Breadcrumb Navigation Deployment in Retail Web Sites.

by Aery, Sean C.

Abstract (Summary)
In online retailing, effective navigation aids can help users to find products of interest, thus contributing to a site’s usability and, ultimately, increasing sales. A breadcrumb trail in a Web site serves as a secondary navigation aid to help users to see a site’s structure, visualize a path he or she has taken to a page or product, or otherwise understand the relationship of a page’s contents to other pages within a site.

Through content analysis, this study explored the deployment of breadcrumbs—both in presentational and functional terms—in the Web sites of the top 100 online retailers (by annual sales). A wide variety of implementations was discovered and documented. Many deployments proved to be incongruent with recommendations in the literature. Analysis was performed given the perspective of an existing research framework developed by Instone (2002) which classified breadcrumbs into three types. A considerable number of sites’ deployments could not be sufficiently classified using that model. As a result, changes to the framework are suggested, including the addition of new concepts such as "facet breadcrumbs" and "hybrid breadcrumbs."

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Barbara M. Wildemuth

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:world wide web—navigational aids web—electronic commerce web sites—design corporations—internet resources


Date of Publication:08/05/2007

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