You might have noticed many breadcrumb navigation on various website. Breadcrumbs enhance and make it easier for the users to find a place around.
Breadcrumbs also lessen your visitor’s actions on website to navigate to high level pages. This improves search ability for users on website and makes the hierarchy of your website much more clearly to your visitors. So, let’s talk about “Breadcrumbs” and know what they are.
Breadcrumbs are a secondary navigation for visitors or users on a website that helps to reveal user location in a website. Breadcrumbs enable the users to easily trace their path to the original point where they were before. Website with piles of content has breadcrumbs that are arranged in a hierarchy. Many web applications also have breadcrumbs. Simple breadcrumbs are usually found in a horizontal arrangement that is separated by symbol (>);. This usually indicated the level of particular page and page besides it.
Let’s find out why we need breadcrumbs and the reason to use them.
Why to Use Breadcrumbs?
If you are having large website with plethora of content, then you need to make use of breadcrumbs, especially when you have website with pages arranged in a hierarchy. You might have noticed that most of the e-commerce websites with tons of products listed on them make use of breadcrumbs and also have group of categories.
However, if you are having single-level website that doesn’t features grouping or hierarchy, than there is no need to make use of breadcrumbs. For instance, the best way to take full benefit from breadcrumbs is to make a site map. A diagram with your website navigation can also do the work. Once done, then you can easily analyze breadcrumbs and to what extent they would help you to improve user navigation on your site. It is very much important that the user feels comfortable to hover with and between the categories; else he would bounce away from your site.
Breadcrumbs should never be replaced from primary navigation menus, as they act as an extra feature. This feature of breadcrumbs offers extra convenience with secondary navigation. This allows your users to easily determine where they are and how to navigate on your website.
There are various types of breadcrumbs available. Below you’ll find a list of three main types of breadcrumbs.
Types of Breadcrumbs
1) Location Based Breadcrumbs
This type shows your user exact location on the website’s hierarchy. These work best with navigation schemes with multiple levels. For example, individual text links for a particular page with higher level is on the right. See below:
2) Attribute Based
This type of breadcrumb displays all the attributes for a particular page on your website. If we look at Newegg breadcrumbs, we’ll notice that attributes of a particular item are displayed on a particular page.
3) Path Based
This type of breadcrumb allows the user to track the path they’ve came through in reaching a particular page. These breadcrumbs are mostly dynamic and they enable the user to look at the pages they just came from.
Benefit of Breadcrumbs
Using breadcrumbs on your website provides several benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- They offer convenience to users with secondary mean of navigation on website. When you offer them breadcrumbs trail for all pages, they can easily navigate to higher level categories easily.
- They also reduce the number of clicks or actions to return on high level pages. This means user doesn’t have to click the back button. He simply uses the breadcrumbs with a single click of mouse.
- Breadcrumbs also don’t hog much of the screen space. They are arranged in horizontal alignment and don’t accommodate on a larger area of the site. Some websites have overloaded content, so they offer the best space-saving benefit.
- The most amazing benefit of having breadcrumb is lower and reduced bounce rate from your website. They really entices the visitors and peruse them to hover the website.
Mistakes in Breadcrumbs Trail Implementation
Many users make some mistakes while implementing breadcrumbs trail. Although it is very easy to use them, but you still need to follow some guidelines to implement on to your website. Some mistakes that most of the users will make are:
- Using breadcrumbs when you don’t need This may overwhelm your visitor with loads of navigation.
- Using breadcrumb trail as your primary navigation can be a big mistake. AS already mentioned-above that it is added as an option to primary navigation.
- In case you use breadcrumbs when your pages have multiple categories can make it difficult for the user to classify the categories easily. Breadcrumb largely depends on the design and layout of your website hierarchy. Breadcrumb trail is ineffective for a lower level page.
Breadcrumb Navigation Design Considerations
So, you need to consider some important things while designing breadcrumb navigation on your site.
- The first thing to ensure is that “What you must use to separate link item”? The most commonly used symbol to separate hyperlink in breadcrumb is (>) symbol. This denotes hierarchy.
- Next you need to think “How big should it be”? Of course, you don’t want breadcrumbs to invade your full page. They should be of convenience and not space-taking. So try to keep them smaller and less prominent than your primary navigation menu.
- Finally you need to consider location of your breadcrumbs. It is important to consider where you should be locating them on site. Normally they are displayed on top half of a particular page just below the primary navigation menu.