Oldies but Goldies

Monday, March 1, 2010

This is the translation of an old post in italian from "Do It The jAPS Way".

Pane, Storia e... Geografia

From an email of explanation to a colleague:

There are two main types of the web entity we call Breadcrumbs (I'm gonna name theese types with names of my choice):
  1. Geographical Breadcrumbs
  2. Historical Breadcrumbs
Geographical Breadcrumbs are just like a map with a very large red X and the sign "You are here".
They come in help whenever you want to know in which point of the page tree of a website you are, regardless of how you got there.

Mostly used in Plain Old Informative Portals.

PRO: They give a new feature to the user, not embedded in a web browser (the very large red X on the map).
CONS: In a page tree made of 10 or more sublevels, they end out to be an element of chaos instead of adding order .

Historical Breadcrumbs are like Thumbling's breadcrumbs.
They track every single step it took you to reach the point of the site where you stand, regardless of your position in the page tree.

They are used almost only in WiKis, or in large "encyclopedia-style" portals where you end up using the History in your browser so often that you can surely take advantage of a web based version of it.

PRO: They help reminding what pages you read seconds, minutes ago.
CONS: They are definetely a creature of Chaos, and aren't of any use in clearing your position in a website.


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