Nielsen - Open non-web dots in new window

1 Sep 2005 - 8:36am
8 years ago
1 reply
517 reads
Jim Hoekema
2004

I agree with Nielsen's recommendation to open PDFs (and for that matter,
external sites) in a new window. I just wish there were an elegant visual
method of distinguish between such "new window" links and normal ones.

- Jim Hoekema
Mobius Management Systems, Rye NY

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Hegle Sarapuu
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 6:21 AM
To: discuss at ixdg.org
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Nielsen - Open non web documents in a new window

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Hi,

I haven't reed any of follow e-mail of that question. Sorry if I repeat
anyone...

We use OpenOffice for that :) it works nice.

Best,
Hegle Sarapuu

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Matthew Goddard
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 11:50 AM
To: discuss at ixdg.org
Subject: [ID Discuss] Nielsen - Open non web documents in a new window

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Hi List

Nielsen's most recent article on useit.com recommends that all non web
documents should be opened in a new window.

I was wondering if anyone had any comments on what he's written? I'm
particularly interested if anyone has any evidence to support or disprove
his assertion?

I'm asking because I'm just about to offer some foreign language content on
our site in PDF format (unfortunately I can't have it converted to html
within the release schedule I have) and want as much as possible to follow
"best practice".

As an aside: does any one know of a tool or server control which could
convert a PDF to html on the fly?

Kind Regards

Matt

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Comments

1 Sep 2005 - 11:03am
Austin Govella
2004

Jim Hoekema wrote:
> I agree with Nielsen's recommendation to open PDFs (and for that matter,
> external sites) in a new window. I just wish there were an elegant visual
> method of distinguish between such "new window" links and normal ones.

Small icons are good to indicate external sites and other documents
(PDFs, etc.). Production-wise, they should be controlled by appling a
CSS class to the link.

On my portfolio site, all of the document icons for each docuement
type (FlashPaper and PDF) are background images:
* http://austingovella.com/

Matthew Goddard wrote:
> I'm asking because I'm just about to offer some foreign language content on
> our site in PDF format (unfortunately I can't have it converted to html
> within the release schedule I have) and want as much as possible to follow
> "best practice".

Opening a new indow seems like a good idea. Best practice dictates
it's more important to indicate the link will open a document.
Particulary important to note PDFs since they freeze the browser while
the PDF engine loads, and still, after many years, sometimes crash the
browser.

You should indicate PDFs and other documents (downloads, Word, etc.)
because browsers expect links on the web to lead to other web pages.
As a general rule, any time an action has a result that not normally
expected, you should qualify the action so users can adjust their
expectations.

For PDFs, I'd rather have the option to open or download. All these
documents opening in the browser annoy me. Has anyone done any testing
in this area?

> As an aside: does any one know of a tool or server control which could
> convert a PDF to html on the fly?

Every coding language has numerous open source and commercial options
for converting content to PDF. Google your server set-up and "PDF".

--
Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
http://thinkingandmaking.com
austin.govella at gmail.com

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