The user experience of a website is one of the most important factors in determining its success.
If users find the site difficult to navigate, they are likely to leave and never return.
This can be especially true with complex websites such as e-commerce stores or corporate sites that have multiple pages and content sections.
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Fortunately, there is a web design tool that can greatly improve the user experience: breadcrumbs.
Breadcrumbs provide users with an easy way to retrace their steps back through the website’s navigation structure, allowing them to quickly go back and forth between pages without getting lost or confused.
Let’s dive into more on how breadcrumbs improve a user’s experience below!
What Are Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs are small symbols or labels that help the user to track their progress through a website.
Breadcrumbs are typically placed at the top of the page and allow users to quickly go back one step in their journey or jump ahead several steps, depending on how they are designed.
For example, if you visit a website with three menus, you might see: Home > Products > Electronics.
By clicking on the “Home” link, you would be taken back to the main page. Clicking on the “Products” link would take you to a list of all products and clicking on the “Electronics” link would show a list of any electronic items available.
Breadcrumbs are a great way to help users quickly find their way around a website without having to constantly go back and forth between pages.
How Do Breadcrumbs Improve User Experience?
Breadcrumbs provide users with an easy way to navigate the website and make their journey more efficient.
But they also have more targeted purposes that can help with different aspects of your webpage.
1. Intuitive Navigation
Breadcrumbs can significantly improve the user experience by offering an easy and intuitive way to navigate a website.
By providing users with a visible path they have followed, breadcrumbs make it easier for them to go back to previously visited pages and find their way around the site.
This allows users to quickly move between pages without having to remember which page they were on before.
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2. Visual Cues
Breadcrumbs also offer a visual clue to the website’s structure, helping users to understand how the different pages are related to each other.
This can be particularly useful for e-commerce sites with multiple categories and product types as it provides an easy way for users to quickly find what they’re looking for.
3. SEO and Indexing
Breadcrumbs can be incredibly beneficial to website search engine optimization (SEO).
Breadcrumbs provide a visible structure for users and search engine crawlers to follow, allowing the latter to quickly and accurately index all pages of a website.
This can lead to improved rankings in the search engine results page (SERPs) as well as an increase in website traffic.
4. Promotes Additional Browsing
If you’re an e-commerce site or want to encourage further browsing, breadcrumbs can be a great tool.
Users can go back to main pages if they happen across a page they don’t need or continue deeper into a website with the ability to trace their steps backward.
How to create effective breadcrumb navigation
Creating effective breadcrumb navigation requires careful consideration of the user’s journey.
Begin by thinking about the structure of your website, and then think about how users are likely to navigate through it.
Once you have an idea in mind, lay out the links for each page in a logical order so that users can easily move between pages with minimal effort.
When designing your breadcrumb navigation, make sure that it is clearly visible on each page so users can quickly access it.
Additionally, avoid overcrowding the navigation bar with too many links or labels, as this may confuse users and reduce the effectiveness of the breadcrumbs.
Many websites will have a primary link in the breadcrumb to bring users back home, then a link for the general page, category, or tag, then a more specific link like a post title.
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Breadcrumbs are a useful web design tool that can greatly improve the user experience of a website.
By providing users with an easy way to navigate between pages, breadcrumbs make it easier for them to find their way around the site and quickly move between different areas.
When designing breadcrumb navigation, ensure that it is clearly visible on each page and that it is not overcrowded with too many links or labels.
By following these guidelines, you can create an effective breadcrumb navigation system that improves the user experience of your website.