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What is Breadcrumb ?
Breadcrumb is a mechanism for keeping track of the user’s location within an application and provides navigation facility.
Breadcrumb takes up very little space and hence helps in space availability for the display of content.
- Gives user the knowledge of their current location relative to higher-level concepts.
- One-click navigation to navigate back to higher levels in the hierarchy.
- Lack of proper update, especially on web applications when new pages are added or there is modification in hierarchical structure, can cause inconsistency or broken links.
- Breadcrumb is more useful on a stylus-driven device and not appropriate for scroll and select devices.
When to use ?
- When the application is heavily content driven and also has a lot of navigation, breadcrumb can help is saving space for content as well as giving proper navigation facility.
- The user cannot easily navigate through the hierarchy via other local navigation methods.
- In case of a web application, if a user might arrive to a page from an external source (e.g., through a search engine) and the user will need a sense of context.
Guidelines while implementing Breadcrumb
- Whenever possible, labels of breadcrumb should match the title of the corresponding form/page of the application.
- Display the title of the current form/page as the last label in the breadcrumb and don’t provide hyperlink to it.
- Avoid to hyperlink the symbol (e.g. sign ( >> )) that separates the labels.
- Hyperlink color/style of the breadcrumb should be the same irrespective of whether the link was previously visited by user or not.
- Use ‘Title Case’ for labels in the breadcrumb.
- Avoid using breadcrumbs for single-level hierarchy navigation that have no logical hierarchy or grouping.
Using combination of breadcrumb and fly-out navigation
Combination of breadcrumb and fly-out navigation is helpful in displaying child menus related to each level of the breadcrumb.
Implementing this concept - When a user ‘clicks on’ or ‘hovers over’ a breadcrumb link, the link opens a sub-navigation panel that lists additional attributes.
--Submitted by - Aadhar14b, 25 June 2009