All about breadcrumbs in web design

Breadcrumbs are nothing new

All of you might have seen them, used them but not familiar with the name. Have you ever done shopping from amazon, or online payment. If yes, you have already experienced and admired the ease of breadcrumbs. It is a type of navigation scheme that locates user amidst large content on the website. It can be considered a web design tool used to define hierarchy.

Where can you use them ?

Breadcrumbs have a wide utility. Navigation in e-commerce sites is a critical issue. It is the only factor attracting customers. Detailed categories and sub categories enhance user engagement and lead them exactly to the desired product. Almost all e-shops flipkart, walmart, alibaba etc are using this schema.

Some of the blog layouts also go perfect with breadcrumbs. It is not necessary to have deep navigation categories, even simple layers can enhance blog design. They are mostly used at header tabs or left navigation panes.

Social platforms like facebook, corporate and government websites like that of United Nations, rich snippets of google are a few examples showing utility of breadcrumbs.

Variety of breadcrumbs

Creativity can never be confined and so applies here as well. Each designer has its own concept of classifying content. Below are some of the examples of breadcrumbs used commonly in web designing

  • Progress step
  • Traditional bar design
  • Simply directed
  • Gradient highlights
  • Hierarchical

A free design experience

Why work hard, when smart work can get things done. While web designing, you need not customize your own breadcrumb every time. There are many freebies available online that can be downloaded directly. All the above displayed examples and many more are already prepared and free for use. Before starting, just check if any of those fit your needs.

Once you have a design style, the next step is to code it, implement and actually visualize. Here again, the service is ready at your doorstep. A rich treasure of code snippets and plugins is lying in the market for you to pick up. Here’s a list of few:

  • WordPress plugins – Breadcrumb NavXT and WP Breadcrumb are the most used free plugins. You can customize the default design and edit using CSS.
  • jQuery rCrumbs – It’s a dynamic plugin available through GitHub. A fully responsive plugin that gives greater control over display.
  • Bootsnipp Breadcrumbs – These snippets work only with Bootstrap and can be searched at Twitter’s Bootstrap library.
  • CodePen Snippets – It’s a large platform for coders to share their snippets. The good part for web designers is not only that they are available free but also can be tested there itself.

Breadcrumbs do not directly impact search engine results but affects the content accessibility of the site thus indirectly lead to better performance results. So now whenever you navigate through web, appreciate the style used by designer. In case you are on the other side, analyze the need of your site from reader’s view, indulge your best breadcrumb design and be one amongst the most captivating designer.