I was discussing changes with a client for a news website, which had an atrocious design. One of the most annoying things was that every single link opened up in a new window.
Me: I think it would be better if links opened up in the same browser window – having everything open up in a new page is a little frustrating for users.
Client: I don’t understand this. Doing it the way we do allows people to close the story they open without closing the site. That’s important for traffic and keeping the site sticky. We don’t want to make it easier for people to leave the site!
Me: But just pressing the back button lets people navigate just fine, and that way they don’t have to deal with multiple open windows.
Client: But nobody ever uses the back button.