What Is Breadcrumb Navigation?

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Breadcrumb navigation is a valuable tool in web searches that allows users to retrace their steps and navigate to previously visited pages within a website. Its name comes from the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel," where a breadcrumb trail was used to find the way back home. Breadcrumb navigation creates a series of clickable links representing the user's path, showing the hierarchical relationship between pages. When using breadcrumb navigation, the user is presented with links that indicate the parent page and its hierarchical position relative to the current page. For example, it might appear as "Home Page > Section Page > Subsection Page." The ">" symbol is commonly used to separate the different levels of the hierarchy. However, designers can also use symbols or graphics to represent the breadcrumbs. While breadcrumb navigation provides a helpful way to navigate through previously visited pages, some argue that it duplicates the functionality of the web browser's "Back" button. The "Back" button allows users to move sequentially through their visited pages. Although breadcrumb navigation and the "Back" button serve similar purposes, breadcrumbs have distinct advantages. One advantage is that breadcrumb navigation offers a visual representation of the user's path, allowing for better comprehension of the website's structure. This is especially useful when exploring sites with multiple levels and sections. Furthermore, breadcrumb navigation provides a direct way back to higher-level pages. Instead of clicking the "Back" button multiple times, users can click the corresponding breadcrumb link to jump directly to a specific parent page. Lastly, breadcrumb navigation enhances the user experience by providing a clear sense of location within the website. Users can easily understand where they are within the site's structure and explore related pages accordingly. In summary, breadcrumb navigation is a valuable tool in web searches that allows users to retrace their steps and navigate to previously visited pages. It takes inspiration from the breadcrumb trail in the "Hansel and Gretel" fairy tale. Presenting a series of clickable links represents the path the user has taken and indicates the hierarchical relationship between pages. Although some argue that breadcrumb navigation duplicates the functionality of the "Back" button, it offers additional benefits such as visual representation, direct access to parent pages, and improved user experience.

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