Public web guidelines: Home

About this guide

Linking: open in same page, or new tab?

When linking to other pages, almost always choose to link within the same browser window.  Don't have the links open in a new tab or window!!

Usability tests have proven that users don't like to have many tabs or windows open, and the web browsing experience becomes disorienting when new tabs open unexpectedly. Today's web users are savvy enough to understand how the back button works and find it irritating to have to close multiple tabs.

Exception to the rule: There are very few exceptions to this, so think very hard before you choose to have a link open in a new tab. One exception might be if a user needs to consult the current page after they open the linked page.

Shortcut URLs

Shortcut URLs

We have a list of shortcut URLs that link to the most popular pages that people want to link to. Use these shortcut URLs to assure that links never break if we move the content.

Database shortcuts

Get URLs
Use the "get URL" to link to databases in Vera. Ex.: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/worldcat  The get URL is listed after each database in Vera.

Info URLs
We also have "info URLs" for each database in Vera. These link to the metadata about each database. Ex.: http://libraries.mit.edu/info/compendex

URL & file-naming conventions

Use lower-case file names

Use: http://libraries.mit.edu/guides/subjects/physics/preprints.html
Not: http://libraries.mit.edu/guides/subjects/Physics/Preprints.html

Be concise, & use words instead of abbreviations, where possible

Use: http://libraries.mit.edu/barker/suggestions.html
Not: http://libraries.mit.edu/barker/sug-box.html

Use dashes ( - ), not underscores ( _ )

Use: http://libraries.mit.edu/help/browser-extensions.html
Not: http://libraries.mit.edu/help/browser_extensions.html


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