Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Hamburger Menu Doesn’t Work

James Archer:

Hamburger menus navigation operate under a simple principle. On the surface, it seems self-evident that if the user wants the navigation menu, they can just click on it. However, if you dig deeper, you’ll realize that users often don’t know quite what they want, and they rely on site navigation to nudge them in the right direction by telling them what their options are and what content they should be looking at.


Most people navigate based on what’s called “information scent.” When faced with a set of options, they’ll choose the option that gives the strongest indication that it’ll bring them closer to what they want, like an animal sniffing around for food. […] You know what never looks anything even close to what the user actually wants? A small three-bar icon tucked in the corner of a website.


Then, finally (as you can see on the promo at the bottom of the image above), [NBC News] gave up and redesigned the navigation to a more traditional horizontal menu style, which has worked well for them and remains the same basic design they use today.

Previously: Hamburgers and Basements, Ex-Microsoft Designer Explains the Move Away From Metro.

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