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Thread: external links & new windows

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Number of posts in this thread: 12 (In chronological order)

From: Nathalie Sequeira
Date: Mon, Nov 08 2010 3:21AM
Subject: external links & new windows
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Hello list,

I've been pondering this topic for a while now and have gotten nowhere
definite, which is why I'd like to ask for your opinions on the matter:

In the past, I had established a homogenous practice for links that went
thus:
- links to pages on the same website open in the same window/ tab
- links to pages on external websites open in new window/tab, the title
attribute containing the forewarning "opens in new window" along with
supplemental infos on the content awaiting the user behind the link,
when appropriate.

The "sighted" rationale behind this was, that users often spend some
time on linked external sites, surfing around there, but then may want
to return to the "main branch" of their reading.
For sighted users, this is achieved simply by closing the separate new
window - as compared to the nuisance of hitting back X times or
searching for the original page in the (possibly long!) back-dropdown
list. This was also appreciated as useful by the user base.
My assumption had been that similar would be true for blind users, and
all was well --
*until I was confronted with the fact that screen readers do not read
title-attributes consistently/reliably.*
Ooops!

To contain the "new window" warning in visible text may be OK in a list
of links, but it gets rather cumbersome with links in a text. And I
haven't seen any sites doing that in ways that would be perceivable to
screen reader users (css stylings for sighted people, yes: little arrows
or web-icons added in, different colors, etc.).

The alternative, not to link externally at all, does not feel right
either however - due to the aforementioned rationale concerning ease of
use.
Leaving the choice to the user would be viable IF people were widely
aware of the fact that e.g. mouse-users can choose to open links in new
tabs or not (is there a similar mechanism for screen reader users?), but
are they?

So what to do?
What practices do you adopt in dealing with external links? Do you use
new windows/tabs at all?
And if you do open in new windows/tabs, how do you go about forewarning
the user perceivably but at the same time unobrtrusively?

Thanks so much for any light you can cast upon this :)
Nathalie

From: Dawn Budge
Date: Mon, Nov 08 2010 5:00AM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

Have you considered putting your icons as an inline image (i.e. using <img>
element? That way you can use the alt attribute to put in text along the
lines of (external site opens in new window) which will be read out to the
screenreader.
Dawn

----------------------------------------
From: "Nathalie Sequeira" < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Sent: 08 November 2010 10:21
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
Subject: [WebAIM] external links & new windows

Hello list,

I've been pondering this topic for a while now and have gotten nowhere
definite, which is why I'd like to ask for your opinions on the matter:

In the past, I had established a homogenous practice for links that went
thus:
- links to pages on the same website open in the same window/ tab
- links to pages on external websites open in new window/tab, the title
attribute containing the forewarning "opens in new window" along with
supplemental infos on the content awaiting the user behind the link,
when appropriate.

The "sighted" rationale behind this was, that users often spend some
time on linked external sites, surfing around there, but then may want
to return to the "main branch" of their reading.
For sighted users, this is achieved simply by closing the separate new
window - as compared to the nuisance of hitting back X times or
searching for the original page in the (possibly long!) back-dropdown
list. This was also appreciated as useful by the user base.
My assumption had been that similar would be true for blind users, and
all was well --
*until I was confronted with the fact that screen readers do not read
title-attributes consistently/reliably.*
Ooops!

To contain the "new window" warning in visible text may be OK in a list
of links, but it gets rather cumbersome with links in a text. And I
haven't seen any sites doing that in ways that would be perceivable to
screen reader users (css stylings for sighted people, yes: little arrows
or web-icons added in, different colors, etc.).

The alternative, not to link externally at all, does not feel right
either however - due to the aforementioned rationale concerning ease of
use.
Leaving the choice to the user would be viable IF people were widely
aware of the fact that e.g. mouse-users can choose to open links in new
tabs or not (is there a similar mechanism for screen reader users?), but
are they?

So what to do?
What practices do you adopt in dealing with external links? Do you use
new windows/tabs at all?
And if you do open in new windows/tabs, how do you go about forewarning
the user perceivably but at the same time unobrtrusively?

Thanks so much for any light you can cast upon this :)
Nathalie

From: Terrill Bennett
Date: Mon, Nov 08 2010 5:06AM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

Nathalie,

The following is a *normal* function of the *browser*, with or
without a screen reader. It works with Firefox, IE, Google Chrome,
etc. After TABBING to a link:

* Pressing Ctrl+Enter opens a new tab in the background.
* Pressing Ctrl+Shit+Enter opens a new tab in the foreground.

