WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Question about links opening in new tabs/windows

for

From: Jens O. Meiert
Date: Dec 5, 2013 2:43PM


Interesting thread.

To share some of my experience, I’m a friend of the “if a non-disabled
user has the same issue, it’s not an accessibility problem” school of
thought (in a sense of locking users out), and the notification
question is then not one of accessibility.

I also subscribe to the approach of “[if] a browser or adaptive
technology can or should handle an accessibility issue, I won’t,”
propagated by Joe Clark in 2007 [1], and the notification question is
now a tool one.

Then, when it comes to links the Web seems to have matured enough that
we can say that

1) links should open in the same window (unless they invoke a
different application [2]), because it’s _the user_ who can and should
control how links are handled (like opening a link in a new window if
so desired), and

2) links do not need any particular highlighting (unless invoking
different applications too as for email or document links, which can
be done through appropriate link wording as in e.g.
“<a> <EMAIL REMOVED> </a>”).

And to add a principle then, for good measure, it typically pays off
to keep it simple. That means, a plain simple a@href that is styled so
to be recognizable as a link and indicates when it has been visited
should be enough in 99% of all cases.

This is all to say, use simple links, skip the extras, and don’t worry
about them.


[1] http://joeclark.org/appearances/atmedia2007/
[2] http://www.nngroup.com/articles/open-new-windows-for-pdfs/

--
Jens O. Meiert
http://meiert.com/en/

✍ New book! http://meiert.com/everyday-adventurer