Think of bread crumbs and you are immediately reminded of the mouth watering crispy snacks, but computer science geeks relate this word to the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, where hansel keeps dropping bread crumbs to make a trail and hence finds a way back home, what an interesting idea! Isn’t it? nobody wants to lose sight of home while exploring a website too! in today’s digital age all we could possibly fear is losing site of the point from where we began or remembering the last page we opened while exploring that website.
Hansel and Gretel gave us a good lesson and our IT geeks applied it well they sure know how to merge fairy tales with the digital world.
Breadcrumbs in navigation help web designers to give a better user experience to visitors, it is a trail that helps site visitors keep track of which pages they visited and where they are now, it is very useful to the less experienced users who solely rely on trails to understand where they are on a website.
You can usually see breadcrumbs in a lot of websites, like in Web applications that have more than a single step, where they function similar to a progress bar. To describe them the most basic form, breadcrumbs are horizontally arranged text links separated by the greater than the symbol,e.g Shop Mac<Macbook<configure this indicates the level of that page relative to the page links beside it.
Breadcrumbs come with a number of benefits to your site:
- Backtracking Gets Easier: If the website is made up of many layers, breadcrumbs makes it very convenient to navigate through.
- Tasteful: breadcrumbs are compact and give a good amount of information at the same time.
- Context: breadcrumbs instantly give a visitor an idea of how the page they have landed on relates to the rest of the site
- Convenience: Breadcrumbs are used usually to give visitors a secondary means of navigating a website. By offering a breadcrumb trail for all pages on a large website, visitors can navigate to higher-level categories very easily without losing their way.
- Reduces Clicks or Actions To Return To Higher-level pages: Instead of using the browser’s “Back” button or the website’s primary navigation to return to a last seen page.
- Doesn’t Usually Take Too Much Of Screen Space: Because they’re mainly horizontally oriented and plainly styled, breadcrumb trails don’t take up much space on the page. The benefit is that they have no negative impact in terms of content overload.
- Less Bounce Rate: Breadcrumb trails can be a great way to attract visitors who saw your website for the first time to look at the website after having viewed the landing page. if a user reaches a page through a Google search, seeing a breadcrumb trail will definitely tempt that user to click on to other pages and view related topics of interests. This, in turn, reduces the overall website bounce rate.
On websites that have a lot of pages, breadcrumb navigation can greatly enrich the experience of users finding their way around. Breadcrumbs also reduce the number of actions a website visitor needs to take in order to get to a higher-level page, and they improve the findability of website sections and pages.