Any user can the control tabs in a number of ways...

* Ctrl+Tab to move to the next tab
* Ctrl+Shit+Tab to move to the previous tab
* Ctrl+F4 to close the current tab, etc.
* Ctrl+N where N is between 1 and 5 (?) takes you to that tab number
in the window
* Ctrl+9 takes you to the last tab in the window

Again, no screen reader involved in any of the above. Just your
browser. But if you're using a reader, they work, too.

Hidden text can be added to links, which will only be seen by users
with styles turned off, users who override the styles on a site with
their own, and screen readers. Some will say Google will dock you
points for hidden text, but Google has stated otherwise - Google
isn't stupid, and they know the difference between padding your site
with text to raise your score, and text that's just text (even Google
has hidden text on it's own news site).

I have an example, here:
http://bennett1.org/demoCode/linkWithHiddenTxt.html

And a recording and transcript of NVDA reading the entire page, and
after I press Tab, NVDA reads just the link:
http://bennett1.org/demoCode/linkWithHiddenTxt.mp3
http://bennett1.org/demoCode/linkWithHiddenTxt.txt

Transcript, for your convenience:

Link with Hidden Text
visited link The Google search engine needs your hits!
More stuff goes here.
tab
The Google search engine needs your hits! visited link


-- terrill --


At 05:20 AM 11/8/2010, you wrote:
>Hello list,
>
>I've been pondering this topic for a while now and have gotten nowhere
>definite, which is why I'd like to ask for your opinions on the matter:
>
>In the past, I had established a homogenous practice for links that went
>thus:
>- links to pages on the same website open in the same window/ tab
>- links to pages on external websites open in new window/tab, the title
>attribute containing the forewarning "opens in new window" along with
>supplemental infos on the content awaiting the user behind the link,
>when appropriate.
>
>The "sighted" rationale behind this was, that users often spend some
>time on linked external sites, surfing around there, but then may want
>to return to the "main branch" of their reading.
>For sighted users, this is achieved simply by closing the separate new
>window - as compared to the nuisance of hitting back X times or
>searching for the original page in the (possibly long!) back-dropdown
>list. This was also appreciated as useful by the user base.
>My assumption had been that similar would be true for blind users, and
>all was well --
>*until I was confronted with the fact that screen readers do not read
>title-attributes consistently/reliably.*
>Ooops!
>
>To contain the "new window" warning in visible text may be OK in a list
>of links, but it gets rather cumbersome with links in a text. And I
>haven't seen any sites doing that in ways that would be perceivable to
>screen reader users (css stylings for sighted people, yes: little arrows
>or web-icons added in, different colors, etc.).
>
>The alternative, not to link externally at all, does not feel right
>either however - due to the aforementioned rationale concerning ease of
>use.
>Leaving the choice to the user would be viable IF people were widely
>aware of the fact that e.g. mouse-users can choose to open links in new
>tabs or not (is there a similar mechanism for screen reader users?), but
>are they?
>
>So what to do?
>What practices do you adopt in dealing with external links? Do you use
>new windows/tabs at all?
>And if you do open in new windows/tabs, how do you go about forewarning
>the user perceivably but at the same time unobrtrusively?
>
>Thanks so much for any light you can cast upon this :)
>Nathalie
>
>

From: Accessibility India
Date: Mon, Nov 08 2010 5:12AM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

