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Breadcrumb Navigation

4 mins

What is it? #

Breadcrumb Navigation:

Breadcrumb navigation is a user interface (UI) design pattern that provides a hierarchical representation of a website’s structure, allowing users to easily understand and navigate through the different levels and sections of the site. It is typically represented by a series of links or icons, arranged in a horizontal or vertical manner, that indicate the user’s current position within the website and provide a clear path back to the main sections or pages. The term “breadcrumb” is a metaphor for the trail of breadcrumbs left by Hansel and Gretel in the popular German fairy tale, which they used to find their way back home.

In web design, breadcrumb navigation serves several purposes:

  1. It helps users understand their current location within the website, making it easier for them to navigate and find the information they are looking for.
  2. It provides a clear visual representation of the website’s structure, allowing users to quickly grasp the relationships between different sections and pages.
  3. It offers a convenient way for users to navigate back to previous sections or pages without having to use the browser’s back button or search for a specific link.

There are several common types of breadcrumb navigation:

  1. Location-based breadcrumbs: These show the user’s current location within the website’s structure, such as the main page, section, and subsection.
  2. Path-based breadcrumbs: These display the user’s navigation path, showing the pages or sections they have visited to reach their current location.
  3. Attribute-based breadcrumbs: These organize content based on attributes, such as tags, categories, or other metadata, allowing users to explore related content.

In summary, breadcrumb navigation is an essential element of web design that facilitates user navigation and understanding of a website’s structure. By providing a clear and concise representation of the site’s hierarchy, it enables users to quickly locate and access the information they need, ultimately improving their overall experience on the website.

Here are some examples: #

Breadcrumb navigation is used in various websites and applications to help users understand their current location and easily navigate back to the previous page or section. Here are some examples:

  1. E-commerce websites: Online stores like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy use breadcrumb navigation to help users understand their current location in the catalog and provide a clear path back to the main categories.

  2. Web portals: Sites like Yahoo, MSN, and AOL use breadcrumb navigation to help users understand their current location in the portal and provide a clear path back to the main sections.

  3. News websites: News sites like CNN, BBC, and The New York Times use breadcrumb navigation to help users understand their current location in the site and provide a clear path back to the main news categories.

  4. Blogs and content websites: Blogs and content-rich websites like WordPress, Tumblr, and Medium use breadcrumb navigation to help users understand their current location in the site and provide a clear path back to the main categories or tags.

  5. Government and educational institutions: Government and educational institutions like the IRS, Census Bureau, and Harvard University use breadcrumb navigation to help users understand their current location in the site and provide a clear path back to the main sections or departments.

  6. Intranets and enterprise applications: Intranets and enterprise applications like SharePoint, SAP, and Oracle use breadcrumb navigation to help users understand their current location in the application and provide a clear path back to the main sections or modules.

  7. Mobile applications: Mobile applications like Google Maps, Instagram, and Pinterest use breadcrumb navigation to help users understand their current location in the app and provide a clear path back to the main sections or features.

In all these examples, breadcrumb navigation provides a clear and consistent way for users to understand their current location and easily navigate back to the previous page or section, improving their overall experience on the website or application.

In Summary #

Breadcrumb navigation is a user interface design pattern that provides a visual representation of a user’s path through a series of web pages or sections within a website. It typically consists of a series of links or icons that represent the different stages of the user’s journey, allowing them to easily navigate back to a previous page or section. Breadcrumb navigation can improve user experience by making it easier for users to understand their current location within a website and quickly navigate to other areas of interest.