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Paola Kathuria <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Paola Kathuria <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 4 Nov 2004 15:31:24 +0000
text/plain (54 lines)
Gautier Barrere wrote:
> I've identified a big problem with the "Breadcrumbs" [...]
> In a lot of cases, this bar is to long for the width of the web site.

I agree that the information conveyed about a site's
position in a site can be compromised if breadcrumbs wrap.
However, I don't think that wrapping can be avoided in all
cases because, ultimately, visitors control the text size
and their browser width.

A simple suggestion to help shorten breadcrumbs whilst
not undermining page headings is to define two headings
for every page: one for the main page heading (H1) and
an optional short form which is used as the link text
to that page (in breadcrumbs and local navigation). I'm
sure other people must already be doing this.

We did this for the redesign of the public pages at last year.

Here are a couple of examples:

Breadcrumbs on

Home > OED News > March 2004 newsletter > Where in the multiverse...?

The H1 page headings for this sequence of pages is:

- Oxford English Dictionary
- Oxford English Dictionary News
- March 2004 newsletter
- 'Where in the multiverse...?': researching the vocabulary
   of science fiction for the OED

And breadcrumbs on

Home > OED News > Contribute to the OED > How to contribute

Whereas the last page heading is actually "How to contribute
words to the Reading Programme."  "How to contribute" only
makes sense in the context of "Contribute to the OED."

The H1 heading should help visitors make sense of the page
quickly if it's the first page they see in a site but the
"nav" heading can be shorter as it's always seen in the
context of surrounding links.

The H1 heading and shorter nav heading should be sufficiently
similar that the visitor won't think they've ended up on a
different page when following a link.