If you are looking at screen readers in specific I would suggest
placing the content "Opens in new windo" and hide it with CSS. It even
does not disturb the existing design. If it is not a problem if the
design is changed you can place an icon near the link and provide the
appropriate alternate text as "External website" or "Opens in new
window".
If you have similar links continously you can provide the information
just before bunch of links saying "All the links belo opens in a new
browser windo"
Hope it helps.
On 11/8/10, Nathalie Sequeira < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Hello list,
>
> I've been pondering this topic for a while now and have gotten nowhere
> definite, which is why I'd like to ask for your opinions on the matter:
>
> In the past, I had established a homogenous practice for links that went
> thus:
> - links to pages on the same website open in the same window/ tab
> - links to pages on external websites open in new window/tab, the title
> attribute containing the forewarning "opens in new window" along with
> supplemental infos on the content awaiting the user behind the link,
> when appropriate.
>
> The "sighted" rationale behind this was, that users often spend some
> time on linked external sites, surfing around there, but then may want
> to return to the "main branch" of their reading.
> For sighted users, this is achieved simply by closing the separate new
> window - as compared to the nuisance of hitting back X times or
> searching for the original page in the (possibly long!) back-dropdown
> list. This was also appreciated as useful by the user base.
> My assumption had been that similar would be true for blind users, and
> all was well --
> *until I was confronted with the fact that screen readers do not read
> title-attributes consistently/reliably.*
> Ooops!
>
> To contain the "new window" warning in visible text may be OK in a list
> of links, but it gets rather cumbersome with links in a text. And I
> haven't seen any sites doing that in ways that would be perceivable to
> screen reader users (css stylings for sighted people, yes: little arrows
> or web-icons added in, different colors, etc.).
>
> The alternative, not to link externally at all, does not feel right
> either however - due to the aforementioned rationale concerning ease of
> use.
> Leaving the choice to the user would be viable IF people were widely
> aware of the fact that e.g. mouse-users can choose to open links in new
> tabs or not (is there a similar mechanism for screen reader users?), but
> are they?
>
> So what to do?
> What practices do you adopt in dealing with external links? Do you use
> new windows/tabs at all?
> And if you do open in new windows/tabs, how do you go about forewarning
> the user perceivably but at the same time unobrtrusively?
>
> Thanks so much for any light you can cast upon this :)
> Nathalie
>
>

From: Jared Smith
Date: Mon, Nov 08 2010 7:36AM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:02 AM, Terrill Bennett wrote:
> Some will say Google will dock you
> points for hidden text, but Google has stated otherwise - Google
> isn't stupid, and they know the difference between padding your site
> with text to raise your score, and text that's just text (even Google
> has hidden text on it's own news site).

This specific example, however, is a case where hidden text *will*
affect your search engine optimization. It's not the fault of Google,
it's just a matter of what you are presenting to the search engine.

If your link text is "WebAIM", for example, the word "WebAIM" is used
to help determine the content of the linked page and established the
content that associates your page with the linked page. If the link
text is "WebAIM - link opens in a new window" (or similar), then all
of this text is used and the true content and relationship will be
diluted.

There are some cases where additional text is quite useful to screen
reader users, but when it comes to pop-up windows, I recommend giving
the user control over this by allowing all links to open in the same
window. Any perceived usability issues with same-page links are, in my
opinion, far outweighed by potential usability and accessibility
issues of dealing with the new and multiple windows. Another
significant argument for this is mobile browsers where new windows and
shifting between windows is quite a hassle.

Jared Smith
WebAIM

From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Mon, Nov 08 2010 11:27AM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

Nathalie, this is a case where I actually have testing data. It's been a couple of years, and we don't write up and publish our results, but something like 30 people, perhaps 35, participated in our study, so we have quite a bit of confidence in the validity of our results.

The design we were testing had precisely the feature you mention: Links to "this" site open in the same tab; links to "other" sites open in a new tab. The programmers were convinced that all our users would regard this behavior as a feature -- because the original site would always remain open, they would be able to go back to it easily. I pointed out that people who use screen readers and screen magnifiers often find this behavior disorienting, but our programmers were convinced that we could find a way around that problem.

I should mention that none of the study participants had any noticeable form of disability. They represented a wide range of familiarity with the application being modified, represented a wide range of familiarity with the Web in general, and ranged in age from the lower 20s to about 60. Their educational background ranged from high school diploma or equivalent to multiple advanced degrees in engineering, management, and law.

Our participants resoundingly demonstrated that we should not interfere with the user's control of the browser's behavior:
- None of our participants immediately recognized when a new tab had opened. They all expected their browser's "Back" button to return them to the previous view.
- Most participants became disoriented when the "Back" button failed to work -- even participants who themselves had been opening other sites in new tabs. (For example, some of them went to their own website to get representative data to use in testing our application. They had no problem finding the application's tab when they had chosen to open a new tab, but they generally could not figure out what happened when the application had opened a new tab without their requesting it.)
- Only one participant quickly figured out that a new tab had opened on him. He tried the "Back" button twice before realizing that, if it was broken, he must be in a new tab.
- Several participants eventually realized what had happened and started closing tabs to get back to the application -- and wound up closing the application by mistake.
- A few participants, including some with quite a bit of experience with the Web, hit the frustration point without figuring out what had happened. (We told them and got them reoriented to continue the test.)

