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    So, I had an idea today… not a novel idea or a new idea, just sort of a “Why the hell don’t more people do this?” idea.

    We all sort of hate the hamburger menu because it causes the user to make two clicks/taps instead of one. Also, the logo in and of itself is a bit confusing to some.

    But, at least we understand why people use it… especially in responsive design. They’re trying to conserve screen space and keep the menu unobtrusive. I get it. Why then are we not using sidebar navs on wide screens and landscape orientation more often?

    I understand this doesn’t solve the WHOLE problem, but it can DEFINITELY cut down on the pixels used in these situations. Plus, you could easily have the nav at the top or bottom when the device is in portrait orientation.

    I don’t really like targeting orientation on media queries, as it doesn’t strike me as being particularly elegant… and it’s not. It’s definitely not a “hack” but it’s not the absolutely cleanest way to do something either. That being said, it may be all we have until something better is developed.

    Anyway, Ubuntu started doing this years ago. People effing hate it but it makes complete sense to me. Look at all that free space:


    Maybe I’m not understanding exactly what your final implementation looks like

    I was thinking something like this except it goes on the side if it’s a large wide screen or if the device is in landscape display. It just makes sense to use space that is more expendable, by virtue of there being more horizontal space.

    First, if you use icons, as in the example, how will people know what the icons are taking them.

    A few things on this… I’m not NECESSARILY talking about using icons. However… maybe I am. I don’t know, depends on the project or application. That being said, You’re no worse off for using icons because the hamburger menu is an icon. I’m not saying you’re doing better on that front… but you’re not worse off. Twitter and Facebook use icons and people can’t seem to stop using those services.

    Third, you are subverting usability principles that people have grown accustomed to for decades

    I get it… but this needs to change, especially on mobile. Period. Most webdevs are using an antiquated UI model. The SMART companies know this and are adapting.

    Tell me why most devs have a nav at the TOP of the screen on a mobile device… really? Think about how you and everyone else in the world holds their phone. Statistically speaking, you are most likely to hold your phone with one hand… your right hand. Sure, there are times when you want to watch a video in landscape and you hold it with two… but most of the time it’s just the right hand for quick casual browsing.

    It would seem to me that the better UI model is to put the nav at the bottom of the screen when in portrait and have the MOST important buttons toward the right. This makes it easy for everyone to reach and only mildly harder for lefties, as you greatly accommodate the right-handed masses. If you really feel like being equitable, put the most important button in the middle…

    But a nav at the top? Makes no sense at all. People do it out of a sense of obligation to tradition or the status quo when really, it should be relegated to the pantheon of web antiquities.

    This is just one trivial example but I feel absolutely no obligation to abide by UI “standards” that have been around for decades because technology has shifted so much faster in the last 10 years than it did in the previous 40.

    I’m not against things that make sense still but a nav at the top of a smart phone boggles my mind.


    I think this line of thinking is officially a “thing” now:

    I love the idea of using space where it’s cheap.


    I’m right handed, but hold the phone mostly in my left. When I’m tapping/clicking, I get my other hand involved 99.99% of the time. OMG (UX people shouting) you made him move his other hand, bad boy, you DEV! BAD! But seriously,

    Shifting layout around (moving menu to the side, etc), to accommodate other content, is something I’ve been thinking about for my current project. Public service type. Mostly just people hunting for information. I think it works. But nooooo let’s have,

    Fixed menus that cover half of my mobile view just so you can put the freaking hamburger menu there, and that fancy little sidebar animation, wow…. fakYu, also…

    Whether you use icon or text or hamburger, doesn’t really matter. It all comes down to communication. If icon communicates what you’re after then use it, I don’t think there’s right or wrong. We can have a lot of assumptions, but can also test these things out. Perfect scenario to up sell. Do some A/B testing. Icons vs. Text. And let’s party.


    Yay, someone who actually likes the Unity interface! :P

    But yeah, I get your point. Ubuntu did a great job of conserving screen space with the Unity launcher. Only thing is, I can’t see how it applies to web dev. You would need an icon for each page instead of a name, correct? And for those with mobile devices, they can’t hover over the icon to see the description.

    Not saying its a bad idea, just wondering what your ideas for putting it into a site layout are. ;)


    Yay, someone who actually likes the Unity interface! :P

    I would say I like the overall concept of Unity… for a website. I myself do not use Unity on my machine.

    Here is an example:

    Now… let me start by saying I don’t love this design. There are many things I think are not done well here. Creative? Yes. Best practices? Probably not. But check out the nav on right. They are little rectangles that have a number popped out, based on where you are. That in and of itself is confusing. But… I see some potential there. There’s got to be a compact way to do it.

    , you’re always good for a laugh.

    Whether you use icon or text or hamburger, doesn’t really matter. It all comes down to communication.

    So true. This is the only test we need to pass:


    Were you thinking something like this?

    A, B, and C would be icons.

    Webmasters Pride

    It has good design in my opinion.

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