des. Candidate, Interaction Design
Carnegie Mellon University
http://www.odannyboy.com

---------------------------------
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12 Jan 2004 - 11:24am
vutpakdi
2003

--- jaubin <jaubin at licef.teluq.uquebec.ca> wrote:
> RE: PDF [2]
> I agree that PDF's can also be a pain (re: Jacob Nielson
> http://useit.com/alertbox/20030714.html ) But they still do have one good
> thing: they disable the possibility of copying a document. ( so far, not

How do PDFs disable the possibility of copying a document? You can easily
save the PDF to a local copy of the file. Unless the PDF is protected, you
can also select parts of the PDF and copy out the text. Most PDFs do not
appear to be so protected.

It seems to me that the main advantages of PDFs are that paper documents
can be made portable and that the paper documents can be displayed to the
screen or printed out on whatever printer is locally available,
irrespective of what was available when the document was generated.

I do agree that PDF links should be so marked. I also happen to find PDFs
to be very useful as long as they are used properly and not a lazy way to
avoid generating proper web content.

Ron

=====
============================================================================
Ron Vutpakdi
vutpakdi at acm.org

__________________________________
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12 Jan 2004 - 11:32am
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

Dan Saffer wrote:

>By the way, there's a term for this, coined by Tom Djajadiningrat, Kees
>Overbeeke and Stephan Wensveen at ID StudioLab in The Netherlands:
>feedforward.

Just a note -- Djajadiningrat, Overbeeke, and Wensveen did not *coin* the
term 'feedforward'. Instead, they *co-opted* it from the domain of control
theory.

(See
http://www.bgu.ac.il/chem_eng/pages/Courses/oren%20courses/Chapter_9.pdf if
you want to learn more than you ever wanted to know about feed-forward
control.)

They have a fine use of the term; I just raise this point to ensure that we
don't forget about the control-theoretic heritage of it.

Regards,
-Gerard

P.S. The paper referenced *does* completely muddle the concept of
affordances -- to its detriment.

P.P.S. It's Monday morning; I'm feeling curmudgeonly. :-)

_________________________________________________________________
MSN 8 with e-mail virus protection service: 2 months FREE*
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12 Jan 2004 - 9:14pm
sandeepblues
2003

Actually, I think the convention is that "..." should
be used when the UI expects some input from the user
in another window. That is not applicable here.

It would be nice if the mouse cursor changed when
hovering over a link that pops a new window. Changed
to what? I dunno, ask a graphic artist. That would be
a browser feature I guess.

Sandeep

--- Anirudha Joshi <anirudha at iitb.ac.in> wrote:
> It is a nice idea to use ... (ellipsis) at the end
> of the link to
> indicate a new window. This has become almost a GUI
> standard. I remember
> someone once told me that anything with a ... opens
> a new window long
> ago, and that was it. I remembered for ever.
> Anirudha
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
>
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
> ers.com] On Behalf Of Hoekema, Jim {PBG}
> Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 1:07 PM
> To:
>
'discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com'
> Subject: [ID Discuss] Links to new windows
>
>
>
> It always bothers me when links on a website lead to
> a new window when
> I'm
> not expecting, especially when they open a PDF. For
> that matter, it
> bothers
> me when I do expect a new window and it doesn't
> happen (an external
> site).
>
> It seems to me this is an area where the web could
> use a new convention,
> so
> that users would better understand the consequences
> of an interaction
> before
> taking it.
>
> I sometimes add "(pdf)" or "(ppt)" etc after the
> link, which helps a
> little.
> But would the web be a better place if there were
> convention that always
> indicated "new window"?
>
> Any thoughts? Any good examples out there?
>
> - Jim Hoekema
> www.hoekema.com
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
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> get announcements
> already)
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> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/
>
> _______________________________________________
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13 Jan 2004 - 10:38pm
IdoShavit
2004

Jim
You can actually treat your users to some more information about the click
consequences using the 'title=' tag to create a 'tool tip' for your link.
(Although not on a page level but rather on a link level, so it will create
extra code work).
The caveat is that these link 'tool tips' will only work for IE. Not a real
problem if the majority or all of your audience is using IE [1], and anyway
it will not harm non-IE users. See example here:
http://ido.mikashavit.com/sandbox/LinkTitle.htm

Sandeep
The usage of ellipsis as a convention for "This link will open in a new
window" is problematic, but not because it breaks the conventions. We do use
links within sentences and paragraphs, mostly to point the user to
additional info. These are links that we would like to open in a new window,
as we do not want to remove the reader from the current context. Introducing
ellipses within the text will affect the way the sentence is 'heard' as we
read it. Not good.