So, what users want most is the ability to control your application or website. As Terrill pointed out, there are many ways a user can open a new tab quickly and easily whenever they want to. As our study showed, when you do it "for" them, they at least have to stop and think about the interface instead of their task and at worst are completely baffled.

You could test different ways of marking "new tab" links until you found one that worked reliably for your site's users, but guess what? You would be introducing content that has nothing to do with their task and everything to do with explaining how the interface works. So you would still be better off letting your users decide for themselves how each link should behave.

And besides, it's a lot easier for you to code.

Cliff

Cliff Tyllick
Usability assessment coordinator
Agency Communications Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
512-239-4516
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

>>> On 11/8/2010 at 4:20 AM, in message < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >, Nathalie Sequeira < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
Hello list,

I've been pondering this topic for a while now and have gotten nowhere
definite, which is why I'd like to ask for your opinions on the matter:

In the past, I had established a homogenous practice for links that went
thus:
- links to pages on the same website open in the same window/ tab
- links to pages on external websites open in new window/tab, the title
attribute containing the forewarning "opens in new window" along with
supplemental infos on the content awaiting the user behind the link,
when appropriate.

The "sighted" rationale behind this was, that users often spend some
time on linked external sites, surfing around there, but then may want
to return to the "main branch" of their reading.
For sighted users, this is achieved simply by closing the separate new
window - as compared to the nuisance of hitting back X times or
searching for the original page in the (possibly long!) back-dropdown
list. This was also appreciated as useful by the user base.
My assumption had been that similar would be true for blind users, and
all was well --
*until I was confronted with the fact that screen readers do not read
title-attributes consistently/reliably.*
Ooops!

To contain the "new window" warning in visible text may be OK in a list
of links, but it gets rather cumbersome with links in a text. And I
haven't seen any sites doing that in ways that would be perceivable to
screen reader users (css stylings for sighted people, yes: little arrows
or web-icons added in, different colors, etc.).

The alternative, not to link externally at all, does not feel right
either however - due to the aforementioned rationale concerning ease of
use.
Leaving the choice to the user would be viable IF people were widely
aware of the fact that e.g. mouse-users can choose to open links in new
tabs or not (is there a similar mechanism for screen reader users?), but
are they?

So what to do?
What practices do you adopt in dealing with external links? Do you use
new windows/tabs at all?
And if you do open in new windows/tabs, how do you go about forewarning
the user perceivably but at the same time unobrtrusively?

Thanks so much for any light you can cast upon this :)
Nathalie

From: Chris Hoffman
Date: Tue, Nov 09 2010 4:42PM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

If consensus is, as it seems to be, tha opening pages in new tabs or windows is a bad idea, the there are still two cases in which some sort of notification about the link target might be deemed helpful. One is for links that go to other sites, and the other is for links to non-HTML resources (PDFs, video files, etc.)

With Jared's comments about SEO dilution in mind, is there a good solution for these cases?

Chris



On Nov 8, 2010, at 9:34 AM, Jared Smith < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:02 AM, Terrill Bennett wrote:
>> Some will say Google will dock you
>> points for hidden text, but Google has stated otherwise - Google
>> isn't stupid, and they know the difference between padding your site
>> with text to raise your score, and text that's just text (even Google
>> has hidden text on it's own news site).
>
> This specific example, however, is a case where hidden text *will*
> affect your search engine optimization. It's not the fault of Google,
> it's just a matter of what you are presenting to the search engine.
>
> If your link text is "WebAIM", for example, the word "WebAIM" is used
> to help determine the content of the linked page and established the
> content that associates your page with the linked page. If the link
> text is "WebAIM - link opens in a new window" (or similar), then all
> of this text is used and the true content and relationship will be
> diluted.
>
> There are some cases where additional text is quite useful to screen
> reader users, but when it comes to pop-up windows, I recommend giving
> the user control over this by allowing all links to open in the same
> window. Any perceived usability issues with same-page links are, in my
> opinion, far outweighed by potential usability and accessibility
> issues of dealing with the new and multiple windows. Another
> significant argument for this is mobile browsers where new windows and
> shifting between windows is quite a hassle.
>
> Jared Smith
> WebAIM
>

From: Jared Smith
Date: Tue, Nov 09 2010 6:15PM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 4:42 PM, Chris Hoffman wrote:

> One is for links that go to other sites, and the other is for links to non-HTML resources (PDFs, video files, etc.)

