Sunday, March 18, 2012

And now for something completely different


Hi there,

I'm a fairly new reader to your blog (few months) and I really enjoy it. I follow your pins on Pinterest. You've got great taste and opinions and I'm sure you've read this many times...to my point!

I'm a web developer and also a reader of many blogs, and it's in good practice to open new links in a new tab or window. Many other blogs and websites do this because technically, you don't want to take your audience away from your site. This also gives the reader the option to go check out that link later after they finish reading whatever it is that they are reading or, take a quick sidestep, go to it immediately then close it out if they are done, or leave it open to invest more time later.

I bring this up because I have closed out your blog tab MANY times, because I'm in the habit of links opening up in a new tab - most blogs I read do this. Lucky thing is, it's a very simple option for you to change in your settings. I'm more familiar with Wordpress, but I can research for the Blogger platform where that simple little option is at, if you need help. That is, if you want to. Please don't do it if you have a valid reason, or if you think I'm being a pushy/nosey person who reads your blog. I stopped myself from writing this email a few times cause I felt it was intrusive. I just really love it and want to improve the experience!

Hope you're not annoyed. I'll still read it even if the links take me away from your terrific content!

Best,
A Nosey Web Developer

*****

Dear Nosey Web Developer,

I'm not a fan of blogs/sites that open links in a new tab.

I much prefer to use command+click (that's Ctrl+click for you pc people) to manually open links that I WANT to open in a new tab. Otherwise I end up with five hundred thousand open tabs and I'm completely lost and pissed and I can't remember where I started anyway.

When you open a link in a new window, you're breaking the back button because the new tab will have no history. I love me my back button. (As do unskilled web users who know almost nothing about navigating the internet. Everybody knows how to use the back button.)

Just a little feedback for YOU from someone who spends her entire day on the blogs. And just so happens to be married to a web designer.

xoxo,
ESB

Kristina Salinovic by Tim Barber for Muse Spring 2012 via Fashion Gone Rogue

89 comments:

  1. Hellz yeah ESB. I'm also a web developer and you're dead on. At the very least, Nosy should acknowledge the debate behind this, the usability research supporting user control over opening new tabs/windows, and that for many people, it comes down to personal preference and context. Calling it "good practice" is at best overstating it.

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  2. Replies
    1. I do too. And I'm not talking about pop ups. I don't think the writer was either. I think she (and I) mean the links you choose to click to.... I.e. the posts and comment threads with 200 links to dresses, venues, whatever. If 1 comment has 6 links in it who wants to go back and forth that many times?

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  3. When i saw the title of this post i thought you were just having a go and it was going to be another "help me find my perfect dress" request. But it IS completely different. Great response ESB :)

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  4. I need new windows. If I don't get a new window, I use my Back button, THEN Command+Click. Just for the new window. Who knew we have such individual web-browsing-habits?

    AND I am married to a web designer.

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    Replies
    1. I do the same

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    2. Yup. It annoys me when links don't open up in new tabs. It requires a lot more 'work' - amounts to having to choose between the original post and the supporting links. I agree with anon 04:52 and 05:08 - no need to be defensive, with capital YOUs, about someone who's trying to help you move past the 90s. The post wouldn't bother me at all if you had just say "I prefer X" and left it, but that's not what happened.

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    3. Another vote for new windows! I mean, to each their own, but for the record it DOES drive some readers a little batty. Not enough to change reading habits, of course.

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    4. I hate it when links open up in new windows, that drives me batty! I prefer either opening in a new tab (which is okay), or opening up in my current window so I can use the back button.

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  5. I agree, if I want something in a new tab, i'll make that decision. When sites open in new windows, THAT drives me crazy!

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    Replies
    1. Yup. I tend not to revisit sites that open new windows without my say-so.

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  6. Wow a reader tries to help and gets called out publicly for it?

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  7. I agree with the Nosey one and think it was in fact nice that (s)he bothered to bring this to your attention in case you hadn't considered it.

