A breadcrumb is a navigation aid that allows users to easily understand their location within a website or application. It typically appears at the top of a page and shows the user's current location in relation to the site's hierarchy.
The term "breadcrumb" comes from the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, in which the children leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way back home.
Breadcrumbs are especially useful for websites with deep hierarchies or complex structures. They allow users to quickly navigate back to previous pages or sections without having to use the browser's back button.
There are two main types of breadcrumbs: location-based and attribute-based. Location-based breadcrumbs show the user's location within the site's hierarchy, while attribute-based breadcrumbs show the user's location based on specific attributes, such as product category or search results.
Breadcrumbs can also be customized to fit the design and functionality of a particular website or application. For example, they can be styled to match the site's branding or modified to include additional information, such as thumbnail images or descriptions.
In addition to improving navigation, breadcrumbs can also have SEO benefits. They provide additional context to search engines about the structure and content of a site, which can improve its visibility in search results.
Overall, breadcrumbs are a valuable tool for improving the user experience and making it easier for users to navigate complex websites and applications.