Breadcrumb navigation allows visitors to websites to keep track of where they have been within the websites they visit. Breadcrumb navigation allows users to retrace their steps and find their way page to previous pages they have visited.
Breadcrumb navigation is especially helpful on websites where content has various categories. If a website offers lifestyle advice, different categories may include: health, fitness, relationships, home, work, parenthood, and travel. To help a visitor navigate the website smoothly, each of these categories will have their own link. This is an organized and convenient way to present a website with a lot of content.
How does breadcrumb navigation work?
A breadcrumb trail will track and display each page that is viewed by the user of a website. They are typically listed in the order that they are visited. This allows the visitor to the website to easily retrace their steps to get back to a previous page. Breadcrumb navigation is used with the following symbols: the slash (/), the arrows, and the greater than symbol.
If a visitor to a website is looking for a specific item to purchase, they may travel through a number of pages as they search the inventory. For example, if a user is looking for a blender, they may view a number of pages before deciding to go back to a previous page. What the visitor will see in terms of breadcrumb navigation may look something like the following:
Home / Appliances / Blenders / 3-Speed
In this scenario, the visitor can easily go back to the blender page and refine their search. Or if they decide to look for a different appliance altogether, they can click on the appliances link. This makes searching for what they are looking for easier. When a visitor to a website can navigate easily from one page to another and back to a page they previously viewed, they are more likely to visit the website again because they know it’s easy to use.
What are the different type of breadcrumbs?
Location breadcrumbs are breadcrumbs that show the heirarchy of a website in relation to where the page is located. Location breadcrumbs often appear horizontally at the top of a web page or below headers or title bars. Location breadcrumbs provide links to previous pages a visitor has navigated through during their visit.
Attribute breadcrumbs are breadcrumbs that provide information that a page on a website that is being viewed at the current time. This is known as meta-information.
Path breadcrumbs are breadcrumbs that are classified as dynamic as they show the full path that a visitor ro the website took to get to the page they are currently viewing.
Breadcrumb navigation is an important part of a website and can greatly determine the experience a visitor has when spending time on the site. If their experience is seamless, they are more likely to return than if they cannot find their way around.