    Based on my own browsing as well as knowing basic principles in internet marketing, leading 'clients' completely off of a page is generally a bad plan. Especially if the new link is one that a person will want to play around on. I get that there are some who prefer an enact history to click the back button but the back button still works on the original tab and when you get to the end of the backward motion on your newer tab you can just X out.

    Maybe it's less important for your blog given its popularity and peoples interested in finishing an article/reading on. But I'd be willing to bet that in a poll more people prefer the new window.. especially your demographic since they are web savvy.

    Oh, and sense it adds some kind of street cred.. I know lots of designers and web developers and design my own site.

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    Replies
    1. If we're voting, then I'll agree with the "new window" camp. Especially since this is standard on most of the blogs I frequent...

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    2. I would vote for a new tab opening for sure

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  8. Our operating systems and internet behaviors are far different than they were in 1996 when that article was written or in 1999 when it was reposted.

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  9. In blogs, as in weddings - do whatever the hell you want.

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    Replies
    1. amen! Although, right click new tab over here... since I'm far too lazy to put down my coffee cup and hit the Ctrl button.

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    2. I am also a big fan of the right click. Which is the only thing I dislike about my new-ish (BF's hand-me-down) Mac.

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  10. Honestly, those two options are better than the third - requiring you to navigate away from the current page when following a link (essentially disabling the command-click option). I've seen it, and I hate it.

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  11. Rule #24 of using the internet: Never assume a link will open in a new tab. If you really care, conrol + click + "open in new tab" that shit.

    File under: who gives a fuuhh?

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  12. meh, do what you wanna. tomayto, tomahto.

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  13. i guess there have been time when i've been like, "where did that post go ? oh yeah ... i just have to push that arrow button in the corner."

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    Replies
    1. ps. my computer-nerd husband just said that when he wants a new window, he right clicks. i didn't know you could do that, but now i do. AND KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE. GO JOE !

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    2. Isn't it, YO JOE! ? I always thought it was ever since I was a little kid pretending to blow stuff up with my G.I. Joes and fireworks.

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    3. And I don't know any web developers in meatspace. That's my street cred.

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    4. maybe it IS 'yo joe'. dammit. you're fucking with my world view, rob.

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    5. After some quick research on the World Wide Web it looks like Yo Joe. I have no bibliography to support this conclusion, it is the World Wide Web after all. Or is it the Internet? Can we have a post on that one?

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    6. It's INTERNETS or INTERWEBZ. Duh.

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  14. Middle click. Most browsers now will accept that. One click people!

    Anyway. I think you just brought out ALL THE GEEKS that read your blog. Now I feel more normal, knowing I'm not the only one in my field who reads ESB.

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    Replies
    1. Middle click YAY! Opera user mouse gestures YAY! (Geeks YAY!)

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    2. You got yourself middle-click opened because of this post!

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  15. I daresay I GREATLY prefer links to open up in a new tab, so I don't have to lose my original place.

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  16. Thanks esb for reminding us all that you know everything and not to ever try (even in a really non-aggressive way) to be helpful. Sometimes your snarky responses are funny. This one is just mean.

    Not that you care what I or anyone else thinks.

    Oh yeah and my vote is for new tabs.

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    Replies
    1. I like how you accuse ESB of being snarky and mean in the most passive-aggressive, sarcastic way possible. You lead off with an insult, but she's the mean one. Riiight.

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    2. I agree with anon 7:57. On all points.

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  17. i prefer new tabs too, but i'm just glad to have fun sites to visit and content to read! hooray for celebrating our differences! :)

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  18. i vote for...

    OHMYGODWHOTHEFUCKCARES

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    Replies
    1. Exactly...

      OHMYGODWHOTHEFUCKCARES...

      what was the point of this post???

      Delete
  19. I agree with a couple of the other posters -- the reader tried as best as she could to offer a suggestion that wasn't presumptuous, and you ended on a rude note.

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  20. I love me some ESB, but totally agree w nosey.

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  21. I second Celia's vote. First world problems hey?

