Technology October 23, 2014 Last updated September 18th, 2018 3,064 Reads share

What Are Breadcrumb Links In Web Designing?

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Navigation designing in web design is one of the important components as far as user experiences and SEO rankings are concerned. Primarily, navigation is restricted up to the main navigation menu or side navigation, but there are many other forms of navigation existing in the web designing field. Among them breadcrumb is a favorite navigation scheme for most e-commerce web designers.

Reasons behind this are obvious, as most e-commerce websites have large numbers of pages in respect to the numbers of products/services they have. Moreover, they have to prepare content or information architecture using innumerable categories and sub to sub category pages. If the numbers of products are higher than both main and side navigation can include, other forms of navigational schemes are essential to employ.

What Are Breadcrumb Links In Web Designing?

Whatever navigation scheme you offer, there are enough chances for users to be lost in the giant website easily. It is more critical when users are reaching directly through organic or referral paths onto the inner pages/landing pages. It is vital to determine for users where they stand in the website’s navigation scheme and how to go ahead or come back home. This is the point where we desperately need breadcrumb navigation.

Types of breadcrumbs

Technically, breadcrumb navigation is nothing but a set of contextual links that act as a navigation aid for the website. At present there are only three types of breadcrumb navigation that are prevailing on the web and they are:

  1. Location based
  2. Path based
  3. Attribute based

Here is a brief introduction of each type of breadcrumb navigation.

#1. Location Based Breadcrumb

This is nothing but the textual representation of the structure of website navigation. With this navigation users can comprehend the hierarchy of the website easily and find its location immediately.

  • This trail of breadcrumb begins with the home page and ends at the current page that the user is viewing.
  • The in-between links are of pages that depict the perfect hierarchy of the location of the web page.
  • Except the current page, the rest of the links are clickable or tappable to reach that destination.

This type of breadcrumb is user and bots friendly so never intimidates the user experience or ranking at all.

#2. Path Based Breadcrumb

It’s a kind of history trail and generated dynamically to show from where and how users came on to the current page. Unfortunately, path based breadcrumbs are neither user friendly nor bots friendly. As users never get clues of navigational hierarchy, nor can they find ways to get out from the mess. From an SEO point of view, they generate duplicate content and unfriendly URL structure.

#3. Attribute Based Breadcrumb

This set of breadcrumb links displays the attributes of a particular item on a web page and mostly implements faceted classification. These types of breadcrumb links are also posing duplicate content issues, if not solved. If we use this along with the combination of location based breadcrumb, we can minimize many issues and offer an advanced set of navigation.

Visually, location based breadcrumb links exhibit different colors to differentiate whether visiting it or not. This change in color indicates your path of traveling in the website and offer more chances of user engagements. Thus, the location based breadcrumb helps in lowering the bounce rate of the storefront or a website/web portal. Location based links have the less-than (<) sign to separate links and show the path of hierarchy.

Against these, attribute based breadcrumb don’t have clickable text links and can be removed by clicking the X sign, also they are separated by the vertical pipe sign (|).

However, it is a debated subject that breadcrumb helps in responsive web designing, but many web developers favor it in mobile website designing for sake of user experiences and its benefits in SEO.

Images: ”Clean Website Design Gray Elements: Buttons, Form, Slider, Scroll, Icons, Tab, Menu, Navigation Bar, Login, Video player, Calendar, Arrows, Download, Template : Part 3


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Shoaib Marfatiya

Shoaib Marfatiya

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