Reading Common web app usability gotchas? I felt guilty when I read that using a
target = "_blank" is a bad thing.
I have developed a small web application that format Stack Exchange questions in a printer-friendly view and I feel there's something broken in the interface about the
target = "_blank" navigation experience.
Let me explain:
- people could insert a question Id and print it by clicking "print" button
- printer-friendly view is opened on the same page
- people could return to the homepage clicking a small Home icon on the upper left corner of the page.
I think there's nothing wrong with this (though any feedback is appreciated).
- People could browse a list of questions
- Clicking a small "printer" icon a printer-friendly view is opened in a new window (
target = "_blank")
- Focus from the "questions list" page is lost
- People should click again on the "questions list" page
- People could print another questions from the "questions list" page
Why I did this?
Gmail "print" feature works like this (opening a new page)
Because I wanted to give the opportunity to print a bunch of questions at the same time.
With a sequence like
print - back to the "questions page" - print - back to the "questions page" - print etc. etc. user could print his\her questions in parallel (print process is not very fast on fat questions like this one).
I think there's something broken because:
1. First case experience is different from the second one
Once new "printer-friendly" windows is opened, people has the same "back to home" icon on the upper left corner and I think it could be confusing.[fixed]