How effective would other professionals rate a hamburger menu on its own. Is it necessary to have a menu which is 100% visible and doesn't need a click to be shown. I intend on using the answers here to determine my future projects.

Please note I am talking about mobile / tablet sites. I believe menus shouldn't be hidden in desktop sites.

Here is an example of a mockup I made for my site which is in construction.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Actually I thought it was called a MenuBurger Jun 16, 2016 at 7:47
  • I still use the combination of "Menu" and the icon. In most cases people understand the meaning of the icon, but not in all cases. I believe there are still too many users out there who do not understand its meaning and using it alone can create unnecessary confusion.
    – Bagseye
    Jun 16, 2016 at 7:58
  • Be careful of hiding too much behind a hamburger. It's a good feature to use but can limit navigation as you are putting all emphasis on the user opening the menu. Where as on a desktop site that has all to see they may click on something that interests them as it is in front of them.
    – Vince P
    Jun 16, 2016 at 13:53
  • I see 'efficiency' and 'effectiveness' as two somewhat different things. I suggest changing 'efficient' to 'effective' in your question title.
    – Bart
    Jun 16, 2016 at 15:02
  • 1
    @MaxPower it would be a higher quality question if you quoted and linked to what you read.
    – Dom
    Jun 17, 2016 at 12:17

3 Answers 3


I think the hambuerger menu is recognizable by the vast majority of users nowadays, when in the right context.

In your example, I do not think it is obvious. I usually expect to see the icon for expanding a menu, whether it be a hamburger icon, three vertical dots or a "menu" link on the top right edge of the screen, possibly the left top. But there in the middle it makes me think it's a control to drag/resize the top part. Adding the word "menu" or making it look more clickable would certainly also help.

  • Thanks, you're right. I will need to develop mine so it's easier to see its purpose. I would mark this correct but my rep is too low :/
    – Max Power
    Jun 16, 2016 at 9:53
  • @MaxPower hmm? There's no rep requirement for marking an answer correct.
    – Ryan
    Jun 16, 2016 at 10:03
  • you're right guess I went to mark it up.
    – Max Power
    Jun 16, 2016 at 11:20

Nowadays, it is a well established indicator as a button to reveal a menu. There is no reason to worry that people won't understand what it's for based on the icon alone. However where it's situated and whether it's a button are other indicators that could confuse users.

I tend to find it more obvious when situated on the right hand side like spiral has said, and in your design I think it should also be larger based on the sizes of the text that you're using. It's not 100% clear that it's a button to press and could be mistaken for a logo because of where it's situated, if I were you I would consider inverting the colours to make it more clear, or placing a partial border around it.

  • Thanks for the input. Inverting the colours may not be a bad idea, I'll have a play around. :)
    – Max Power
    Jun 16, 2016 at 9:54

Swing by UX.SE for lots of discussion on this topic.

Feature discovery is good

The hamburger icon itself isn't the problem, it's people's tendency to scan quickly and rely on the design to expose important things. If you hide content behind a menu button, users will skip over it until they are looking for something that might be hidden in a menu.

Put yourself in the user's shoes

Take a look at these two top nav solutions. Which version is going to drive discovery of the four most important things (whatever they may be)? Forgive the irritating colors ... I was having fun



Hamburger with fries

hamburger with fries

Notice that the 'burger didn't disappear in the expanded version. There's probably still more things in your site structure. Things like "pictures of car bumpers", "8th grade art projects", "my other businesses". Stuff that you don't need people to discover when casually browsing or landing in the middle of your site from a search link.

  • 1
    I see, it's basically creating a happy medium between the fixed nav bar and the hidden hamburger menu based on hierarchy of your information.
    – Max Power
    Jun 18, 2016 at 10:09

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