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Re: Usability studies Re: Breadcrumbs

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 11:51:51 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c47b9a$ff9f5a70$440bc650@tversdatg7y7vv>

I find Phill's analysis of the mentioned usability study excellent.

Before I add a few extra fragments to the analysis let me say the
following about breadcrumb menus:

1)
In general breadcrumb menus are overkill if a proper main menu also
exists. If links in the main menu changes to only text at "their own"
page, the main menu is itself also a good breadcrumb menu.

2)
If the main menu has submenus properly marked to be used also by
keyboard users, it also works nicely as both a main menu and a
breadcrumb menu.

3)
Both a main menu and a breadcrumb menu are normally only necessary at
huge hierarchical websites, where breadcrumb menus can be very helpful
to keep you oriented of where you are.

4)
Breadcrumb menus are always nice if it is the only menu that is if it is
also the main menu. Jakob Nielsen's website is an example.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Back to the usability study:

A breadcrumb menu was never made to be used to find something except
your way "back", but to help your orientation. If people don't click the
breadcrumb menu their choice of navigation can very well be based also
on knowledge obtained from the breadcrumb menu as signal post.

A good usability study about the usefulness of breadcrumb menus should
have questions based on points of departure where you have just arrived
at the page from a search engine, and situations where you are suddenly
confused about where you are, and situations where the active use of the
breadcrumb menu is actually the best way to proceed.

Best regards,
Jesper Tverskov

www.smackthemouse.com
Received on Friday, 6 August 2004 05:51:59 UTC

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