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Breadcrumb-Trail Navigation

MKDoc automatically builds a breadcrumb-trail navigation bar for every document.

What are they?

This is the breadcrumb trail for this page:

You are here: MKDoc / Features / Breadcrumb-Trail Navigation

It allows you to quickly jump to the front page and the Features page.

The breadcrumb trail is dynamically generated on MKDoc documents, using the titles of the documents for the hyperlinks. It makes it clear to users where they are in the site and it enables easy navigation to documents closer to the front page.

Why are they called that?

The reason it is called a breadcrumb trail is because Hansel and Gretel left one as they walked through the forest in order that they could retrace their steps.

Why they are essential

Jakob Nielsen has summed up the point of breadcrumb-trail navigation:

...(they)provide links to all levels of the hierarchy above the current location. Breadcrumb trails serve two purposes:

  • the context of the current page (how it is nested) allows users to interpret the page better (you don't just know that you are looking at product 354, you also know that it belongs to the widget product family)
  • the links allow users to go directly to a higher level of the site in case the current page is not what they wanted, but they do want something similar

Is Navigation Useful?, Jakob Nielsen

More information on breadcrumb trails

Further web resources explaining breadcrumb trails include, Navigation: an often neglected component of web authorship, by Dennis G. Jerz, Navigation: make it easy, by Ross Shannon and the breadcrumb definition at the Motive Internet Glossary.

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This document was last modified by Adam Moran on 2003-08-13 01:10:21
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