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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    Marking Up Breadcrumb Trails

    Just after a bit of advice, or confirmation, about what the best approach to marking up breadcrumb trails for website navigation is.

    As far as I see it, the breadcrumb trail is a list of links to higher places in the navigation hierarchy, and it is an ordered list because it is in order of highest significance to lowest. Would this be right? Is it just an ordered list of links, or is there another way of marking them up?

    Cheers,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Founder of Primal Skill Ltd. feketegy's Avatar
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    Personally I use an unordered list for breadcrumbs. Styling it horizontally with CSS.

  3. #3
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    I'd say use an ordered list. The order of the elements affect the meaning of the list, therefore it's not an unordered list.

    In an unordered list you can swap the order of the list items without changing the meaning of the list. If you do that with a breadcrumb trail, you change the meaning.

    Some people advocate that breadcrumb trails be marked up with nested ordered lists, but I don't agree with that approach. The list shows the navigational steps you need to take to get to the current page. It doesn't (necessarily) show the directory structure, nor would a user care about that.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    Cheers Tommy, just confirmed what I thought originally, but wanted to check.

    Secondly, with the site having a main navigation, a sub navigation and then a breadcrumb trail, are there any issues with multiple links appearing more than once on a page? Would it be best to use a label above each list of links explaining what each one is, which is then hidden with CSS? I'm reluctant to use heading tags for this purpose, as they aren't really headings to do with the document, just the navigation, but they aren't really paragraphs either...

  5. #5
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    No, it shouldn't be an issue. If at all possible, links with the same underlying URI should have the same anchor text, though. That will help the browser mark them all as visited (even if you hide that difference in CSS, users who need to know may override it).

    I often use <h2> headings to denote the structural sections of a page, and those headings are usually pushed off-screen by CSS for sighted users with graphical browsers. Structural headings can be immensely helpful to blind users with screen readers, but they may also be quite good for Lynx users who can't always tell that an unordered list is a main navigation menu, since it doesn't appear along the side of the page.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    Yeh, just feels a bit strange marking up the navigtaion etc as sub sections of the main page, i like to reserve the heading elements for the actual content really...


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