The Hamburger Menu - is it a good thing?

I've always been doubtful about the "Hamburger menu" in iOS apps.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about it is this style of side menu used more and more in apps recently...

Facebook Hamburger Menu
Facebook hamburger menu.

It gets its name from the icon on the button used to open and close it that looks like a hamburger.

The more I see it the more I think it's just a dumping ground for miscellaneous items in apps.

It's a place that designers go to when they don't know where to put stuff in the app.

Take a look at any Apple app. None of them uses a Hamburger Menu.

For a few other examples of great apps with not a single Hamburger Menu in sight take a look at these...

If something doesn't deserve to have pride of place in your app then it shouldn't be there at all. Don't just stuff it into a hamburger menu.

There was a quote from WWDC 2013 about "Designing great apps". The guy said something like...

Find out what the primary function of your app is. Then list the secondary functions and the tertiary functions.

Make the primary function visible as soon as the app starts up. Make it look nice and make it engaging.

Put the secondary functions only a few taps away but don't make them detract from the primary function.

For the tertiary functions try to find a way to write them out of the app. Are they absolutely necessary?

I agree with this 100%. In my view the hamburger menu is a placeholder for these tertiary functions. It shouldn't exist. Apple didn't create it. Apple doesn't use it. Why should we?


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