This is one of my favorite sentences from an article called The Hamburger Menu Doesn’t Work. The article provides a lot of research and examples of how this type of navigation is failing. I too am not a fan of the hamburger menu and was shocked to see that a company like Microsoft included it on a physical device, their Xbox One controller. They took things to the next level and have tried to make it work outside the context of the web. I wonder how well this is working for them…
Maybe, I’ve never been a fan of the name. For one, it does not look like a hamburger to me. Shouldn’t the “bun” be slightly smaller, or larger? I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a burger that actually fit perfectly on the bun. Somehow, the hamburger name has stuck though.
Ok, enough of my mini rant. The point here is that there is now research that shows the hamburger does not work as well as other options. The article I reference above has a great example of NBC making multiple efforts to get this lovely three line bar to entice clicks and pull users deeper into their site. I actually let a little snicker out when I read the part where they tried to change the color of it to yellow to draw attention before finally abandoning throwing it in the trash.
I recommend reading through the whole article when you have time. It’s an easy 17 min read with a lot of great information supporting the retirement of the hamburger. Research shows that a tab bar with 4-5 icons+text is a great alternate solution when making a site responsive, so give that a try next time you reach for the hamburger.