Web Design

The Benefits of the Hamburger Menu

31st May 2019
3 minute read

First appearing in 1981, the hamburger menu is an international icon for navigating a website. It is an efficient and easy way to communicate to your audience that there is more to see. UX designers revived the symbol when they needed a convenient icon for a whole list of options. Today, it is used as a navigational tool for many websites and has several benefits.

Including a hamburger menu is immediately improving the usability of your website for many users who look for convenience. It is minimalist and simple to understand. As a universally recognised symbol of a menu, it means you are able to communicate to your user no matter their nationality.

Minimalist Interface
Minimalism goes a long way in appealing to your users. The hamburger menu is a great option to keep your website looking clean, tidy and professional. In fact, users are often overwhelmed by a multitude of choices. This can often increase the bounce rate when there is no sense of direction in place. Design Resources discusses a study that found that consumers with fewer purchasing choices are 10x more likely to make a purchasing decision.

More Space
Space on a website is often compared to real estate, using a hamburger menu can provide you with more space for the important aspects of your website. This extra spacing could go towards a more impactful hero, use of video or a call to action.

Establish a hierarchy
A benefit of utilising a hamburger menu is that your website is subtly incorporating a hierarchy of information for users. Hiding the menu of options places more focus on your hero section. For your audiences’ convenience, they are immediately met with the most important aspect of your website and therefore are less likely to lose interest. Whether this is a section about your company or a call to action, you are establishing your homepage as a source of the most valuable information.

How to make sure it works for your webpage
Although a hamburger menu has many benefits, it has to be used correctly in order to be effective. A risk with using a hamburger menu is that content can go unnoticed or potentially unrecognised, especially if your target audience is an older demographic. Optimising your hamburger menu for greater usability is a great way to overcome these problems.

Neuroradiology Consulting uses a hamburger menu using bold lines on a dark background to stand out. Rather than traditionally being placed at the left side of a webpage in a grey colour, this design choice makes the menu stand out more and is easier to reach on a mobile device. Underneath the hamburger, the word menu means there is no confusion for users as to what the symbol is indicating. UX Planet states that icons labelled with the word menu increased clicks by 20% in comparison to a standard hamburger menu.

Additionally, the button is interactive changing in size with a hover effect and then to a cross when the menu is opened. The hover effect is often associated with a link to additional information and further makes it clear to the audience the purpose of the hamburger icon. Additional tweaks to the hamburger slider can, therefore, make for more convenient user experience and can be an ideal asset to web design.

Final Thoughts
The hamburger offers a simple solution to several issues within web design. It is an effective navigation tool for those seeking to free up more space within their web page and can improve user experience. However, it is important to follow our tips to ensure your hamburger menu doesn’t go unnoticed.

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