Visibility. Usability. Profitability.

Facebook Breadcrumbs Are For the Birds

I’ve always been aggravated with Facebook’s unintuitive interface.
Every time they roll out a new version of the site, I’m let down by the lack of a user-friendly site architecture.

Facebook breadcrumbs are for the birds!

If Facebook has any UX specialists on staff, I have a hunch their primary goal is to dissuade users from tightening the screws on privacy settings. What we can’t find, we can’t change (to private); and information, as we all know, is power.

But why serve birdseed instead of croutons?

Every now and then I spot a usability fail that’s hard to explain, let alone believe.

Facebook has decided to stray from a widely accepted convention by reversing the order of its navigation breadcrumbs .

Facebook usability problem: Reversed breadcrumbsThe breadcrums on this Facebook page should be formatted as: Matthew’s Profile > Matthew’s Photos > Back to Album

Breadcrumb navigation
is a Web convention that gives readers an additional way of keeping track of their location within a document or application.

Like so:
Home page > Section page > Subsection page

Breadcrumbs provide a hierarchical trail of links back to parent pages, with the topmost link usually pointing to the site’s home page.

On With My Tin Foil Hat

One explanation I can come up with as to why Facebook fails with such basic Web usability issues is that it’s a sneaky way of getting us used to struggling with basic tasks on the site. If it were as easy (as it should be) to maneuver our way through Facebook, its camouflaged privacy settings would stand out even more.

Off With My Tin Foil Hat

A more likely scenario regarding Facebook’s lack of user-friendliness is advertising exposure. The more we click around trying to accomplish tasks, the more Facebook ads we see.

About matt

Matthew Edward is the founder of Springboard SEO, a usability-first search engine optimization company in Montreal.