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This may vary based on your site hierarchy and IA but when configuring breadcrumbs should they include home or stop the first filter (categories, for example).

Which is better? I have seen both used on popular sites and don't see how either is a perfect "win-win scenario."

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I don't think it matters much. If you don't have another link to go Home, putting in the breadcrumbs is painless and easy. If you do, then that link might be a bit wasteful but is unlikely to be harmful. I would include the Home link if your users tend to accomplish multiple tasks per visit. If your users almost exclusively do a single task then leave, having a button dedicated to 'starting over' is not very valuable. –  Myrddin Emrys May 21 '12 at 20:47

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I believe that unless you have a compelling reason (I haven't yet come across one) not to include "Home" in your chain, that you should just leave it in. It's a small unobtrusive affordance which allows users who have already been navigating mainly with your breadcrumbs to continue to do so back to home. They needn't go any further (like up to your logo or another home button placed elsewhere).

They've been around for a while and most of the recommendations I've read on them still say to have a "Home" item as part of convention (see Nielsen's Breadcrumb Navigation Increasingly Useful and the section labeled Consistency Breeds Familiarity).

Some additional references:

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Thanks for the insight and links. Just what I was looking for! –  Zach Reed May 22 '12 at 14:31

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The origin of Breadcrumbs was simply to track back to Home .

** The user needs to see the starting point which is the "Home" and the current page on the Breadcrumbs that helps to visualize the path easily and navigate much more effectively. Hence Home should be included.

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