The hamburger menu is a type of menu widely used in mobile devices. At one point its popularity was so high that it was also used in computer interfaces.
This menu refers to a three-line icon that indicates that the menu is “hidden.” By touching this icon, you will see the menu, whether it appears on the entire screen or a part of it. For this reason, since there is not enough space on mobile screens, this menu is used for obvious reasons.
However, the hamburger menu is not the only option available when designing mobile menus and more options have emerged over time. In this article, we mention some of the most practical.
Tab Divided Menu
Although it is more common to use vertical scrolling in certain apps designed by app developers, some of them implement horizontal scrolling, mainly those where a card-based design is used and in each of them, a single focus can be located.
You can take advantage of the common use of horizontal scrolling and offer a tabbed menu. This menu can contain various elements because if the user needs any of them, they must simply slide to the right to be able to view the other elements contained in the menu.
This menu is usually quite simple in terms of its design. It is common to be used on a white background and the typography is black, although it is also possible to find certain interfaces where an accent color is used in the menu bar.
If a particular menu item has been selected, a line of a representative color is colored, usually the accent color or some color that identifies the brand. Like any other menu, it is usually located at the top of the interface.
This menu in tabs can be done based on words or if you want, you can also include icons. If you wish to add icons in your menu, it is advisable to also include words that identify and match the icon you have used.
The Menu at Bottom
Although in computer interfaces, the menu is usually placed at the top and could be located at the bottom of the page on certain more experimental pages, in mobile design, it is possible to place the menu at the bottom of the screen.
Many mobile devices place certain basic buttons in this location. It is also common to find the four most used applications in this space within the Android operating system. So, as you can see, the use of buttons at the bottom of the screen is completely normal on mobile devices.
Again, you can take advantage of this common location on mobile devices to locate your application’s menu at the bottom. In these cases, a flat color that contrasts with the background used in the application is usually used and icons and labels are placed on the menu items.
It is also possible to find lower menus that only have icons. However, the meaning of each icon must be really clear so that you can use this technique without confusing your users. Additionally, the accent color is placed on the selected menu item, both in the typeface and in the icon to identify it as selected.
If it is a multi-level menu, it can also be implemented. You should only add a drop-down list when the user clicks on a button so that he can access the submenu of that element.
Button Distributed Menu
App developers also place each menu item on a button. In this way, the user recognizes that each item can be selected. Like many buttons, it must have at least two states: at rest and when it is selected. There should always be a visual indicator when a menu item has been chosen.
This type of menu is ideal when you have few items and all of them can be placed on the screen. One of its greatest benefits is that when using buttons, the experience feels more natural since the buttons are a fairly common element that users are already familiar with.
Remember that to implement this type of menu, you must verify that the menu labels are readable on the smaller screens. Although this menu is very useful due to the buttons, it is not ideal for all types of menus.
Button to Show More Content
This menu can be implemented when there are a greater number of elements. It is usually a variation of a menu that we have already mentioned previously: the lower menu, although it could also be located at the top since users are accustomed to interacting with upper and lower menus on mobile devices.
In this case, one of the elements has the “More” indicator. It is usually represented with three ellipses and if the user selects it, a drop-down list will appear where the other menu items are placed.
To correctly implement this type of menu, you must analyze which are the main elements that are most useful to the user. It is these elements that should be placed in the menu, while the others will appear under the “More” option.
Although the hamburger menu is considered the ideal option when designing interfaces for mobile devices, there are more options available that users are already familiar with, particularly because other designers and app developers have begun to implement them in various applications and even operating systems make use of other options apart from the hamburger menu.
All the options presented are useful, but you need to implement them properly. We recommend you check your favorite or most popular applications. For example, in the design of the App Store or Google Play we can see several examples of menu implemented.
Harnil Oza is the CEO of Hyperlink InfoSystem, a mobile app development company based in USA & India having a team of best app developers who deliver the best mobile solutions mainly on Android and iOS platforms and also listed as one of the top app development companies by leading research platform. He regularly contributes his knowledge to leading blogging sites.