[1] An interesting resource for general browser popularity is the Google
Zeitgeist: http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist_nov03.html. Scroll down to
see "Web Browsers Used to Access Google".

Ido

-----Original Message-----
From: Sandeep Jain [mailto:sandeepblues at yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2004 6:15 PM
To: Anirudha Joshi; discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Links to new windows

Actually, I think the convention is that "..." should be used when the UI
expects some input from the user in another window. That is not applicable
here.

It would be nice if the mouse cursor changed when hovering over a link that
pops a new window. Changed to what? I dunno, ask a graphic artist. That
would be a browser feature I guess.

Sandeep

--- Anirudha Joshi <anirudha at iitb.ac.in> wrote:
> It is a nice idea to use ... (ellipsis) at the end of the link to
> indicate a new window. This has become almost a GUI standard. I
> remember someone once told me that anything with a ... opens a new
> window long ago, and that was it. I remembered for ever.
> Anirudha
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
>
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
> ers.com] On Behalf Of Hoekema, Jim {PBG}
> Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 1:07 PM
> To:
>
'discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com'
> Subject: [ID Discuss] Links to new windows
>
>
>
> It always bothers me when links on a website lead to
> a new window when
> I'm
> not expecting, especially when they open a PDF. For
> that matter, it
> bothers
> me when I do expect a new window and it doesn't
> happen (an external
> site).
>
> It seems to me this is an area where the web could
> use a new convention,
> so
> that users would better understand the consequences
> of an interaction
> before
> taking it.
>
> I sometimes add "(pdf)" or "(ppt)" etc after the
> link, which helps a
> little.
> But would the web be a better place if there were
> convention that always
> indicated "new window"?
>
> Any thoughts? Any good examples out there?
>
> - Jim Hoekema
> www.hoekema.com
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members
> get announcements
> already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
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> --
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> --
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14 Jan 2004 - 2:21pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jan 13, 2004, at 7:38 PM, Shavit, Ido wrote:

> You can actually treat your users to some more information about the
> click
> consequences using the 'title=' tag to create a 'tool tip' for your
> link.
> (Although not on a page level but rather on a link level, so it will
> create
> extra code work).
> The caveat is that these link 'tool tips' will only work for IE. Not a
> real
> problem if the majority or all of your audience is using IE [1], and
> anyway
> it will not harm non-IE users. See example here:
> http://ido.mikashavit.com/sandbox/LinkTitle.htm

Safari fixed this in the most recent update to respect title tags. Not
sure about Mozilla/Firebird or Opera though.

Andrei

Work: http://www.adobe.com
Personal: http://www.designbyfire.com

14 Jan 2004 - 3:00pm
Chris Ryan
2004

On Jan 13, 2004, at 7:38 PM, Shavit, Ido wrote:

> The caveat is that these link 'tool tips' will only work for IE.

They work fine in current versions of Mozilla and Netscape (Windows and
Mac), Opera (Windows version only), and Safari (Mac OS X).

By the way everything I've seen (in my own user tests) and read
suggests that links which open new browser windows confuse almost
everyone--especially on Windows when all the windows are full size and
there's no visual difference between the originating and new browser
windows. Expert users do it manually--most browsers support this when
holding down a given modifier key when clicking the link. For everyone
else, the Back button is a much more effective way to back out of a
link clicked in error, or reaching an inappropriate page (the new
browser window has a disabled Back button, and I've seen this confuse
even advanced users).

This is, of course, distinct from "pop-up" windows that, for instance,
enable selection from a long scrolling list, or provide a definition.
I've always thought a dotted underline would be best for these (you
could probably do this with CSS, at least in the latest browsers).

And my understanding of the ellipsis is not that it opens a new window
or dialog, but rather that more information is needed in order to
complete the command. For instance, a menu command that opens system
preferences does not need an ellipsis because opening the system
preferences app/panel IS the command.

