[Web4lib] Is a new browser window always a no-no?

Cary Gordon listuser at chillco.com
Wed Mar 19 16:55:54 EDT 2008

FWIW, opening a link in a target window is not a pop-up. The term  
originally meant a window that opened automatically (via Javascript)  
when you went to a new page. The nature of many pop-up blockers has  
extended that to include almost any Javascript generated new window.

Cary Gordon
The Cherry Hill Company

On Mar 19, 2008, at 12:25 PM, Jon Gorman wrote:

> A couple of issues:
> First, many browsers block popups.  Most are smat enough to allow
> popups from the same domain, but you might still run into issues.
> Popup ads are generally regarded with loathing.  There are also
> navigation issues with separate windows.  Many, many users maximize
> their windows.  In this case if that initial window isn't constructed
> carefully and you don't make sure to have it always gain focus when
> someone selects a link, it can be confusing as the links appear to do
> nothing, since they're changing the link but nothing is changing in
> the window they are looking at.
> I do remember reading some reports way back that many people were not
> familiar with the back button which is why it was always recommend for
> people to have "outs".  Still not a bad idea, but I seem to remember
> some reports that suggest more people are comfortable with the
> navigation elements and tend to actually prefer bouncing around.
> In the end, I think pop up might be useful in this case, but I do
> wonder if the use you're imagining is going to be the case.  Are users
> really going to be going through the new books list and requesting so
> many books that opening another window will be quicker and easier?  To
> tell the truth, I'd try to do some very rough testing.  Make up a
> version of the booklist that does what you like.  Try to get a variety
> of people to try it out and watch over their shoulder and see if they
> have any confusion.  Don't tell them the mechanism and do it on their
> computers and any of the library computers.  Actual patrons would be
> ideal, but otherwise a variety of staff is good as well.
> Jon Gorman

More information about the Web4lib mailing list