Link Destination - New or Same Window

Best Practice 

  • Open Links to Documents In a New Window: All links to documents should open in a new window. 
    • Reasoning: When people finish using/reading PDF files and similar documents, research has shown that they click the window's close box and do not use the back button. This action closes their entire browser window. Instead, you should point them back to the webpage from where they started.
    • Resource: Open New Windows for PDF and Other Non-Web Documents by Jakob Nielsen

  • Open Links to Internal and External Web pages In the Same Window: All links to other pages within the same website should open in the same window.
    • Reasoning: When new web pages open in the same browser window, users can access their browser tools (e.g., the Back button) throughout their web experience. Research shows that the Back button is the second most used feature on the Internet (after hyperlinks).
    • Resource: Open New Windows for PDF and Other Non-Web Documents by Jakob Nielsen

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