Good morning all,

there's a long discussion regarding web accessibility, on the opportunity of using target=blank on links. The main argument, is that the decision of opening new pages in another window or in the same one should be left to the user.

On the other side, emails are quite a different matter (at least this is my opinion). First of all several clients open links in a new window the same, then - even if some webmail don't do this - I would consider it a poor experience to the user, to be transferred away from his emails to follow a link. Nowadays, opening in a new window is probably the behaviour a user expects.

I wanted to feel the pulse of the community of this matter. We've been suggested few solutions:

  • give a visual clue to the user(like an icon). However it looks messy in a link-rich layout.
  • this is what we're testing right now: to add a transparent pixel after each link with the alt tag "opens in a new window". It is messy, it is annoying, and it solves the problem only partially ( it should be picked up by screenreaders like JAWS, which was one of the concern).

I would very much like to know your thoughts, thanks!