[x] Best Practice
HHS recommends the use of breadcrumbs on all pages.
Giving the user a visual cue to their location on a web site is much like the “You are here” indicator on a map. Providing a visual cue with breadcrumbs has the benefit of orienting the user to where they are on a series of pages, and where they are in the overall site hierarchy. Breadcrumbs also assist visitors who come into the site on a subordinate page (via Google, etc.) to access related hierarchical information.
Evans, 1998; Farkas and Farkas, 2000; IBM, 1999; Lynch and Horton, 2002; Horton, 2005; Nielsen and Tahir, 2002; Spool, et al., 1997.
Breadcrumbs are not recommended for pages that are part of dedicated Web applications such as the ITAS timekeeping system, PubMed, etc. that have built-in navigation tools.
Requirements (content & style):
Breadcrumbs should start with "xxx home" (not "You are here") where xxx is the overarching site title. Typically, for all pages on HHS.gov, breadcrumbs would be displayed as:
HHS Home > Level Two Page Title > Level Three Page Title >
HHS Home > Value-Driven Health Care > Communities >
Each element in the breadcrumb is a link. The page itself is not named or otherwise included in the breadcrumbs. For practicality’s sake, limit levels (clickable breadcrumbs) to four levels, no matter how many levels down a particular page may be.
For a file structure that looks like:
Home > Level Two > Level Three > Level Four > Level Five > (Page)
The breadcrumbs would look like:
Home > Level Two > Level Three > Level Four