Sometimes it is not appropriate to use breadcrumbs as a means of secondary navigation within a website. Users expect breadcrumbs to behave a certain way and attempts to deviate from this may confuse them. Most users are expecting breadcrumbs to expose the hierarchy of the site or display attributes of the page they are on.

Path based breadcrumbs are unique to a user’s journey and are not commonly implemented. Only use this type of breadcrumbs if there is a compelling reason for it.

While breadcrumbs are common, it is not the primary way users will navigate a site. Don’t make the breadcrumbs the only navigation structure.

In general, the rule of not adding anything extraneous to the design applies here. If the site only contains a few pages or if the pages in the breadcrumbs are already available through primary navigation, there is little reason to include breadcrumbs in the design.


Take a moment to observe how we’ve implemented breadcrumbs in the mini-browser.

After you’ve taken note of your observations, continue to the next exercise.

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