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Link Destination - New or Same Window

Best Practice

  • Open Links to Documents In a New Window: All links to documents should open in a new window.
    • Reasoning: When people are finished using PDF files and similar documents, research has shown they click the window's close box instead of using the back button. This action closes their entire browser window instead of pointing them back to the webpage from where they started.
    • Resource: Open New Windows for PDF and Other Non-Web Documents by Jakob Nielsen
  • Open Links to Webpages In the Same Window: All links to other pages within the same website or links to external URLs should open in the same window.
    • Reasoning: Opening new webpages in the same browser window allows a user to use their browser tools (e.g., the Back button) throughout their web experience. Research has shown the Back button is the second most used feature on the Internet (after hyperlinks).
    • Resource: Open New Windows for PDF and Other Non-Web Documents by Jakob Nielsen
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