Brian Etheridge is a focused and passionate graphic designer that believes that User Experience design can effectively solve design problems in digital, product, and print designs. With a background in computer science and Information Technology, he has a strong understanding of programming, development, and collaboration. To get to know Brian more, head over to portfolio to see his work and check out his Instagram and Medium to stay up to date with him!
Hidden navigation is becoming outdated and hurting the experience of the user. When the navigation is hidden from the user, it brings down the discoverability of the site (it takes users longer to find information they need) and the overall metrics (analytics that track business goals to better their profit). Break the Burger is a case study to show the drawbacks of the hamburger menu and hidden menus and showcase possible tested solutions.
Insights and Solutions
Hamburger menus and other hidden navigation methods were developed to save space on mobile devices when the first iPhone came out. After a decade, this method has evolved visually but not functionally. Due to this, the problems with the hamburger menu have been emerging, but it seems no one wants to believe the truth. Therefore, a change needs to come to break the use of the hamburger menu. The way to do this, through qualitative and quantitative research, testing possible design solutions, and publishing those findings.
This Project was broken down into three phases: (1) Observe, (2) Evaluate, and (3) Rationalize. During the Observation phase, research was conducted to understand what issues users were having and why they are there issues by interviewing and testing users with qualitative methods. After research was complete, the information was then analyzed during the Evaluation phase to uncover the bigger problems that users were having. Once the problem is uncovered, the feedback from the users are used to influence the new design solutions that will be tested and published. Once this process is complete, the product will be the user tested and backed design solution that can be implemented into your website.
Looking back, two major issues came with this project. The first issue was trying to recruit people to take my surveys and questionnaires. To overcome this, I created a small website that linked to the surveys and questionnaire and sent that link around twice a week for a month. The second issue came around when the COVID-19 virus shut down TCNJ’s campus and the school went online. Due to this and social distancing, I was having trouble interviewing people, but quickly looked to Zoom and Google Hangouts to virtually interview people about my subject. Ultimately, these problems had only made me more determined to complete my project to publish my findings for the design community.
Hidden and hamburger menus are not going anywhere for a few years. With that said, I am planning to use and build upon my research and findings to use in my professional career. The only true way to Break the Burger is to spread this idea and practice implementation.