Something being popular doesn’t imply that it’s also the best. It may just be for a lack of innovation. Let’s just take a live example- Hamburger menu, very popular among mobile app designers but something we suggest you keep your hands off.
User interface and user experience are arguably the most important factors that determine the level of success that any application can possibly achieve. Because no matter how cool things your app does, unless the users find it simple to perform, it will fail to garner the expected level of engagement.
Speaking of which, user experience itself can be broadly categorized into two aspects- 1. How does the app look and feel; 2? How easy it is to use the app. While deciding how your app will look is a personal choice and a subjective matter. usability, on the other hand, does have some ground rules or conventions that lay down subtle hints on what makes an app to enhance engagement.
While it is not possible to cover all design the components in one article, so we will here focus on one particular component which has gained considerable popularly in the recent designs but effectively violates all the basic design principles. Something we suggest application designers should avoid in their interface- Hamburger menu.
If you regularly use different apps, there is a good chance that you must have come across the Hamburger Menu. The horizontal lines in the upper left corner, which when clicked/tapped, opens a menu from the side. It also has a variant, referred to as to Kebab menu, with three dots and is generally found on the upper right corner.
So, what’s the problem with Hamburger Menu?
For any design to be optimum and engaging, it needs to cover at least three major aspects:
The first goal of any design is to ensure that the commonly used features are readily visible to the users. Because if they can’t see it, chances are they won’t use it. Yes, the design also needs to offer a clean interface, but not at the cost of engagement. Hamburger menu simply hides all the features in a corner in an attempt to achieve minimalistic design but in the process, leaves little for the users to actively engage in.. This, in turn, leaves little room for discoverability and only the users who already know which features are located where can seamlessly use the menu.
Apart from discoverability, this component also hampers efficiency on two levels. The first one is that it adds an extra overhead of clicking on the menu. There is one thing that almost every successful app tells us – the lesser the number of clicks, more is the engagement.
Second, Hamburger menu clubs all the features under a single roof, there is simply no sense of hierarchy to create a logical user-flow. This makes it very confusing, where the users have to go through feature-by-feature to reach to what they have been actually looking for.
3.Seamless integration with other design patterns
In an attempt to leverage the popularity of this component, many designers include the hamburger menu in their design without paying attention to their overall pattern. The most common of which is its conflict with the back button that is conventionally placed at the same location. Be it creativity or the lack of it, they simply stuff both of those buttons side-by-side, which not only is a bad design approach but also pushes the chances of unintentional clicks.
What’s the ultimate solution?
Hamburger menu was actually popularized by some of the most innovative and dominating applications like Facebook and YouTube, which other developers simply adopted without giving it a second thought. What works for Facebook may not work perfectly for your web interface. Those applications after some time, realized its shortfalls and eventually dumped the concept and adopted a clear and more efficient design. But since most of the other businesses do not have the resources or right design approach, they are essentially stuck with a flawed interface. While the new design does look more appealing, you shouldn’t take it at the face value. The only solution is to take your own business into account and hire the finest of mobile developers in India to come up with genuinely unique solutions that perfectly reflect your business in the digital space.
As mentioned in the beginning, design and user experience are intimate aspects of any application that the businesses must adapt to according to their specific needs. One design that did wonders for any application may not work for others and vice versa. So, if you are looking to create a custom UI/UX for your application, we are one of the top mobile app development companies in India with a large pool of dedicated designers and developers. They can effectively plan and execute all your innovative ideas in an equally innovative way. Get in touch now for a detailed analysis and possible solutions for your next app venture.