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  1. #1
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Cool Are my breadcrumbs a bit odd?

    Being concern about the best usability of my web site, I would like to ask here what do you think about my breadcrumbs, because I receive diverse opinions and I feel kind of unsure?

    Please have a look here: http://www.webnauts.net

    Thanks for your kind support.

  2. #2
    Matt Williams revsorg's Avatar
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    I think of breadcrumbs as revealing the basic hierarchical construction of website content for the benefit of your user, who despite being presented with a blatantly clear main menu system finds themself uncertain about where they are in your site, and can see by using the breadcrumb a secondary method of telling them where they are, and therefore where they might want to go next.

    This assumes that your website content is hierarchically structured, and that the designation of content is abstracted at the same level for each layer of hierarchy.

    And this is where I have a problem with your whole menu system, because you have included forum in the main menu hierarchy, and yet when you click it you go to essentially a different website, with different navigation that is not consistent with your main site. The solution to this would be really simple though - just add your top banner, including the yellow menu row into the overall header template of your phpbb forum. It would be nice if the breadcrumb was in there too, but then things start to get a bit more tricky.

    I don't find the way you have implemented breadcrumbs particularly helpful because it adds to my confusion, rather than reduces it. But then, this is offset by the fact that the site does not seem to be particularly big. There aren't many top level sections (services, sitemap, contact) and the sections don't have loads of pages or sub categories within them. This means that there is not much potential for getting lost, because the journey from home is never that lengthy.

    I guess the thing to add here is that my comments are based on how I see breadcrumbs and menus, but it's clearly not the only way it can be done, so don't go changing things on the basis of my own personal preconceptions. I'm sure you wouldn't, anyway. Probably, doing some user research within your target audience would be the best way of figuring out which is the best way of presenting menuing to them in a way that they are most comfortable with.
    work: revs | ecru
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  3. #3
    High fives all round! bradley317's Avatar
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    Agreed. The issue is with hierarchy. As mentioned previously, this is hard to explain with your site because the sections do not expand into further more detailed subsections.

    I think you should introduce your standard navigation and breadcrumbs into your forum as suggested. If you do this, the purpose of the breadcrumbs will become more obvious...

    The breadcrumb for your forum would be...
    Home > Forum

    The breadcrumb for the accessibility section of your forum would be...
    Home > Forum > Accessibility

    The breadcrumb for the usability section of your forum would be...
    Home > Forum > Usability

    and so on, and so on...

    If you added a new section to your Usability section, say "usability testing", the breadcrumb would be...
    Home > Forum > Usability > Usability Testing

    Get it?

    At the moment, the breadcrumbs for your four main sections should be...

    You are here: Home > Services
    You are here: Home > Forum
    You are here: Home > SiteMap
    You are here: Home > Contact

    Try to think of your site as a tree diagram, with the homepage at the root and each section coming off as a new branch. Each time a new branch is created and the user goes deeper into your site, you add a breadcrumb so that they can retrace their steps back to the previous points within that section.
    Hello, hello, what's all this shouting?
    We'll have no trouble here

    (Helping a pal... http://www.funkdub.info)

  4. #4
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    Yep, it's a hierarchy issue.

    From Home, I clicked on "Site Map" and was told I was at Home -> Services -> Site Map.

    Went back to Home and clicked on "Contact." Now I'm at Home -> Services -> SiteMap -> Contact.

    I went to Site Map and saw a list of articles, with no hierarchy at all.

    There's no clear hierarchy to the site, and thus bread crumbs are more of a hindrance than a help, because they indicate a hierarchy that doesn't actually exist.

  5. #5
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    I have updated my breadcrumbs. Can you please have a look?

  6. #6
    High fives all round! bradley317's Avatar
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    Removing the link to the forum hasn't solved the problem. I bet you are wishing I'd never bought this up. Sorry about that old bean.

    Right. These are the breadcrumbs for your 'contact' page...

    You are here: Home Services SiteMap Contact

    This suggests that 'contact' is a subsection of 'sitemap' which is a subsection of 'services'. This is not the case. Each of them is a main section with equal level in the heirarchy. It should be like this...

    You are here: Home Contact

    I don't know how else to explain it.

    Have a look here... http://www.dmoz.org/

    That's a massive site with lots and lots of subsections. Try clicking on one, then something within that, while keeping an eye on the breadcrumbs in the top left of the screen.
    Hello, hello, what's all this shouting?
    We'll have no trouble here

    (Helping a pal... http://www.funkdub.info)

  7. #7
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    A hierarchy might look something like this:

    ===============
    Home

    Services
    -> Web Site Accessibility and Usability Consulting
    -> Designing with Accessibility and Usability in Mind

    Articles
    -> Article 1
    -> Article 2
    -> Article 3
    -> And so forth

    Seminars
    -> Seminar in Accessibility
    -> Seminar in Usability

    Contact Us

    Site Map
    ===============

    Your breadcrumbs should reflect such a hierarchy, not confuse it.

  8. #8
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Bradley don't worry about me deleting the link to my forums. I had exactly the same opinion a long time now, and I was just expecting to hear that by a user, so I would be encouraged and convinced to do that. Honestly: Thanks a lot.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict shrikie's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd place them in the left side of the orange top bar.. anyway, that was my reflex when looking at your page for the crumbs.

  10. #10
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Hi everybody.

    I have updated today my navigation. Would you please be so kind and have a look again?

    Thanks!


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