Breadcrumb is a one-line navigational element that supports wayfinding: it aids the users in finding their current location within the hierarchical structure of a website. Breadcrumb navigation is a good choice in terms of usability because it never causes problems in user testing and takes up very little space on the page.
- You need to inform the user where they are in the hierarchy of the site.
- The user needs to navigate back to a higher level page.
- The application has a complex, multi-layer architecture that’s more than 2 levels deep.
Don’t use when
- Primary navigation is needed instead. Breadcrumbs are always treated as secondary and should never replace primary navigation.
- Employing a vertical model tree component.
- If a lower-level page is (or can be put) in more than one parent category.
- You want to show the user’s history, path.
- Your product has a flat hierarchy that’s only 1 or 2 levels deep.
- Breadcrumbs progress from the highest level to the lowest, one step at a time.
- Breadcrumb navigation starts with the homepage and ends with the current page.
- All links, except the last one, in a breadcrumb should be clickable.
- Breadcrumb trails are displayed horizontally before a page’s main content, in the top half of the page, below the primary navigation menu if a horizontal menu layout is used.
- The commonly accepted and most recognizable symbol for separating hyperlinks in breadcrumb trails is the “greater than” symbol (>). Typically, the > sign is used to denote hierarchy, as in the format of Parent category > Child category.
- Nothing should go on the same line as the breadcrumb navigation.
- For implementations with large numbers of sub-directories, make use of ellipses and dropdowns as shown in the example below
- Editorial will be provided by the hierarchy in a location based breadcrumb.
- Editorial for path-based breadcrumbs are always dynamically generated by the steps taken in a workflow.
- The default breadcrumb navigation is not accessible. Use the accessible option for compliance.
- Place breadcrumb navigation in a
navelement should also be marked with
aria-label="breadcrumbs"to clearly describe the type of navigation.
- Breadcrumbs should remain in the same relative order and location on each page.
- The link text should be clear, reflect the breadcrumb location accurately, and easy to understand for all users.
- Make sure the tab order matches the hierarchy.
aria-current="page"to the last item of the set to indicate that it represents the current page.
- For more information, see the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices for the breadcrumb pattern.
|04/08/2021||1.0.1||More guidance added based on best practices.||J. Wittmeyer|
|11/23/2020||1.0.0||Accessible option added.||E. Bohn, L. Kause, N. Springer|