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You MUST have an option to allow links to open in a new tab. It's 2021.

Hi,

 

I've looked around many posts, and seems like for some unclear reason, a world-class wiki solution such as Confluence doesn't allow writers of documentation to have hyperlinks open in a new tab, instead of redirecting the current page. This is terrible for user experience and again, is pretty shocking that such a widely used wiki solution doesn't allow such a simple feature outside of HTML/macro hacks.

Sorry but this is mind boggling, please let me know where this is on your roadmap. We're deciding between confluence and dokuwiki for our company wiki and everything factors in.

 

Thanks.

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Why?

Everything I've read about user experience says there are only three times you should open a link in a new tab

  • When navigating away from the current page would interrupt what you're doing (a click while watching a video, when you're part way through filling a form, or the link is to "further reading later, after you've finished this page" for example)
  • When you're really opening a new application to do something like fire up a video call or download
  • When the user specifically asks to 

The third rule is paramount - in most cases it should not even be up to your authors to force it.  Let the reader choose, don't create yet another tab without warning or choice.  Almost every regular user of the web has "tab fatigue", don't make it worse.

At best, this is a "nice to have" when you have good well trained authors who know when to use it.  So it's not really on the roadmap for Confluence, there's far more useful things to be done.

Yes, you hit the nail on the head - point number 1 is an extremely valid and prominent use case. Not every user is tech savvy enough to know to right click and open in a new tab, not to mention that this is poor UX as it's more clicks and mouse coordination.

> point number 1 is an extremely valid and prominent use case.

I'm with you on valid, less sure about "prominent", but I still want to question frequency (and hence actual usage)

What are the use cases for doing it?  How frequently do they come up?   Is it really the best UX to pop yet another tab or window?   

I've just been through the joy of a UK tax return, where there's a lot of help and explanation needed on a lot of the fields.  Most of the help is done as explanatory text and a pop-up if it gets too long, and the pop-up contains links that open in new tabs when it gets really complicated.  My accountant tells me there are sixteen of these, in a system that has 11,000 possible questions.  These are unquestionably good uses, but a "useful" rate of 0.14% in a system where people already expect to have to be reading related material - really?  Is that useful?  On top of that, that system saves at the point of leaving a field, so if you accidentally navigate away from a page, you don't lose anything more than what you might have typed half an answer in.

>Not every user is tech savvy enough to know to right click and open in a new tab

Yes, you're right.  But try the "parent test".  Neither of mine are tech savvy.  My father is a lost cause, won't touch a computer, but my Mother sees the uses and has been "on the internet" for a lot longer than most would guess.  She's not an expert.  She types some communications, searches and browses, reads stuff she's interested in, books and buys things, does some banking, etc.

She's your audience here.  Not tech-savvy, just an end-user.

Every time I visit them, I get asked if there is a way I can set up her computer so that it stops opening new windows or tabs.

>poor UX as it's more clicks and mouse coordination.

Yes, a new tab or window does create a need for more clicks and co-ordination.  That's exactly why you should minimise them, and only do it when the user asks.

Thanks for the thought that you've put into this Nic. I've reflected on your response and considered the fact that Wikipedia itself follows the same model and so I think what you're saying is reasonable and that I'll consider this matter resolved as something I just needed clarity on. Thanks for providing that.

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