Opening external source links on the same page. Why?

over 1 year ago from , UX Designer / Co-Founder

I really don't like it when a website is listing external sources but opens it on the same page. For ex: I clicked on a job link on DN and it opened on the same page.

When I build websites, I personally make sure it opens in a new tab so users don't leave the website.

Something that I am not a big fan of. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. What do you guys think?


  • Lev MiseriLev Miseri, over 1 year ago

    Standard behaviour is to open a link within the same page/tab. User can always choose to open link in a new tab with browser-specific actions.

    I find it annoying when a site forces target _blank for links. Let me decide what I want to do.

    4 points
    • Tori PughTori Pugh, over 1 year ago

      That's interesting, for me the expected action would be opening in a new window. I can always close accidental windows opened but sometimes opening in the same window screws up what I was doing.

      Is opening a new tab really that troublesome versus having your current window being redirected?

      1 point
      • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, over 1 year ago

        Like Lev said, practical UX would be for the external link to load in the same tab. And if you wanted to open in a new tab that would be up to the user to decide.

        What I think needs to be considered that hasn't been said, is we need to think like the end user (not as designers and developers and computer savvy people). So what would my mom expect to happen, and does my mom even know how to open a new tab? (No, your mom jokes please ;)

        Personally, I like external links to open in a new tab. But I can usually tell whether I want a keep the current page or not and use the ol' Cmd + Click action

        0 points
        • Tori PughTori Pugh, 1 year ago

          Good point. That's kind of what I was thinking about, what the average user would do and what would be easier for them. I'd assume most non-tech users wouldn't be using Cmd + Click as an option and right-clicking a link is tedious. Classic case of different uses for different folks.

          0 points
  • John JacksonJohn Jackson, over 1 year ago

    I don't like it when external links are opened on the same window. I fully expect a local link (i.e. blog, about, etc.) to open in the same window, but it's really annoying when clicking a "visit our Twitter" opens up on the same window.

    1 point
  • Tobias ReinhardtTobias Reinhardt, over 1 year ago

    I am a bit annoyed if a link opens in a new tab. My non mouse hand is laying on the keyboard anyway most of the time and when I want to open a link in a new tab I just have to bend a finger a bit. But when a link opens in a new window and I actually don't want that I have to press two key combinations or navigate with the mouse two times which both costs more time.

    0 points
  • Christian Rohr, over 1 year ago

    I prefer to see an indication of external links with an icon and don´t like it if external links are opened from the main navigation or second level menus.

    0 points