Exploring User Mental Models of breadcrumbs in Web Navigation
A solid usability study on the how the type of breadcrumbs can show users the breadth and depth of web sites.
Angela Colter from the University of Baltimore did a study on exploring user mental models of breadcrumbs in web navigation and posted the results on her site.
She also defined three types of breadcrumbs:
- Location breadcrumbs indicate the position of the current page within a site’s hierarchy regardless of the path taken to arrive there.
- Path breadcrumbs show the path the user has taken within a site to get to the current page. The same content from the site can be presented with different breadcrumbs because users can take different routes.
- Attribute breadcrumbs convey product meta-information, such as subject, price, category, style, and brand.
These are the concepts that most developers don't even think about when developing web sites. A user at any time can lose track of where they're going or where they've been.
Good post, Angela. Thanks.