Side Nav Bar

Side Nav Bar

Child 1 Page

Child 1 Page

Item 1 Page

Inner page

I'm always faced with the same issue when trying to design breadcrumbs.

I would like to know what is the most accurate breadcrumbs for Item 1 Page, or should I ditch away the breadcrumbs?

  • Parent DDL / Child 1 (link) / Card 1 / Item 1
  • Child 1 (link) / Card 1 / Item 1

My issue here is that "Parent DDL" is not a page itself. Clicking on it will just expand the DDL to display the Child options. However, if we remove "Parent DDL" from the breadcrumbs, will users be lost? - "How did I get to Child 1?"

But, if we were to add in "Parent DDL" to the breadcrumbs, it is not clickable. Similarly, "Card 1" is an item on the listing page, should it also be linkable in the breadcrumbs? Clicking on "Card 1" will just bring users back to "Child 1".

  • Please could you elaborate what exactly is the issue here? Breadcrumbs to show non-functional web pages -- which page is non-functional?
    – SNag
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 17:28
  • If you look at my images, "Parent DDL" is just a drop-down list, but it is non-function in a sense that when it's being clicked on, it will not bring users anywhere. So if I were to remove "Parent DDL" in the breadcrumbs, I'm worried that users may not know how they get to "Child 1 page". But if I add "Parent DDL" in the breadcrumbs, it's a non-clickable breadcrumb link. So is it okay to include breadcrumbs that are not clickable? Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 2:43
  • Similar question: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/53323/…
    – drabsv
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


For me, as a user, breadcrumbs are very useful. I started to notice that I was using the breadcrumbs a lot when I was browsing for products in eCommerce websites.

Most accurate breadcrumb would be:

Home (link) / Parent DDL (link) / Child 1 (link) / Card 1 (link) / Item 1

Very often, I find myself clicking on Child 1 or Card 1 to browse other options when browsing products in online shops.

I hope this answers your question :)

  • Thanks for your response. However, "Parent DDL" is non clickable. It's merely just a dropdown list but when clicked on, nothing will happen. Hence there will not be any linkages to it. Similarly, "Card 1" doesn't have a link as well because it's just an item in the listing. By clicking on it, it will link back to "Child 1"'s page. So in this case, does it make sense to still leave the breadcrumbs in even though only "Child 1" is clickable, while the rest are not? Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 1:54

The breadcrumb element combines a lot of functions in one and this often causes confusion about its proper use. Breadcrumbs could serve the following purposes:

  • a gist of where am I currently (micro web site map)
  • how did I get here (browsing history trail)
  • go back one level (duplicating the browser back button)
  • go back a few levels
  • context of the meaning of the current page category.

If "how did I get here" is important for users, I see no problem for "Parent DDL" to be present in the breadcrumb, as long as it is not clickable (it cannot be anyway).

One could argue that by being non-clickable, it could cause cognitive dissonance in the user who would be expecting all pieces of the breadcrumb, except the last one, to be clickable and they would perceive it as some sort of an error at first sight. I have no experience with that, therefore I could only advise to test it.

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