Web design- drop down menu and breadcrumb trails

Published: 25th March 2008
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If your web site has more than a handful of pages, you will have to split them into sections so that you do not overwhelm your visitors. However, this means that you have to think wisely about your navigation bar. You need to decide how to allow visitors to go to each page within your web site without being given too many choices at a time. A good solution is to use web design features such as the drop down menus. These are like a normal menu but there's something special about them. When you move your mouse pointer over them, a sub menu is opened revealing links to other pages.

Using web design features such as drop down menus may be useful if you need people to access every single page of a site from the navigation bar. Web design solutions such as Javascript and DHTML were once used to make drop down menus. But they are very complicated to set up and are also inaccessible to many disabled people. Also, it does not help to achieve a good ranking in Google. A much better way to create drop down menus can be achieved using CSS web design standards.

Moreover, on large web sites it's relatively easy to forget where you are on the site. Some people may simply become disoriented once they have clicked on more than a few links. This is something that you have to reduce if you are a web designer. Getting people confused means losing them. As a web site owner you would surely not want to lose traffic due to web design mistakes that can unmistakably be improved. One of the most common ways to show your visitors where they are is to use a web design technique called the breadcrumb trail. The term had been derived from the tale Hansel and Gretel where a trail of breadcrumbs was left in the woods so that they could find their way back.

Likewise, in web design, a breadcrumb trail is a list of links which help visitors to move through your web site without being lost. Usually, a breadcrumb trail is a horizontal list of links which shows users where they actually stand on your web site. For example a breadcrumb trail would be like that: Home > Pictures > Sport > Football. With such web design features you know exactly if you go a level backwards where you will reach. Thus, following the breadcrumb trail, it's relatively difficult to get lost on a particular web site. Normally, a web design characteristic like breadcrumb trail shows visitors where they are within the overall site. However, it is also possible to show the last few pages that the visitor had looked at.

Treating details carefully in web design can be very profitable in the long run. Traffic is not created in a couple of days. As such, web design plays a massive role to either bring traffic to your web site or even drive it away. If you want to be successful on the internet, give your web design a careful treatment and a close look.
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Sanjou is the web design articles author at one of the leading web design company in the UK.

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