Infographic: Is it Ever Ok to Use the Desktop Hamburger Icon?

Infographic: Is it Ever Ok to Use the Desktop Hamburger Icon?

Like it or not, the hamburger (or menu) icon is quickly becoming one of web design’s most ubiquitous trends. Since it has been so widely used over the past five years on mobile sites, it only makes sense that some web designers are testing the limits of how and when it can be used. With near worldwide acceptance and recognition in the mobile space, we must ask ourselves, is it ever ok to use the hamburger icon on desktop sites?

In the infographic below, we explore the issue in-depth to show you when it should be avoided, and a few special cases where using it may actually be beneficial to your conversion rates.

hamburger icon on desktop

Is it Ever Ok to Use the Desktop Hamburger? – An infographic by the team at The Deep End

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Is it Ever Ok to Use the Desktop Hamburger? - An infographic by <a href=""> The Deep End Website Design</a>

Main Takeaways

The Pros:

  • Clean, minimal design: Hiding secondary navigation items can really streamline the overall look and feel of a website
  • Eliminates Decision Fatigue: Since providing too many options leads to users often making no deciion at all, it makes sense to pare down the distractions, and highlight the main actions you want them to take.
  • Lets your CTA Stand Out: Using a hamburger icon alongside a stand-alone CTA button, it allows it to stand out amongst the other options.
  • 81% of users 18-44 are very familiar with the meaning of the hamburger icon, which is good, but not great.

The Cons:

  • Creates an Extra Click: Generally speaking, making users jump through any extra hoops to find content is not a good user experience.
  • Decreased Discoverability: If your site relies on any kind of bonus content that users may not be looking for, hiding it behind a menu icon seriously limits how many eyeballs will actually see it.
  • Only 52% of users over 45 understand the intended meaning behind the hamburger icon.

When it’s ok, (or even beneficial) to use the hamburger icon:

  • When paired with a label
  • On smaller sites with thin content
  • When paired with a freestanding CTA
  • When it is obviously clickable (Styled as a button)

When you should avoid using it

  • On sites with an older audience
  • Larger sites with lots of pages
  • On sites with unexpected content

discuss this post

(2) responses

Darshan Gajara

December 14, 2015

I think the idea of using Hamburger icon in the word MENU in place of E works the best. Looks pretty creative & legitimate.


Is It OK to Use the Desktop Hamburger Icon? [Infographic] – ChurchMag

September 1, 2016

[…] [via The Deep End] […]


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