Things to keep in mind when using breadcrumb navigation

by Guest Author on December 9, 2013

in Articles, Guest Posts

html-css-geekYou may not realize it but breadcrumb navigation is a very important aspect of web designing, which often gets neglected when the designing is being finalised. There are several designers who hold different opinions about this element of the website design. While some consider it to be important, others do not feel that it is necessary to have breadcrumb navigation in their web design and are of the strong opinion that it essentially is a waste of time and efforts. If you belong to the latter category of designers, you may want to mull over the importance of breadcrumb navigation to understand how it can make your web design more simplified and provide a superior user experience. Essentially, when you use breadcrumb navigation in your website, you make things very easy for your user in terms of the accessibility. However, although breadcrumb navigation is very crucial for your web design, using it in the right way is also equally important to elevate its usability. Given below are some tips that will ensure that you use breadcrumb navigation to the best of its ability.

1. Begin a web page with breadcrumbs:

The positioning of this type of navigation plays a massive role in ensuring its usability to the users. Placing this element smack in the beginning of the page right below the header and the menu is important so that it is visible at all times. It also helps the user keep pace with the page that they are viewing and how they got there so that they can click on any one of the links in the hierarchy to go back to that particular page. Therefore, the beginning of a page is the ideal place to arrange the breadcrumb navigation.

2. There has to be a balance when using breadcrumb navigation:

You must keep in mind that breadcrumb navigation, although is a very vital aspect of the design, it is not the only important area and therefore, its placement must be done in such a way that it does not take up all of the users’ attention. It should come into the readers’ attention, however, not in a way that it dominates the entire design. Therefore, balancing the elements is the key to getting a good web design.

3. Your use of breadcrumb navigation should be consistent:

Using breadcrumb navigation just for a few important pages will not work.It will make you web design look massively inconsistent. Therefore, if you choose to make use of breadcrumb navigation, it is essential that you use it throughout your website including every page that forms a part of your website. You may not realize it but you can lose a lot of your readers if you have breadcrumb navigation inconsistently scattered across select pages as it creates ugly hassles for your readers when using your website due to the inconsistency.

4. Understand and decide your categories without being vague:

It is only natural to shun the use of breadcrumb navigation if you have one post linking itself to multiple categories. This will cause chaos on a very large scale as the users will find it difficult to find their way back in the hierarchy using breadcrumb navigation. Organization is the key. You need to lay emphasis on the categories under which you will file your posts. Only when you have singled out on a category for each post, should you go ahead with the breadcrumb navigation.

5. Make distinctions for each level:

You need to clearly separate the levels that will take your user to the next page. Thereforem using appropriate symbols like the >, >> or the arrow sign is a must. This will keep ambiguity to the least and ensure that your user knows where each level starts and ends.

Guest article written by: Marjorie Messer is a professional website designer, freelance writer and part time blogger at [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]FastEasyWebsites[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]FastEasyWebsites[/tp]. Although she has a lot on her plate, she enjoys her work and spends a lot of time simplifying web design elements for younger designers.

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