Perhaps hidden in this argument is the suggestion that users don't
overly care if it's a link to another site.

The file type, however, is pretty important information and should
probably be presented to everyone, not just screen reader users.
Having this information in the link would also be very useful for SEO.

> With Jared's comments about SEO dilution in mind, is there a good solution for these cases?

A good, though not perfect, solution is to write the content to the
link using JavaScript after page load. The WebAIM site currently uses
hidden text and a visible background icon for external links. We will
probably dynamically add this text and icon using JavaScript in a
future site release. You don't even have to give the link a class name
- just detect whether it links to someplace other than your own domain
and then add the class name and text if appropriate.

Jared

From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Tue, Nov 09 2010 6:36PM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

I wholeheartedly agree. In an earlier test, probing something else entirely, I had one user get upset when closing her view of a PDF also closed the browser. She fully expected it to open in the browser, but in a new window (this was before tabs were very common).

That's anecdotal, but we've made PDF links open new windows ever since and have had no complaints.

Cliff

>>> On 11/9/2010 at 7:09 PM, in message <AANLkTintfODoyrdRur0K=1Mbp+ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >, Jared Smith < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 4:42 PM, Chris Hoffman wrote:

> One is for links that go to other sites, and the other is for links to non-HTML resources (PDFs, video files, etc.)

Perhaps hidden in this argument is the suggestion that users don't
overly care if it's a link to another site.

The file type, however, is pretty important information and should
probably be presented to everyone, not just screen reader users.
Having this information in the link would also be very useful for SEO.

> With Jared's comments about SEO dilution in mind, is there a good solution for these cases?

A good, though not perfect, solution is to write the content to the
link using JavaScript after page load. The WebAIM site currently uses
hidden text and a visible background icon for external links. We will
probably dynamically add this text and icon using JavaScript in a
future site release. You don't even have to give the link a class name
- just detect whether it links to someplace other than your own domain
and then add the class name and text if appropriate.

Jared

From: Nathalie Sequeira
Date: Sat, Nov 27 2010 8:03AM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

Hello,
please excuse my very late response (I had a bicycle accident and have
been becoming sensitized to what it's like to have no hands... though
only temporarily.)

Thank you all very much for your thoughts and findings - I'm almost
cured of new-window-itis.
A client of mine, however, is now requiring that I document our change
in linking policy - i.e., indicate founded sources that corroborate that
opening external links in same window is, indeed, more acccessible...
I have been thinking of setting up a test suite and doing some good user
testing on ambiguous questions such as this, but still feel
not-quite-competent to do so, since I perceive user testing as a very
complex thing.
Thus, I'd be very grateful for pointers!


>>>> On 11/9/2010 Jared Smith wrote:
>>>>
> On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 4:42 PM, Chris Hoffman wrote:
>
>
>> One is for links that go to other sites, and the other is for links to non-HTML resources (PDFs, video files, etc.)
>>
>
> Perhaps hidden in this argument is the suggestion that users don't
> overly care if it's a link to another site.
>
Well yes, maybe it IS also a bit of a "tick" on the developer end to
exaggerate the importance of whether a link is external or not.

But if all our well-worded link texts, titles, "(pdf)"-labelling and
whatnot aim at demystifying where a link is going to take us,
my reasoning is that indicating that a link leads to an external site IS
a relevant bit of information for users as well (after all, user will
encounter a different site structure, layout, ... there).


>> With Jared's comments about SEO dilution in mind, is there a good solution for these cases?
>>
>
> A good, though not perfect, solution is to write the content to the
> link using JavaScript after page load. The WebAIM site currently uses
> hidden text and a visible background icon for external links. We will
> probably dynamically add this text and icon using JavaScript in a
> future site release. You don't even have to give the link a class name
> - just detect whether it links to someplace other than your own domain
> and then add the class name and text if appropriate.
>
The only issue I have with this is that with javascripting turned off
the "external" information is also lost (= your "though not perfect"?)
Of course, IF one chooses to peruse the link target adress & compare to
the present site's, one can still see one will be going off-site.
But who does that??? :)

Nathalie

From: Terrill Bennett
Date: Sat, Nov 27 2010 11:39AM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
← Previous message | Next message →

If one is on a link, and wants a new tab or window, simply pressing
Ctrl+Enter - and it's done. It's a browser-thing, no Assitive
technology required. But THEY opened the new tab or window, so they
know it's there.

