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The Importance of Breadcrumb Navigation in Web Design

Have you ever found yourself lost in a website? You clicked on a few links and suddenly, you don’t know where you are, or how you got there. It’s an unsettling feeling, and it’s exactly what breadcrumb navigation was designed to prevent. In this beginner’s guide to breadcrumb navigation, we’ll discuss what it is, why you should use it, and how it works.

What Is Breadcrumb Navigation?

Breadcrumb navigation is a secondary navigation system that shows users their location on a website. The term “breadcrumb” comes from the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel, where the siblings leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way home. Similarly, breadcrumb navigation helps users navigate back to their starting point on a website.

Why use Breadcrumb Navigation?

Breadcrumb navigation helps users easily navigate a website. It provides users with context and information about where they are. This makes users feel more in control of their experience and reduces their likelihood of getting lost on the website. Additionally, breadcrumb navigation can improve a website’s SEO by making it easier for search engines to crawl.

Why Is It Important?

Without breadcrumb navigation, users may find themselves lost and frustrated on a website. This can lead to high bounce rates and low engagement. Providing users with breadcrumb navigation can improve their experience on your website, leading to higher engagement and more conversions. Plus, it’s an easy feature to implement with minimal cost.

How Does It Work?

Breadcrumb navigation typically appears near the top of a website and follows the path a user took to get there. For example, if a user is on a product page, the breadcrumb navigation might start with the home page, then the category page, before finally arriving at the product page. By clicking on any of the links in the breadcrumb navigation, the user can easily navigate back to a previous page.


There are different types of breadcrumb navigation, including location-based, attribute-based, and path-based. Location-based breadcrumb navigation shows users where they are on a website. Attribute-based breadcrumb navigation provides additional context by showing users the attributes of the page they are on. Path-based breadcrumb navigation displays the user’s path from the home page to their current location.

Common Questions and Answers

Does every website need breadcrumb navigation?

No, not every website needs it. However, it can be a helpful feature for websites with complex structures or a large amount of content.

Can breadcrumb navigation impact SEO?

Yes, breadcrumb navigation can improve a website’s SEO by providing search engines with additional context and information about the website’s structure.

Is breadcrumb navigation accessible?

Yes, breadcrumb navigation can be made accessible with proper coding and design.

Breadcrumb navigation is a simple but effective way to improve a user’s experience on a website. By providing context, reducing frustration, and improving SEO, breadcrumb navigation is an important tool in website design. Implementing breadcrumb navigation is easy and can have a significant impact on a website’s engagement and conversion rates.