I was talking to a friend this past week about different usability issues, and a question arose: should you force links on your site to open in a new tab?

She asked the question by saying, "I know it's considered best practice to open outbound links to other sites in new tabs."

I smiled and asked who this 'best practice' is best for.

For sure, it's best for the website creator. The one too afraid to let visitors go – or decide for themselves.

It might be best for some users – for example, older demographics not familiar with using 'Cmd + Click' to open links in new tabs. Or maybe for some differently-abled users, using the keyboard and clicking the mouse might be difficult.

But if you're thinking about most visitors, giving the user the freedom to decide would be considered 'best practice.' Best for the visitors themselves.

It's a simple example but an illustration of an important question.

When you're considering 'best practices,' whose point of view are you using to define what's best? Do you even know what your audiences would believe is best?

So go out, talk to the users, and find out what's 'best practice' for everyone involved. Even if that doesn't change your decision, having the full info will help you make better decisions.

This goes for everything – usability, terms of service, product packaging, marketing messaging, and so much more.

Ask away,

⭐️ P.S. When did you last see a 'best practice' that hurts users in the real world? Tell me about it!

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Vassy's studio setup. Check out more about the course in the links below!

Different: Building Branding that Resonates [Book Notes]

I rarely enjoy branding advice because it can sound vague or redundant. But this book is different, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. It talks about differentiation and how brands can achieve it in competitive markets. As usual in my Book Notes series, I try to create a complete summary of the key takeaways and actionable points you can put into practice.


whole and cut pieces of fruit, symbolizing content repurposing

7 Visual Trends Set to Dominate in 2023 [Infographic]
What's trending in the visual space? Here are a few tips to stay visually relevant. I have to say, I'm not too crazy about some of them, like anime. But others – the focus on sustainable living and portraying aging in a positive light – are pretty cool.

How to approach content marketing
If you're new to content marketing and want a primer on key ideas to explore and dive deeper into, this is it. This is an excellent summary that can help experienced content marketers, too. If you're in that camp, treat the bullet points as a checklist for content success.

There Are Some Crazy Things Facebook Advertisers Can Do with ChatGPT: Just Ask ChatGPT
We won't stop hearing about ChatGPT anytime soon, so we'd better learn from it. This post has some specific examples of how the tool can actually help you learn about the different uses of ChatGPT.

How to Design a Button that Gets Clicked: 7 Tips for Calls to Action
Buttons are a high-stakes design element. So we need to get them right. This post will give you some popular and lesser-known rules for efficient CTAs - from the “Willy Wilt” test to the minimum size of a button being 45x60 pixels.

Zero-Click Content: The Counterintuitive Way to Succeed in a Platform-Native World
I've been talking about content decentralization (not a term I coined, but one I liked) for a really long while, and I'm happy to see others are focusing on the same idea. It's simple, really: rather than obsessing over getting people to your own domain, obsess about getting your idea across. And utilize external platforms to "set your ideas free."


whole and cut pieces of fruit, symbolizing content repurposing

Launching a cult show with fan service baked in

Being a part-time gamer and geek makes this campaign my newest favorite. But HBO's approach to promoting 'The Last of Us' is remarkable for another reason: the long-term focus. The setup for the show's premiere has been years in the making. It's a good reminder that there isn't a shortcut for relationship building. If you're interacting with an established community of fans, take note. And HBOs team has been getting attention from leading advertising media like The Drum - quite deservedly, at that.


  • These breathtakingly cold photos – we've had a cold front in Europe this past week, and I'm happy to be reminded it can be a lot worse!
  • This curious craftsman – artist Jeff de Boer designs and crafts tiny museum-quality armor for cats and mice, and his work is tremendous!
  • Weekly cat – they can work with technology now...

Just some interesting things to read, hope you enjoyed them!

Ready to up your marketing game? Check out my course, 'Strategic Content & Messaging'! It dives deep into the strategic foundations of building an efficient content strategy and perfecting your brand messaging.

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