Contact  |  Login  Volunteer


Breadcrumbs are a navigation aid showing the location of the current page within a web site or web application. They consist of a series of horizontally arranged links, each representing a page in a path leading to the current page.

Breadcrumbs are not a substitute for main navigation, but as a secondary navigation aid they can be useful in several different ways:

  • They provide orientation for visitors who land on a deep page in the site from a search engine or external link.
  • They help users keep track of their location, particularly when navigating web sites or applications with a deep content hierarchy.
  • They provide links back to pages higher up in the site.

As breadcrumbs have become more widely used, conventions for using them have evolved. Although some web sites use dynamic breadcrumbs that reflect the navigation path the user took to the current page, more typically web sites use static breadcrumbs that reflect the location of the current page within the site's content hierarchy.

Although some early studies showed that users ignored breadcrumbs, more recent studies have shown that breadcrumbs help users (especially expert users) navigate more efficiently and increase user satisfaction.

Related Links


Lifecycle: Interaction design
Sources and contributors: 
Lisa Battle, Bill Killam, Nigel Bevan
Released: 2009-06
© 2010 Usability Professionals Association