Browse Prior Art Database

Fully-Navigable Breadcrumb Trails (or "Browsable Breadcrumbs") Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016271D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Sep-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21

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Disclosed is a system for enhancing the navigational properties of breadcrumbs in user interfaces. Standard breadcrumbs today typically let a user linearly navigate up stream in a hierarchy of panels. They are convenient because they are easy to access, being surfaced and typically at the top of a panel. Another key benefit of breadcrumbs is their slim footprint they only take up one line of text. Figure 1 below is an example that shows a small part of a UI panel centered around standard breadcrumbs, in which "Building Pages" is one of the four breadcrumbs in the trail. Figure 1 Standard Breadcrumbs This disclosed invention adds to these key benefits of standard breadcrumbs. It allows users to directly navigate not only to the panels above in the hierarchy chain, but also to each of their peer panels. So, users could still navigate backward in the hierarchy, but also laterally to other peer links, letting users bypass an undesired intermediary panel. Figure 2 below shows a user having just clicked an inline down-arrow button associated with a link in the breadcrumb trail to get a listing of all the peer panels of "Building Pages". Clicking on one of these choices of peer panels would navigate the user directly to that panel. So in the example, the user could either click on the inline link "Building Pages" to go directly back to that page (as is the current art), or click on the associated down-arrow button to access the menu of panels that are related to "Building Pages" (the essence of this invention), which would be a significant convenience, shortcut, and provide other benefits. Figure 2 Lateral Navigation Capability