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  22. I've been building and designing websites for years, am a certified usability analyst, and the accepted practice that I know of is to not open new windows -- to be honest, i thought the practice of automatically opening links in new tabs died out years ago. As ESB points out, new tabs (or new windows) breaks the back button, the average user's most familiar interface element in a web browser.

    This is fundamentally about letting the user control their own browsing experience, rather than trying to control it for them (this is a good article about this very topic) - users can choose to open their own tab, but before clicking, have no way of knowing that you've already made that choice for them. It's the same reason why we don't auto-play music on pages, why we don't auto-resize windows, and countless other little choices that designers make to keep control at the user level. Well done to ESB for her sound web design judgement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THIS.
      It's one click to open in the same window, or open in a new one - so let the user decide. I think its bad practice for a site to force new tabs...
      --Sarah

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  23. Does it really matter what happens when we click a link or why it happens that way? For me it was friendly, non judgemental advice which was responded to with a somewhat petty, but not overly rude reply.
    While that's what we expect (and mostly enjoy) about this site, it's a little disheartening that the lady in charge often claims to love the little community that has spring up around her blog but seems genuinely annoyed when someone has an opinion. Won't stop me reading the blog but it does make me a little sad.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you anonymous. This is what I'm feeling -- a little sad that esb is so easily annoyed by someone who was trying to be nice/helpful and has (what seems to be by the comments here) a very valid point. Sometimes you just need to grow up esb.

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  24. I've actually like the new tab too, and have wished on many occasions that your site was set up that way. Thanks, Nosey!

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  25. Like a new tab, especially when going back to esb is consistently a slow load. Consistently. Which is maddening at best.

    Is it really about being a computer nerd and know-it-all, though? Gee, I thought it was about the user experience ... not about trotting out all the ego bullshit about being a developer geek and "I know what's best and you're stupid" bullshit.

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  26. New tab!

    Esp. when it's MOB dress #1, MOB dress #2, MOB dress #3, MOB dress #4, MOB dress #5, MOB dress #6, MOB dress #7, MOB dress #8, MOB dress #9, MOB dress #10, MOB dress #11, MOB dress #12, MOB dress #13, MOB dress #14...

    But seriously: it's a personal preference. I like new tabs 90% of the time and don't mind right clicking but have many computers/peripherals that require some other means of opening a new tab and they all suck.

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  27. The way it is now, we have the option to choose our own adventure/browsing style preference. Were ESB to dictate that clicking on the link opens a new tab/window, we would no longer be able to opt out of that with a right/ctrl/command click.

    I agree with danae in that I prefer when this choice is left up to me.

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  28. It's like people who prefer calling vs. people who prefer texting. Nobody's right and nobody's wrong but somebody's always annoyed.

    Move on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which is why I never tell anyone I have a phone. Heh.

      Delete
  29. I just middle click (with the scroll wheel) everything, because I never know if a link will open in a new window or not.

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  30. wow i can't believe you are getting shit for your answer. huh.

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  31. i always command + click, but i like having the option like esb says.

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  32. I didn't read ESB's response as mean or sarky btw, but mostly quite friendy, and expressing her own preferences. But fun discussion! WOO!

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  33. It pisses me OFF when links open in a new tab. If I want to open a new tab I'll ctrl+click myself. I'm with you, ESB.

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  34. I hate that when I click on '51 comments' it takes me to the END of the comments. I have to scroll up every time and it's annoying. Anything you can do about THAT?

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    Replies
    1. if you click on the post title instead, that will take you to the top of the individual post. that's what i do ;)

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    2. That's a workaround, yes. But after I've read through a post, I'm at the bottom of the post. So my options are: 1) scroll back to the top, click on the title, then scroll down past the post again. -or- 2) click on the '# comments' and scroll up to the top of the comments.

      I'm not THAT worried by it, but I figured since we were pointing out things, this was a good time to do it :)

      Delete
    3. Then click on the post title BEFORE reading the post, like I now do having followed ESB's excellent advice. Done, and done.

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    4. If you click on the timestamp link at the bottom of the post (e.g. 2:49 PM), it takes you to the top of the post page.

