What would have happened to Hansel and Gretel if they had a chance to use their breadcumbs!
Article by Gary Larocque
As the Germanic fairy tale goes, Hansel and Gretal are abandondin the forest. To prevent being lost, the two children leave atrail of "breadcrumbs" to find their way home, which unfortunatelybecomes eaten by the local wildlife.
As a child I didn't see the signifigance of the breadcrumb trailin a worldly sense, I generally always knew where I was going, sowhy would a skilled explorer like myself need them? Then along camethe internet, a winding path of never ending trails that could leadme to the top of a great mountain of information. Quickly I wouldbecome lost, never knowing which trail to follow, especially whenyou were looking for that small tidbit of information that you hadpassed earlier on the trail. Eventually someone remember the plightof Hansel and Gretel and decided to help us out.
- Breadcrumbs show people their current location relative to higher-levelconcepts, helping them understand where they are in relation to therest of the site.
- Breadcrumbs afford one-click access to higher site levels and thusrescue users who parachute into very specific but inappropriatedestinations through search or deep links.
- Breadcrumbs never cause problems in user testing: people mightoverlook this small design element, but they never misinterpretbreadcrumb trails or have trouble operating them.
- Breadcrumbs take up very little space on the page.
So don't overlook these helpful little tools as they can be veryuseful for beginers as well as the most experienced of webexplorers.