W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-archive@w3.org > April 2002

interesting sequence on 'druthers for view adaptation

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 18:22:27 -0400
Message-Id: <200204092222.SAA2229764@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: www-archive@w3.org

The punch line of this sequence is about how the trail back to the home page is better spelled out in an array of individual hyperlinks in some delivery contexts and better left as on object minimized that you have to poke to expand into the separate destination references in others.

Below I have copied an exchange that happened on the webwatch mailing list in which this is well illustrated.

Al

-- message 1

To: webwatch@yahoogroups.com
From: Kelly Ford <kelly@kellford.com>
Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2002 07:11:30 -0800
Subject: [webwatch] http://www.fcc.gov: Breadcrumb, what in the world does that
  mean?

Hi All,

This morning I was looking for some information on the Federal 
Communications Commission (FCC) web site at <http://www.fcc.gov>.  Wonder 
of wonders, I suddenly find a link titled "Skip Breadcrumb Site Navigation 
Links."

Now don't get me wrong, skip nav is a good idea in some settings and I know 
Section 508 requires it.  But breadcrumb?  What is that going to mean to an 
end user?

-- message 2

To: webwatch@yahoogroups.com
In-Reply-To: <5.0.2.1.0.20020404070520.0220b380@pop.onemain.com>
From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2002 10:43:32 -0500
Subject: Re: [webwatch] http://www.fcc.gov: Breadcrumb, what in the
  world does that  mean?

At 10:11 AM 2002-04-04 , you wrote:
>Hi All,
>
>This morning I was looking for some information on the Federal 
>Communications Commission (FCC) web site at <http://www.fcc.gov>.  Wonder 
>of wonders, I suddenly find a link titled "Skip Breadcrumb Site Navigation 
>Links."
>
>Now don't get me wrong, skip nav is a good idea in some settings and I know 
>Section 508 requires it.  But breadcrumb?  What is that going to mean to an 
>end user?
>

To those who grok it, it alludes to Hansel and Gretel.  In that story they dropped breadcrumbs to mark the way they had come and the birds came and ate the breadcrumbs and they couldn't follow the trail.  That is the figurative notion invoked, the mnemonic allusion.

In the web page cliches story the breadcrumbs are a bunch of waypoints marking the path back home.  And they're in a summary of that orientation at the head of the page, with presentation with arrows or slashes for punctuation indicating a flow connoting progressively more local contexts.


I would defend this on the basis that a)it is short enough so that it doesn't destroy your ability to understand "skip foobar site navigation links" and b) it is a word that designers can understand and by which they will remember that people need an orientation to where they are in a cognitive frame of reference, such as a hierarchical table of contents rooted at the home page of this site.

Best to learn this as a new word for interoperability with designers, is my recognition.  Reasonable accomodation cuts both ways.

Check in with the current state of the discussion of the W3C email archives format where such 'breadcrumbs' in a header are strongly advocated by one of the parties to the conversation.

This takes three links:

Background in general



http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2002Mar/thread.html

Latest in addition to the above


http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2002Apr/thread.html

Breadcrumb proposal - two posts by David Booth archived under


http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2002Mar/author.html#60

Al

-- message 3

From: Kelly Ford <kelly@kellford.com>
X-Yahoo-Profile: kellford1967
MIME-Version: 1.0
Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2002 09:37:12 -0800
Subject: Re: [webwatch] http://www.fcc.gov: Breadcrumb, what in the
  world does that  mean?

Al,

At 10:43 AM 4/4/02 -0500, you wrote:

>To those who grok it, it alludes to Hansel and Gretel.  In that story they 
>dropped breadcrumbs to mark the way they had come and the birds came and 
>ate the breadcrumbs and they couldn't follow the trail.  That is the 
>figurative notion invoked, the mnemonic allusion.
>
>In the web page cliches story the breadcrumbs are a bunch of waypoints 
>marking the path back home.  And they're in a summary of that orientation 
>at the head of the page, with presentation with arrows or slashes for 
>punctuation indicating a flow connoting progressively more local contexts.
>
>So is this list supposed to grow in length as I navigate around a web 
>site?  When I experimented a bit on the FCC pages, I frequently only found 
>one link in what I'm assuming would be this trail section.  It generally 
>took me back to the home page.  As an example I started at 
><http://www.fcc.gov> and selected Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau 
>(CGB).  Then I selected Initiatives.  At that point immediately below the 
>skip breadcrumb link I had one link that simply said FCC.  I don't see how 
>this is any different from a link to the main page, although I understand 
>the concept if a full trail were to be provided.

>I would defend this on the basis that a)it is short enough so that it 
>doesn't destroy your ability to understand "skip foobar site navigation 
>links" and b) it is a word that designers can understand and by which they 
>will remember that people need an orientation to where they are in a 
>cognitive frame of reference, such as a hierarchical table of contents 
>rooted at the home page of this site.
>
>Best to learn this as a new word for interoperability with designers, is 
>my recognition.  Reasonable accomodation cuts both ways.
>

Then let's go the next step.  Offer me the ability to turn those 
breadcrumb links into a drop down combo box if I specify that's my 
preference.  That way they are out of my way until I ask to use them with 
no messing about skipping around.  The list would list pages of a site 
visited in reverse order.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the idea.  And like a lot of what you 
have to do to access the computer, I'm not averse to adding new vocabulary 
to what I have to know to get around if there's a quality improvement to 
the end experience.

Kelly
Received on Tuesday, 9 April 2002 18:22:34 GMT

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