But, here's what W3C has to say:
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/G200.html

Note W3C doesn't say you CAN'T open links to new windows, but does
say "...it is better not to open new windows and tabs since they can
be disorienting for people, especially people who have difficulty
perceiving visual content." Imagine, for example, people using a
screen magnifier who may not notice.

Jacob Nielsen's #2 in 1999, and #9 in 2007:
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html

Dive Into Accessibility says it's not a great idea:
http://diveintoaccessibility.org/day_16_not_opening_new_windows.html

Jim Thatcher says it's disorienting:
http://www.jimthatcher.com/knowbility/65t.htm

I'm sure there's more. but this should get you started.

-- terrill --

At 10:03 AM 11/27/2010, you wrote:
>Hello,
>please excuse my very late response (I had a bicycle accident and have
>been becoming sensitized to what it's like to have no hands... though
>only temporarily.)
>
>Thank you all very much for your thoughts and findings - I'm almost
>cured of new-window-itis.
>A client of mine, however, is now requiring that I document our change
>in linking policy - i.e., indicate founded sources that corroborate that
>opening external links in same window is, indeed, more acccessible...
>I have been thinking of setting up a test suite and doing some good user
>testing on ambiguous questions such as this, but still feel
>not-quite-competent to do so, since I perceive user testing as a very
>complex thing.
>Thus, I'd be very grateful for pointers!
>
>
> >>>> On 11/9/2010 Jared Smith wrote:
> >>>>
> > On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 4:42 PM, Chris Hoffman wrote:
> >
> >
> >> One is for links that go to other sites, and the other is for
> links to non-HTML resources (PDFs, video files, etc.)
> >>
> >
> > Perhaps hidden in this argument is the suggestion that users don't
> > overly care if it's a link to another site.
> >
>Well yes, maybe it IS also a bit of a "tick" on the developer end to
>exaggerate the importance of whether a link is external or not.
>
>But if all our well-worded link texts, titles, "(pdf)"-labelling and
>whatnot aim at demystifying where a link is going to take us,
>my reasoning is that indicating that a link leads to an external site IS
>a relevant bit of information for users as well (after all, user will
>encounter a different site structure, layout, ... there).
>
>
> >> With Jared's comments about SEO dilution in mind, is there a
> good solution for these cases?
> >>
> >
> > A good, though not perfect, solution is to write the content to the
> > link using JavaScript after page load. The WebAIM site currently uses
> > hidden text and a visible background icon for external links. We will
> > probably dynamically add this text and icon using JavaScript in a
> > future site release. You don't even have to give the link a class name
> > - just detect whether it links to someplace other than your own domain
> > and then add the class name and text if appropriate.
> >
>The only issue I have with this is that with javascripting turned off
>the "external" information is also lost (= your "though not perfect"?)
>Of course, IF one chooses to peruse the link target adress & compare to
>the present site's, one can still see one will be going off-site.
>But who does that??? :)
>
>Nathalie
>
>
>

From: Nathalie Sequeira
Date: Mon, Dec 06 2010 1:45AM
Subject: Re: external links & new windows
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Hello Terrill,
thank you very much - I stand abashed, esp. regarding the WCAG-techs,
which I studied not many moons ago (but got all confused over content
vs. context ;))...
I searched further, could not, however, find any more authoritative
sources than the ones you indicated.

The only open-ended thing in this matter remains how to indicate that a
link is external - clearly but at the same time unobtrusively.
And that, I believe, will always have to be a situation-dependent decision.
Thanks again for the help!
Nathalie

Terrill Bennett schrieb:
> But, here's what W3C has to say:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/G200.html
>
> Note W3C doesn't say you CAN'T open links to new windows, but does
> say "...it is better not to open new windows and tabs since they can
> be disorienting for people, especially people who have difficulty
> perceiving visual content." Imagine, for example, people using a
> screen magnifier who may not notice.
>
> Jacob Nielsen's #2 in 1999, and #9 in 2007:
> http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html
> http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html
>
> Dive Into Accessibility says it's not a great idea:
> http://diveintoaccessibility.org/day_16_not_opening_new_windows.html
>
> Jim Thatcher says it's disorienting:
> http://www.jimthatcher.com/knowbility/65t.htm
>
> I'm sure there's more. but this should get you started.
>
> -- terrill --
>
>