Chris

14 Jan 2004 - 2:40pm
Ian Roberts
2004

The title tag is a very good idea here, and it will also show up in all
the Mozilla-based browsers (Netscape 7, etc.) and Safari.

As for cursor changing, currently the W3C spec only has a small grouping
(crosshair, move, text, wait, and help. There is one called "url" but I
haven't seen a browser use it. I use the help one in my style sheets
when I define what an acronym entry should look like (e.g. acronym
{border-bottom: 1px dashed green; cursor: help;} )

One other thing I've seen is a tiny icon of a box and an arrow escaping
the box (can't remember what site I saw that on). You could add that
with stylesheets, too by giving the links you want it on a class
attribute (e.g. <a class="newwindow" ...>) and then specifying the icon
as a background in the CSS (e.g. a.newwindow {background:
url(tinybox.gif) top left no-repeat; margin-left: 10px;} )

Ian Roberts <Interaction Architect> Rich Interactive Environments,
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

-----Original Message-----
From: Shavit, Ido [mailto:IShavit at athoc.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 7:38 PM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Links to new windows

Jim
You can actually treat your users to some more information about the
click consequences using the 'title=' tag to create a 'tool tip' for
your link.
(Although not on a page level but rather on a link level, so it will
create extra code work).
The caveat is that these link 'tool tips' will only work for IE. Not a
real problem if the majority or all of your audience is using IE [1],
and anyway it will not harm non-IE users. See example here:
http://ido.mikashavit.com/sandbox/LinkTitle.htm

[snip]

14 Jan 2004 - 3:33pm
cfmdesigns
2004

"Shavit, Ido" <IShavit at athoc.com> writes

>You can actually treat your users to some more information about the click
>consequences using the 'title=' tag to create a 'tool tip' for your link.
>(Although not on a page level but rather on a link level, so it will create
>extra code work).
>The caveat is that these link 'tool tips' will only work for IE. Not a real
>problem if the majority or all of your audience is using IE [1], and anyway
>it will not harm non-IE users. See example here:
>http://ido.mikashavit.com/sandbox/LinkTitle.htm

Here's Mac info:

Safari Tooltips show
Internet Explorer Tooltips show
Camino Tooltips show

iCab Tooltip text shows in status bar
Opera Tooltip text shows in status bar

Mozilla Tooltips show, <CR> not recognized
Netscape Tooltips show, <CR> not recognized

I imagine Win support should be similar. Looks like a decent
solution in many cases, then. I may not have the latest version on
anything but Safari and IE, too, so things may be even better than
the above on the others.

Jim

26 Jan 2004 - 12:23pm
Joan Linskey
2003

I like the idea of a different visual clue on the link rather than a pop up or relying in the status bar to indicate new window, but I'd like to see a new convention as a standard part of the language and supported by browsers rather than as a css option (for consistency sake).

Here are a couple of suggestions:
1) Someone suggested changing the cursor based on the type of link. Perhaps the pointed finger cursor could have a shortcut like arrow on it. I'd like this if it were automatic and didn't require explicitely coding it or adding an attribute to the anchor element. (when extention is not common like *.htm, *.html, *.gif, target is something other than self or the source is a javascript command).

2) Maybe a new link could be introduced, a curved line link (similar to microsoft word spelling errors) or perhaps a double underline link to indicate a new window.

I agree that using an elipses or other intrusive visual clues that could hinder a persons ability to read or hear text is not a usable solution.

just a thought.
-Joan

"Roberts, Ian E" <ian.roberts at pnl.gov> wrote:
The title tag is a very good idea here, and it will also show up in all
the Mozilla-based browsers (Netscape 7, etc.) and Safari.

As for cursor changing, currently the W3C spec only has a small grouping
(crosshair, move, text, wait, and help. There is one called "url" but I
haven't seen a browser use it. I use the help one in my style sheets
when I define what an acronym entry should look like (e.g. acronym
{border-bottom: 1px dashed green; cursor: help;} )

One other thing I've seen is a tiny icon of a box and an arrow escaping
the box (can't remember what site I saw that on). You could add that
with stylesheets, too by giving the links you want it on a class
attribute (e.g. ) and then specifying the icon
as a background in the CSS (e.g. a.newwindow {background:
url(tinybox.gif) top left no-repeat; margin-left: 10px;} )

Ian Roberts Rich Interactive Environments,
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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