Hamburger Menus

What are Hamburger Menus?

Hamburger button

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Screenshot of Wikipedia mobile app with hamburger icon and opened menu

The hamburger menu is a symbol consisting of three parallel horizontal lines (displayed as ☰) that is used as a button in graphical user interfaces. It is often displayed in the top left or top right of a user interface.[1] It is called a “hamburger button” for its resemblance to a hamburger.[2]
Selection of a hamburger button typically results in a menu of pages or options. Hamburger buttons have been criticized by TechCrunch as a “poor design choice” in apps for mobile devices.

Rekindling the Discussion

From slack #general:

UX / HCI related items

hidden nav reduces overall user engagement 2014

The Next Web
Side Drawer Navigation Could Cost Half Your User Engagement
The side menu has become fashionable on Android but not yet taken off on iPhone… but used inappropriately and you could use half your user engagement. (369KB)

April 8th, 2014 at 10:16 AM

menu > hamburger icon from 2014

—– October 19th, 2015 —–
alilja [10:06 AM]  
is anybody really surprised that hiding critical information and using unclear icons reduces user engagement?

i think the trouble is really explaining an abstract concept like a “menu” through an icon

it’s sort of this weird grey area between mobile and desktop

mobile apps want to show everything onscreen because they’re supposedly simpler

they have less to do, and so they can show more of it. desktop applications, even the most complicated ones, still show most things

you have a toolbar and/or a menu bar

so maybe it’s really less about the right icon and more about what level of complexity is right for your application

it’s EASY to just slap a menu drawer into a mobile app and call it a day, but i don’t think that’s usually the right move

alilja [10:15 AM]  
better solutions:

User experience, mobile menus, and nav burgers
Using the triple bar menu icon (also known as the “nav burger”) may be the popular icon choice these days for representing your mobile menu, but is it well understood by users? The answer is less straightforward than you might think. Here are some ways to avoid user experience pitfalls on a phone-sized screen. (12KB)

April 7th, 2014 at 11:00 PM

bhaskarb04 [10:15 AM]  
I would think the concept of menus need to be defined for the user or rather type of user expert vs novice. Novices generally do less and hence dont need all the extra fluff (also makes the code more stable)

Experts need the fluff and are usually aware of the norms in terms of the UI

Now if a novice intends to move to expert then I think the software should be able to detect that

alilja [10:16 AM]  
i’m not even sure it’s an expert vs. novice thing here so much as it is a question of what’s actually useful to have in a mobile app

if you use a hamburger icon on a full-screen application or website you have failed in your job as a designer

bhaskarb04 [10:17 AM]  
How so?

Because its too easy?

I’d rather see consistency than different UIs for mobile vs desktop

alilja [10:19 AM]  
because you have so much screen real estate and so much more flexibility, it’s absurd to think you have to hide anything behind a generic MENU button

look at photoshop; it’s fantastically complicated but you can still access 90% of the stuff you need at any time

wstone [10:19 AM]  
uploaded an image: Huh.
Add Comment

alilja [10:19 AM]  
yeah, that drives me crazy

you click that and you get what amounts to a menu bar

it’s even worse on the mac because the options in there are different than on windows or linux because some of them got moved to the _actual menu bar_

bhaskarb04 [10:20 AM]  
but if you are a novice photoshop user then that stuff drives you nuts softwares I feel need to progress

alilja [10:21 AM]  
look at this bananas menu (89KB)

bhaskarb04 [10:21 AM]  
with the user intent

alilja [10:21 AM]
they have an edit menu that’s a potential selection in a regular menu, but instead of making it a sub-menu like they should have done, they totally break the extremely common paradigm  and put BUTTONS in there

bhaskarb04 [10:21 AM]  
If I get better at using novice tools software should say “Hey you might want to check out more tools”

alilja [10:22 AM]  
that should have been an edit menu, not this monstrosity

@bhaskarb04: sure but photoshop never claims to be for novices

bhaskarb04 [10:22 AM]  
I dont think there is a person under 50 who uses Edit for copy pasting

Thats bad!!!

Why do I need to read a book to use a software to figure out how change my background color

or make things transparent

Games do a really good job with that

they take it a small step at a time

unless you say that you’re an expert and they let you dive right in

alilja [10:24 AM]  
and game tutorials are always terrible

because they rarely ever let you do that

i agree that discover-ability is good, but not hand-holding

bhaskarb04 [10:24 AM]  
well in my head I’m thinking AAA games like assassins creed or gta v

alilja [10:25 AM]  
i can’t think of any game made in the last 10 years that let you skip the tutorial

bhaskarb04 [10:25 AM]  

