Ian Hoar – Passion for Technology – Geeking Out - Technology, Web, Toys, Games, Design, Entertainment, Gadgets, & Geeking Out

Death of the Middle Click?

Okay, lately more and more I’ve been noticing that my middle click doesn’t work. Why do so many website developers and designers insist on breaking basic usability? Why on earth would you ever want to annoy your users and take away an expected browser behaviour?

For years Flash has been the biggest offender along with the extremely annoying and silly javascript alert that tells you “this html is copyrighted”. Who are you fooling, if I want your source I can get it, but all I really want is my middle click.

I’m a power user, at any given moment I could have between 10 and 20 browser tabs open. Now I’m starting to see sites that go the extra mile, they aren’t using Flash or alerts and they still break middle click functionality. Stock photography sites are huge offenders, the one time when I am very likely to want this functionality.

Stop breaking my middle click!

I want to stress to web designers and developers, stop breaking expected browser behaviour, you are annoying your users. I should also mention that when I click ads I also always middle click, it’s in my nature to middle click, I think I’m middle click obsessed. When I click your ad and nothing happens, guess what? Nothing, no visit for you.

Javascript pop-ups are big offenders too, but these can also be done without killing the middle click. Try clicking and then middle clicking the example link.

Example Link

<a onclick="window.open(this.href,'name','height=200,width=300');return false;" href="http://www.ianhoar.com" target="_blank">Example Link</a>

Visit A List Apart for a more in depth article on Accessible Pop-up Links.

Also remember, when I have 20 tabs open, I am far more likely to stumble back on your site later in the day for a second visit.

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