Breadcrumb question

My website has the following main navigation tabs:

- Home
- Finance
- Legal
- Management
- Operations

Which of these two Breadcrumbs is correct…

Options #1:

Home > Finance > Economy > Which States Support Main Street?

Options #2:

Finance > Economy > Which States Support Main Street?

I’ve seen a couple people recommend Option #1, but that seems incorrect, because the “Finance” section is not a subset of the “Home page”.
(Each navigation tab listed above is at the same level as the next.)

What do you think?



I’d say use #1, because Home usually represents the root folder of your site, and Finance is essentially (either literally or not) a subsection of the home folder. Even if it’s not strictly the hierarchy of the site, it makes sense to users to have the Home link in the breadcrumb—both because it gives another easy way back to the Home page, and because it helps to clarify the site structure (confirming that Finance is a top level section of your site).


If all of these menu items are on the same level, the breadcrumbs shouldn’t be displayed as you have them. They should really be used to show a visitor’s location in hierarchically arranged pages. That’s not the only way to display them though and whatever you do really depends on your goals for using this secondary navigation.
This is one of those design elements that is mean to improve a user’s ability to navigate a site and if it doesn’t do that, it should be excluded.
Keep in mind that there are also different methods for displaying breadcrumbs. You can use a path method where the breadcrumbs displayed represent the actual path that a user followed. So in your example, it wouldn’t matter of pages were a subsection of the home page or not. Path based breadcrumbs would be meant to display the actual path taken through the site.
Then there are hierarchal breadcrumbs that actually show levels of pages in which the home page is almost always the first level (or should be).
Here is a pretty good write up on breadcrumbs,

Hope that helps,