:stuck_out_tongue: 😛

alilja [10:25 AM]  
haha okay, fair
but every first-person game ever still forces you to go through an inane tutorial so you learn how the controls work
mark my words, halo 5 will do that too

bhaskarb04 [10:25 AM]  
no but fifa has the adv of 10 years console research

alilja [10:25 AM]  
and yet very few of them give you the option of changing things like inversion

bhaskarb04 [10:26 AM]  
yes but you dont want to be like hey I didnt know that cool new move

alilja [10:26 AM]  
i do remember playing one game that did something very cool; it had you look at targets, and if you looked down instead of up, it would immediately ask you if you wanted to invert the look
wish i could remember what game that was

bhaskarb04 [10:26 AM]  
I think assasins creed does a good job cause it just gives you hints on what buttons to do what

alilja [10:26 AM]  
anyway, discover-ability shouldn’t prevent you from accessing the features you need
i shouldn’t need to DISCOVER what’s behind a hamburger menu if it contains essential stuff
i remember when i needed to figure out where Chrome was stashing my downloads, i had to google it

bhaskarb04 [10:27 AM]  

wstone [10:27 AM]  
Did you see that both NewFangled and Orange Square use nav-burger now?

alilja [10:27 AM]  
in safari and firefox, there’s a button on the toolbar that shows you your downloads

wstone [10:28 AM]
uploaded an image: Newfangled Nav

bhaskarb04 [10:28 AM]  
chrome is menu-> downloads

wstone [10:28 AM]  
uploaded an image: Orange Square Nav

bhaskarb04 [10:28 AM]  
I guess

alilja [10:28 AM]  
the irony bowls me over @wstone
hiding stuff is almost never a good idea

bhaskarb04 [10:28 AM]  
its hard to say which features is more useful

alilja [10:28 AM]  
especially if you’re hiding things _you want people to interact with_

bhaskarb04 [10:29 AM]  
Point is I think that most people here are experts so its a little hard to say
cause we are kinda biased
a novice might never need to use the menu
cause a novice will download it will show up below and he can then open the folder from there

alilja [10:30 AM]  
well, in that article chase posted they wanted people to use the stuff in the menu and people weren’t

bhaskarb04 [10:30 AM]  
if he/she wants to
lol I didnt see that

wstone [10:31 AM]  
@bhaskarb04: agreed.

bhaskarb04 [10:31 AM]  
I jumped in at your rant

alilja [10:31 AM]  
that’s why we use data, right? so that our biases are as removed as possible
and there’s tons of data out there that shows that hamburger menus are a Bad Idea

bhaskarb04 [10:32 AM]  
hehe but is it really?
I wouldnt call myself a fan but I dont see anything better out there
in terms of a good menu interaction

alilja [10:33 AM]  
do the research to figure out what features your users are using and what you want them to use, and then design an interface that makes it easy to get to those
don’t hide stuff you want people to use

wstone [10:33 AM]  
@alilja: yes, but the difference in that example is that fitting the nav items horizontally worked in the design because of really careful information architecture.  For most sites, 375px of width would barely get you two top-level items

alilja [10:33 AM]  
^ bingo
do a really careful job

bhaskarb04 [10:34 AM]  
easier said than done

alilja [10:34 AM]  
yeah, so?

bhaskarb04 [10:34 AM]  
targets need to be met
i mean time targets

alilja [10:35 AM]  
that’s fair
but that’s a different argument

bhaskarb04 [10:35 AM]  
what about a menu button which has stuff in it but you can reconfigure your tools bar accordingly iwht ut
like drag drop buttons

alilja [10:35 AM]  
because barely anybody will use it

wstone [10:35 AM]  
and my experience is that information architecture is (unfortunately) a whole different conversation from design

bhaskarb04 [10:35 AM]  

alilja [10:35 AM]  
if people aren’t opening _menus_, they sure as hell aren’t going to customize their menus
they go hand in hand, don’t they?

bhaskarb04 [10:36 AM]  
well if they see downloads is in menu only then they might just dsrag it out
for quick access
quick access buttons is what I like (MS office does a decent job with that)
but again that probably an expert feature

wstone [10:37 AM]  
appreciate the conversation, this has given me a couple of ideas to try on the new ISU template

alilja [10:38 AM]  
anecdotally, the ribbon is MS office is a trainwreck

bhaskarb04 [10:38 AM]  
yeah its not very intuitive initially

alilja [10:38 AM]  
until they got used to it, people didn’t know where their stuff was
not only did it get moved to the toolbar, things got renamed and reclassified

bhaskarb04 [10:39 AM]  
yeah but its one of those things which is hard to do a gradual transition

alilja [10:39 AM]  
i was using a lot of lab software around the time the switch was rolling out, and having to switch between three different versions of software all with different toolbars and things in different places was terrible
i think it’s fundamentally a good idea to make these things more obvious and easier to access, but the implementation is terrible

bhaskarb04 [10:39 AM]  
i want to laugh but Im afraid of karma

crmeusel [12:14 PM]  
Once Slack introduces comment threading, I will have significantly less complaining to do about it.
You can quote a previous message in Slack by right clicking the timestamp of the message you would like to refer to and select “Copy Link”. Paste the URL into the message input box and then send… (11KB)

[12:19]  This could be the theme of our generation
“i want to laugh but Im afraid of karma”
Posted in #generalOct 19th, 2015 at 10:39 AM 

via Blogger


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