Sunday, August 21, 2005

Should I let you leave my window...

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately. I've decided I prefer the focused posts to bloggers who seem to simply dump as many links in per post as possible.

Not that I dislike links; they have been the paths to some of my most enjoyable pong searches. (That's what I call following intriguing clicks that send me off in impulsive directions, and the object of the search is wherever I end up. Pong sounded better than "shiny object"...)

In a good pong search, you never go backwards. But when I'm reading blogs, I'm generally interested in both exploring the target of a link and finishing the post I'm reading. Too often, the link loads in the same window and may also contain an intriguing link that I want to follow, taking me further from the remainder of the first post. I guess I could finish reading the post, and then go back to the start and begin clicking, but that's not how I like to do it.

Since I can't depend on the blog owner giving each link a new window, I settle for right-click, Open in New Window.

And that started me thinking about what should be the default for blog-etiquette. I haven't discovered if there is such a default or, if there is, whether I violate it each time I add target=new to a link. I do know my preferences aren't universal. Some users may abhor multiple open windows - I know it confuses my mother.

So given two groups - A wants new targets, B wants one window - which default is least dissatisfying to all users?

  1. New target: A is satisfied, B is dissatisfied and must perform three actions (click link, return to first window, close first window)

  2. One window: B is satisfied; A is dissatisfied and must perform two actions (right-click, click Open in New Window)

For lack of any other compelling argument, I'll go with motion economy. One window. But because this is my blog, you're just going to have to close me.


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