How The Hamburger Menu Affects Your Website
Responsive design is all the rage these days, and users love the convenience they provide. Instead of double-tapping to access the site and its menu, site visitors can easily access the content they like thanks to the hierarchically architected content. With the introduction of the hamburger icon, desktop navigation saw another change.
What Is a Hamburger Menu?
A hamburger menu is a menu icon represented with three stacked lines. This design is common in websites today. The icon features some navigational pages that the designer wants to hide, either to give the website an organized look or to reduce the load on the home page.
This revolutionizing idea saved website visitors from scrolling through the entire website. This minimalistic approach was praised, but it was not long before people started to see problems with the once welcomed solution.
Here are the main reasons most people refuse to use the hamburger menu.
- Undermines the Importance of Pages Included As soon as something is put in the hamburger menu, its importance declines. Why else would the designers want to hide it in the corner? With all the best features and values of the website in full display, the less important ones are compiled in the corner. This communicates to the site visitor that these navigational pages do not matter much, which prompts the visitors to ignore them altogether.
- Low Engagement Click rates for a hamburger menu are low, especially the ones placed on the top left. Mobile users especially avoid the menu since that part of their phone screen is not the core part of the screen and only displays the time, Wi-Fi signs, etc. So, hamburger menus on mobile devices instantly become useless. For desktop sites, when users realize that the site has a hamburger menu, they look for it. So, unless the users look for the menu or realize that their preferred feature is hidden in the hamburger menu, their engagement level will remain low.
- Ruins Customer Experience 21% of users abandon an app after a single-use. This is a clear indication that these apps fail to provide them with the user experience they expected in terms of convenience and speed. Hamburger menus may be a great way to organize the site and its content, but this causes a common issue. With everything hidden, most users find it difficult to navigate the site. It takes up their precious time to search for the right options. And once they realize that they will not be getting any value from the site, they do not bother to return.
- The Bottom Line Now that you know, “what is a hamburger menu?” you must decide whether it will work for your website or not. It does have a long list of benefits, but the cons outweigh them all. All they are good for is increasing the cognitive load of the user, which is best avoided if you want to increase the discoverability of the website. Removing the hamburger menu will save you from tarnishing your SEO efforts and will help provide a satisfying user experience.