Eugene Fedorenko is Designing, Writing, Reading, and Traveling

Hamburger menus and hidden navigation hurt UX metrics

While researching options for a mobile-friendly navigation in a new app I am working on, this article became very helpful with its results from a quantitative usability testing that Nielsen Normal Group conducted.

Golden words on “mobile-first” approach:

Obviously, there’s a general principle here: if a design technique is intended to span platforms X and Y, then an uncompromising X-first approach will make Y an afterthought and harm users on Y. As explained in our course on Scaling User Interfaces, to design for X and Y, you need to consider the strengths and needs of both and adapt the two versions of the website accordingly.

Two main (and expected) findings on a hidden navigation:

  1. It is significantly less discoverable.
  2. It decreases user experience both on mobile and on a desktop.

Their recommendations at the end of the article for both desktop and mobile navigations make a lot of sense and tested with time. See also their checklist of 15 guidelines on menu design.