Breadcrumb Navigation


Breadcrumb Navigation is a type of user interface that offers users a visual representation of their location within a website or application. It’s typically a horizontal hierarchy of links displayed at the top or bottom of a webpage. The term comes from the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale where breadcrumbs were used to trace a path back home.


The phonetics of “Breadcrumb Navigation” are:Breadcrumb: /ˈbrɛdˌkrʌm/Navigation: /ˌnævɪˈɡeɪʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Breadcrumb Navigation enhances usability – It allows users to understand their current position in a hierarchical website and navigate back to higher-level pages easily.
  2. It aids in SEO – Breadcrumb navigation provides another opportunity for search engines to understand and rank the website’s content. It helps Google bots to understand the website structure better.
  3. Breadcrumb Navigation reduces bounce rates – By offering users a simple way to navigate back to more general content if they might have unknowingly delved into a more specific area of your site, breadcrumbs can help to reduce your website’s bounce rate.


Breadcrumb Navigation is an important technology term as it greatly enhances user experience by providing a clear and easy-to-follow path, guiding users through the various levels of a website. It facilitates site navigation, especially in complex websites with numerous pages and sub-categories, by showing users their current location and the hierarchical relationship between various pages. This element reduces confusion and frustration associated with navigating intricate websites, improving usability. Furthermore, Breadcrumb Navigation also considerably aids Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by allowing search engines to understand the website structure better, which could potentially increase a site’s ranking in search results.


Breadcrumb navigation is a tool designed to aid users’ navigation on websites or within web applications. Its primary purpose is to provide users with a way to keep track of their location within programs or documents. This tool is particularly useful in websites where users need to navigate deeply into nested layers of information, such as in large eCommerce websites or educational sites. It has been structured in a way that reflects the hierarchical structure of a website and enables quick access to higher-level pages.Think of breadcrumb navigation as a roadmap of a website. Users can trace the path back to the homepage and understand how the whole site or application is structured. Breadcrumb navigation is also valuable in reducing the number of actions a user needs to take to navigate back to higher-level pages, thereby saving time and clicks. It enhances the user experience by providing a sense of orientation and context, especially on websites with a vast amount of content or complex hierarchies. Notably, it plays a crucial role in improving website usability, enhancing user engagement, and reducing bounce rates.


1. E-commerce Websites: Amazon is a great example of breadcrumb navigation. When you select a product, you can see the path from the home page to the current product page. For example, if you’re looking at a laptop, the breadcrumb navigation would look like this: “Home > Electronics > Computers & Accessories > Laptops > [Product Name]”.2. Educational Websites: Websites like Khan Academy use breadcrumb navigation to help users track their progress through different learning modules. An example would be, “Home > Math > Algebra > Algebra basics > [Lesson Name]”. 3. Government Websites: Government websites are typically huge and have a lot of pages that come under various categories and subcategories. For instance, on the United States’ Department of Labor website, if you’re viewing information about workplace safety regulations, the breadcrumb trail might look like: “Home > Occupational Safety & Health > Standards > Regulations”.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is Breadcrumb Navigation?**A1: Breadcrumb Navigation is a graphical control element used as a navigational aid in user interfaces. It allows users to keep track of their locations within programs, documents, or websites.**Q2: How does Breadcrumb Navigation work?**A2: Breadcrumb Navigation works by offering a trail for the user to follow back to the starting or entry point. Links are usually in horizontal form, often to the left of the page.**Q3: What is the purpose of using Breadcrumb Navigation?**A3: The main objective of using Breadcrumb Navigation is to help users understand their location in the system or website and travel back to points they have previously visited, if necessary.**Q4: Where do we often see Breadcrumb Navigation?**A4: Breadcrumb Navigation is usually found at the top of a webpage, beneath the navigation bar, if one is present and above the content area.**Q5: Are there types of Breadcrumb Navigation?**A5: Yes, there are three types of Breadcrumb Navigation: Location-based breadcrumb, Attribute-based breadcrumb, and Path-based breadcrumb.**Q6: What is Location-based Breadcrumb?**A6: This shows the user where they are within the site’s hierarchy.**Q7: What is Attribute-based Breadcrumb?**A7: This reveals to the users the category characteristics of the current page they’re viewing.**Q8: What is Path-based Breadcrumb?**A8: This type of breadcrumb displays the unique steps the user has taken to reach the current page.**Q9: Is Breadcrumb Navigation necessary?**A9: While not strictly necessary, Breadcrumb Navigation helps enhance the user experience by making navigation within a website or system easier and more convenient.**Q10: Can Breadcrumb Navigation help in SEO?**A10: Yes, Breadcrumb Navigation can help improve the SEO of a page as it allows search engines to understand the website structure better, which could potentially improve the website’s ranking.

Related Technology Terms

  • Website Hierarchy
  • Site Map
  • User Interface (UI)
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Sources for More Information


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