ePortfolio - open links (docs) in new or same tab ?

Subject: ePortfolio - open links (docs) in new or same tab ?
From: "Monique Semp" <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TechWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2012 07:11:41 -0700

Hello, TechWR-L-ers,

Iâm debating whether to open docs from an ePortfolioâs primary content/navigation page in new tabs or in the same tab, and would appreciate your opinions.

Standard usability wisdom says that with very few exceptions, itâs much better to use the same tab instead of opening new tabs for link targets.

But my own personal preference (and that of the one non-software engineer I asked â heâs my husband in case youâre wondering why I asked a non-software engineer!) is to open docs in separate tabs.

So, what are your thoughts?

By using separate tabs, I can keep the primary navigation/content window viewable, look at multiple docs simultaneously, close a doc by closing the tab and still have my primary viewing tabâs contents available, etc. (Yes, I could certainly right-click the link and open in new tab/window, and I do that a majority of the time, but not all the time.)

But regardless of my personal preference, itâs mighty hard to go contrary to âconventional wisdomâ such as the following:

* http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2008/07/01/should-links-open-in-new-windows/
* http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html â Jakob Nielsen from 1999
* http://www.useit.com/alertbox/open_new_windows.html â Jakob Nielson update from 2005
* http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2405505/usability-study-of-opening-links-in-a-new-browser-window â not conventional wisdom, but an interesting perspective from programmers and additional links on the subject

Looking forward to usability opinions,
-Monique


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