[thelist] Pop-up Blocker v. Opening a new window

Jeff Howden jeff at jeffhowden.com
Mon Jun 13 13:39:15 CDT 2005


> From: T--
> > Do your users like those things opening in a new
> > window, though? This is why browsers have a right
> > click menu with "open in new window" [...]
> For the longest time, I myself did not know abou the 
> "open in new window" option on the RIGHT-CLICK menu.  
> In fact, I find that many users (particularly in my
> clients demographic) do not know about, forget about,
> or at least do not use the RIGHT-CLICK menu at all.
> [That would be a good site survey question.]

If the user does not know about the ability to right-click a link to get an
"open link in a new window" option or to shift or ctrl-click a link to open
it in a new window then they're also not likely to be comfortable working
with more than one window at a time.  So, using the argument that they don't
know how to open a new window in support of opening that new window yourself
just doesn't hold water.

>  ...As a web savvy user, I _do_ like those things
> opening in a new window.   In fact, I open most
> (perhaps all) non-essential links into a new window,
> especially 3rd party sites linked to the subject page, 
> using the RIGHT-CLICK menu.

When it comes to a client's site, it's not about what *you* like, but what
the client's audience will like/be able to use.

> As 50% of web users, I connect using dial-up (right now
> connected at a whopping 26K).  So, I especially am 
> adverse to page loads. Just give me a simple pop-up with
> the enlarged photo, thank you.  It seems visually less
> intrusive to me.  Perhaps it is less a preference for
> high-speed connectors. [...]

Actually, the irony is that users that connect via broadband are even more
impatient/demanding than users on dial-up, in general.

> Again, in the specific instance here, of the Order Form,
> we (me and client) like the pop-up fine. [...]

Whether or not you or the client like it is completely irrelevant to whether
it should be used on the site or not.  The question you and the client ought
to be asking yourselves is whether or not it's *really* serving your
client's customers and whether pride is coloring that perception or not.

> > [...] Just about all of these, I would want opening in
> > the same window. On the occasions I would want a new
> > window, I'd want it the same size, not any smaller
> > than my current browser window.
> Well, you can see that it is all a matter of taste, as
> I prefer the opposite.

... and you'll cling to that even though you're in the minority and the
popup is a solution to a problem that wouldn't even exist if the parent
application were designed properly.

 [>] Jeff Howden
     jeff at jeffhowden.com

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