The Agency Tech team recently started a regular “Tech Presents…” programme, in which the team share upcoming trends and improvements to our working practices with the rest of The Agency.
This sort of activity is important for our integrated nature, and it ensures that the whole team is aware of best practice and how we can best use technology to deliver great work for our clients.
The topic of this first talk was the Hamburger Menu, what is it, why use it, and when and how to avoid it.
The idea for this talk was sparked from reading Luis Abreu’s article.
He outlines 4 key problems with the approach, which may make it unsuitable for application:
Lower Discoverability – you can’t see, at a glance, what other interfaces or pages exist
Less Efficient – in adopting the approach more taps/clicks to get to a certain interface are introduced
Clash with Platform Navigation Patterns – the native environment of the button needs to be considered, as the button will sit with another systems interaction language (iOS, Android or desktop OS interfaces)
Not Glanceable – the approach doesn’t allow for displaying supplementary information ‘at a glance’, such as new messages, notifications, articles, in a way directly related to the content type
I’d highly recommend reading the article, as well as some of the responses, to get you thinking about approaches to navigation design.
In short, we should be careful about adopting the burger menu navigation approach, or indeed any new User Interface (UI) trend, without proper consideration.
Nor should we assume that we should absolutely avoid this style of navigation.
Instead we should have a broad awareness of different UI concepts, and a thorough approach to selecting the most appropriate, then testing and improving all aspects of our interface design, to ensure the best user experience.
We’ll have a future article on approaches to wireframing/mock-ups and how these approaches can be used to rapidly demonstrate and test different ideas.
If you have any thoughts on Burger Menu’s please tweet us @TheAgencyTech and let us know.