What is breadcrumb?
Breadcrumb is a certain type of navigation on a website, which helps the user to find his way back to the initial page or to other orders or levels of the page. This makes it easy for the user to jump to previously visited hierarchical levels.
- Is a secondary navigation
- The users path becomes traceable
- Is usually placed inconspicuously
- Has great advantages for usability
Functionality of breadcrumb navigation
In English, the name of this navigation pattern means breadcrumbs, and similar to the Grimm fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”, the user can find his way back or jump back and forth. The user can quickly see which subpages he has already visited from the page hierarchical structure. This is why it is of such great importance for usability. For the same reasons, this type of navigation could also be called “Ariadnes path”. The breadcrumb navigation shows the logical path and can be integrated into the website without much effort (low hanging fruit). Often it is placed as a design element by the webmaster at the top of the page, and this usually in a rather subtle way. The separators can be represented for example by arrows or similar typographic characters. With a simple click, the user can then access either the main page or other levels. However, the last point in the navigation is not clickable. The breadcrumbs are usually placed above the fold on a page. Because the main navigation should not be pushed into the background, the breadcrumb navigation is always discreet in terms of font size and colour. Consistency is equally important. If breadcrumb navigation is used, this should also be done on all subpages. Breadcrumb is used mainly for quite large pages, for example in online shops. Such complex portals have a complicated hierarchical structure, so this (additional) type of navigation is very common. The user is helped to find his way through the big jumble of categories and products.
The advantages of breadcrumb navigation