I'm currently working on the following types of web sites and apps:

  1. ecommerce like Amazon
  2. Reservation system (think of a hotel receptionist checking rooms availability)
  3. Invoice management like Freshbook

On Amazon, I didn't notice any breadcrumbs, just facets from the left panel. However, newegg is using both breadcrumbs and facets.

In a management system like hotel reservations or invoice management, you usually have unique reservation or customer number that you search through your system. Each reservation can then expand to more sections, for instance:

    > Reservation #123456
        > Guests
        > Room
        > Airport pickup
        > Payment

In each unique reservation page, I'm using breadcrumbs to show the location of the current page relative to the site. Is that a good method to present that kind of information? Should I use tabs or other techniques?

  • 7
    This might be a good question for ui.stackexchange.com - not saying it doesn't belong here but I've got some good and different answers for the same question here and there.
    – glenatron
    Oct 27, 2010 at 15:57
  • Maybe an admin can move the question there, I didn't know the UI site existed. Oct 27, 2010 at 16:01
  • 1
    Actually amazon does use breadcrumbs, it's under the main nav on category pages.
    – Malfist
    Oct 27, 2010 at 16:18
  • Jakob Nielsen likes them: useit.com/alertbox/breadcrumbs.html
    – TRiG
    Nov 30, 2010 at 11:25

2 Answers 2


I find breadcrumbs a very useful feature. I particularly like it on ecommerce sites where I might be in and out of a lot of different category products. Its a wonderful tool that should be used more often and doesn't require a lot of screen real estate to implement.


Breadcrumbs are used in Windows 7 Explorer, in a highly effective manner.

I actually think breadcrumbs are underused in web sites. It's an extremely effective technique for moving around in the website tree, especially if the website is large and complex.

  • The main problem I have with the breadcrumbs in Windows Vista (assume it's the same in 7) is that you normally only see 3-4 directory levels in the standard window. Oct 27, 2010 at 16:54

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