Fixing the UX of hyperlinks
Nash Vail

is this a problem worth solving?

I think so. What I’ll say here is based just in experience and previous knowledge, not in researches.

Firstly, you have to questions yourself: am I trying to solve it for which users? The average ones or the advanced ones?

For the advanced ones, it seems that there is no problem. They can just use the browser resources to do that. As a representant of this type of users, I don’t want a browser extension to do what you are proposing. For me, two major problems about the UX of hyperlinks are (they make me feel out of interface contro):

  • Links that, by default, in an arbitrary way, opens a new tab/window.
  • Links that not permit to be opened in a new tab/window (javascript links, dammit!).

So, I think these two problems are more relevant. And they could be resolved more with good HTML practices than with extensions! And they affects, of course, not just the advanced users. Well, backing to the issue…

For the average ones, looking to the proposed solution, the first question I would do is: do they understand the difference between a “new tab” and a “new window”?

What if you try to simplify the available options (by default, at least)? Why not just two options? Open “here”, or open “outside”? In this case, “outside” would be the default browser behavior for anchors that has the attribute target=“_blank”.

I hope I’ve helped. Congrats!

P.S: I’m not an English speaker. Excuse me for any errors in text.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Gustavo Lima’s story.