You know what I grouch about with surprising zeal? Links that pop up in a new window.

You know what really tweaks me about it? Clients, IA's, and designers who favor such links because "we don't want the user to leave the site".

Hurr... then don't include hyperlinks in your page--they, by definition, allow a user to navigate from (ie. leave) one site to another. Better yet, stay off the web and stick to making glossy brochures or PDFs.


Archived Comments

  • Totally!
  • Preach it.
  • This would have been a non-issue if earlier user agents would have offered more control over links. (Safari is excellent in this regard, even more than Firefox) I configured Firefox to open _blank links into a new tab, for example.
  • There's a Greasemonkey script that kills target="_blank" at
  • I've found that arguing on the same basis as those who come up with the "don't leave the site" concept helps to make the case. The "don't leave the site" argument (wether they realize it or not) is based on the idea that users are too tech-phobic to use the back-button. Use the same argument - explain that some less-tech-savvy folks have a difficult time understanding that a pop-up browser window is actually a different window. They are not prepared to manage multiple windows, and often don't realize that the site they were on is still open in a window beneath the one they are looking at, frustration ensues. Then you can extol the near-universally understood behavior of the browser back-button, and hope for the best. I've also had luck with the "hit'em fast and low" approach. As soon as the new-window idea is suggested, mention something about that being considered not good anymore, outdated or some such. If you do it really fast and with conviction, sometimes they don't even have time to feel bad that you've shut down their idea.