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  35. i too am annoyed by the link clicking away from your blog. been meaning to ask about that but now i've learned you can control click so problem solved? i vote for poll too! just to be scientific about it.

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  36. If anything, at least the comments on ESB are interesting to read. Most of the time on any given blog it's 105 comments saying "you are amazing!" or "read my blog too!" or some version of that.

    p.s. i don't mind using command+click to open my tabs.

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  37. I don't like it when I can't choose (either way - I dislike automatically opening tabs and I dislike blocking the ability to open a new tab).

    I've been right clicking and selecting new tab if I want one, but since reading this I just realized that I can middle click with the scroll wheel on my mouse! Yay!

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  38. Dear God..

    I'm glad your blog doesn't open in new tabs like all the others I frequent--I have problems enough managing the 50 odd tabs I have open consistently.
    yikess.

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  39. I had no idea this was such a polarizing topic. Or... two polarizing topics? link-click-tab / public responses to private e-mails... Whatever, it's your blog, ESB, do whatever you want.

    Also - I didn't know about ctrl+click (I used to right click but don't have a mouse anymore) so I'm happy for the new information).

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  40. I am simply amused by the number of anonymous comments. Really, this is the topic where you have to go anon?

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  41. "I bring this up because I have closed out your blog tab MANY times"

    right click tabs bar, click "undo close tab" jfc

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    Replies
    1. So true... or, even easier... just type eastsidebride.com

      Delete
  42. ESB - this lady clearly pushed a button, but what a nasty thing to do by humiliating her on your blog. Its not like she said anything remotely offensive and you've probably made her feel like shit.

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  43. NEW TABS! i didn't even know about the other options. and i like blogs. hmmmmm....

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yeah, I'm on Team New Tabs. Your site takes forever to load, and there are enough hiccups with comments loading in weird places already. Besides, if you're a source for information, keeping a tether to the original source by opening the new info in a new tab makes it easier to do a lot of sourcing at once.

    And good lord, what a bitchy response. If you were trying to come off as funny or light, it was a fail.

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  45. Wow!! I made it to a blog post?? I wrote that email on a whim, sleepy-eyed one night. Well, I have opinions and so do you, probably why I read your blog. Most of the sites I work on are marketing sites for products, so for them it works and makes sense. But for blogs, maybe something different...clearly a personal preference. Totally fine, totally cool!

    I honestly was just trying to be helpful and the fact that your response was hurtful and made public is disheartening.

    - Nosey Web Developer

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  46. Try not to be too hurt Nosey. I felt ESB's response fell into a gray area. You read it one way- it sounds frank, just a bit flippant, and ends with an affectionate xoxo. You read it another way, it borders on rude. But if ESB was TRYING to deliberately be hurtful, I think it would be a LOT more obvious. And it's not really public when your name isn't being used. So don't be disheartened. For what it's worth, I thought you gave good advice.

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  47. Eh, we're all pretty cunt-y here. Nosey, I'm web retarded, so I appreciated you writing in about the tab thingie, and reading everyone's responses about right-clicking/middle-clicking. Unintentionally you helped us all out.

    P.S. I always thought it was "GO JOE," too.

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  48. Aww... Don't feel bad, Nosey! I'm with you 100%, and have often gotten annoyed about accidentally closing ESB. But to each her own. Now I know about these fancy ways of opening up a tab, etc., we'll see how much I really care. I had no idea this was such a passionate preference amongst the people. I think ESB got a little hetted up because you assumed it wasn't a choice, that it was because she didn't know better. No biggie.

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  49. Dear esb email-writers/readers,

    If you've not cottoned on yet, this is the deal:

    - you read blog
    - you write email to esb
    - she responds, publicly, frankly and sometimes snarkily
    - comments go berserk

    This is what happens, and the number of times people then freak out about esb's response is just weird. If you don't like it, read something else.

    Nosey: you made a fair point, but telling someone that you think you can do their job better does invite this kind of response.

    Wow.

    ReplyDelete