Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Reason Why Pop-ups Can Be Bad - The Window Focus Issue

Today I used a site that had a pop-up window, which is not that abnormal (although is much less normal these days than it once was). However, when I hovered over some underlined text that appeared it might be a link, there was no indication that it was a link. The code was similar to:
<p onclick="functionNameThatOpensWindow('http://someurl...','someotherparam','scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=475,height=250')"><span class="style1">name of link</span></p>
I clicked on the link, and must have clicked twice by accident (maybe because it was slow loading), which ended up opening the pop-up window, but then giving focus back to the original page. Since no URL appeared on hover, and the link appeared not to work, I contacted the developer. The developer claimed that this worked in IE and Firefox, which is about the time I noticed (when closing windows) that I missed the pop-up window.

Maintaining window focus would seem to be a UX concern related to pop-ups for sure.

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