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The Hamburger Menu

1 January 2016

Dr. Moria Levy

The Hamburger button is a new concept. It is an icon composed of three horizontal and parallel stripes which is featured on the webpage's upper right/left corner, where a menu would otherwise be.

Assuming that nowadays website users have much less patience as well as free time, we might ask: is the side drawer-menu, more commonly known as a "hamburger menu" more preferable than the traditional upper navigation bar?


The website owners aspire to maximize users' level of involvement and commitment to the website and thus evaluate duration on the website and encourage wandering around the website. Regarding navigation, most users would prefer an easy navigation menu, one which is both user-friendly and predictable. Navigation should therefore require investing minimal effort in the process of reaching at the desired page.


Those who support the hamburger menu will claim that it provides a clean and airy look as well as and makes valuable website "real estate" vacant in age in which websites' are required to develop websites adjusted for cellular phones, dealing with a substantially smaller screen.

Those who oppose the menu will claim that a design-team which chooses to replace the traditional navigation bar, which is comprised of a continuous line of tabs, is making an essentially bad decision and avoiding the need to perform a prioritization process. They would furthermore argue that anything concealed from the user's vision is nonexistent to the user. In the rare case that the user does click on the navigation drawer and finds the desired item on the menu, the user will most probably forget its location till his/her next visit to the website.

Research and user-testing have proved that the transition to the Hamburger Menu has drastically lowered website users' level of involvement and duration of daily and weekly connection. Due to the integration of a Hamburger Menu, the user is required to click twice before reaching a main component, as opposed to navigating using the traditional tab navigation bar. If the user chooses to navigate through the main menu's core components, a website featuring a Hamburger Menu will require the user to return to the homepage each time, while a tab-oriented navigation bar enables navigating through the website's core components in one simple click.


In conclusion, it can be said that there is no unequivocal recommendation. A Hamburger Menu has its advantages and disadvantages; the organization's designer team must seriously consider whether a Hamburger Menu will provide their website's users with an optimal, simple and intuitive user experience or may harm their engagement.


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