January 19, 2017

Justify when reducing user’s freedom

Links should not forcefully open in a new tab because by enabling this the designer takes away some of the freedom from the user. Without target="_blank the user has a choice: open here or in a new window. With target="_blank" the user has no choice.

I will not add background music in my podcasts because this would take away some of the freedom from the listener. They can add background music to the speech, but they can’t remove the music if it’s present in the source.

Of course, some links require the new tab and some podcasts require music. This is not a rule about web interfaces or podcast production. It also doesn’t mean allow as many options as possible”. This is just a reminder: if your idea reduces the user’s freedom, you have to justify it.

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