Did you notice anything different about the top navigation menu or crumbtrail on this site?
So what are your first impressions? Did you understand it straight away? If not, did you see either a crumbtrail or a menu system or was it so confusing that it’s a miracle you even managed to find this article? Have you seen something similar before that may have influenced your understanding of the concept?
The rest of the article discusses this idea in a lot more detail and some experience of web design might be helpful to get the most out of it but I’m keen to hear everyone’s comments, not just the more technical visitor so don’t feel obliged to read and understand the main content before you let me know what you think.
I wanted to find a way to save some valuable screen space but I still like being able to always see where you are on a website and a crumbtrail is one very good method of conveying that information. Equally, it would be a bit useless if there were no navigation menu on this site so I thought the two could be combined.
This is actually an idea I’ve wanted to try out for many years but this is the first chance I’ve had to implement it. I can’t say it’s the first time this has been done on a website because I’ve seen relatively few of the world’s websites but I do come across a large number of sites and have not seen this approach before so I’m certain that currently it is at least very rare.
Although websites using this approach seem rarer than unappealing cakes I have recently seen a similar idea in Windows Vista Explorer and some rarer applications (I think many were Linux programs) so it may be a navigation method that is much more widespread in five years as people get used to the approach in offline applications.
I think it is an intuitive way to navigate a website but the visual appearance is going to make or break it. If it’s not obvious that the words are part of a drop down menu then the user could be stuck on their first page view. I hope that the left and down arrows I’ve used make this obvious enough but there is probably room for improvement in that aspect of the design.
Here’s what visitors with various configuration settings should see:
|CSS available||CSS off|
As far as a name for this is concerned, I just jotted down the first name I thought of but I suppose you could call it any number of things including the Super Crumb, Super Crumb Menu, SCM, SCrumbM (if you’re into Rugby) or, if you really dislike the concept, SCuM.