I grew up in the generation of web developers that were taught that you never direct traffic away from your site by opening links in new pages or tabs.
When I started working here at UX Mastery I drove Matt nuts with it and he’d go into all my posts and edit the links.
Interestingly, when we discussed it, Luke didn’t agree with him, so I guess it’s not cut and dried.
Now I’m being confronted with it in a big way. In another of my jobs we are migrating a huge forum onto a new platform that we are heavily customising. Half my staff want links to open in new tabs, and half don’t. I instinctively want to do it because it is how I browse, but not if it goes against a basic rule of usability.
What are your thoughts? _blank or _self?