Should links open new windows?

This question of whether a link on a website should, when clicked, open a new browser window/tab or simply use the currently open window has been heavily debated elsewhere, but not so much within the insights world. Until relatively recently, the general advice was to open external links in a new browser window or tab, for example by using the target=”_blank” instruction the HTML. However, more recently a well-informed, vocal, and at times vitriolic group of the digerati have been pushing for a change, suggesting that external links should show their content in the current browser window. The case for NOT opening a new window The alternative to opening a new window when somebody clicks on an external link (like this link [http://www.aphoenix.ca/why-external-links-should-not-open-in-new-tabs-01/] to an article on this topic elsewhere), is to use the current window/tab to show the new location. There are broadly three advantages to NOT opening a new window/tab: Opening in the same window puts the user in charge, rather than letting the content provider influence the choice. If the user wants to use a new window or tab, they can right-click (or similar on non-windows devices) and select “Open in new window” or “Open in new […]