A hamburger menu is a silly name for the icon that started by depicting a menu on a mobile device. It’s called a hamburger menu because it is three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other like a hamburger. A traditional menu is that typical menu across the top of a website. Usually, a traditional menu had dropdowns to get to other areas of the website, and the top level items are just acting as categories for the subpages that a user may want to find.
I am growing to love a combination of the hamburger menu and traditional menu on websites that we are currently working on, so I thought I would share a few reasons why.
5 reasons your next website needs a mixed menu (hamburger menu & traditional menu)
- You can use the traditional part of the menu to showcase the main pages your users are interested in rather than using them as categories of pages. This allows you to make sure your website menu is very focused and intentional. It also helps users to see the main pages that you want them to focus on, improving the user experience and discovery process.
- The hamburger menu can contain all of your pages with their subpages. You aren’t limited to the typical structure of five items at the top with sub pages underneath them. Instead, you can have as many top-level pages as you want (within reason) and the same goes for subpages. This allows you to organize your website content in the way that is best for the user, rather than organizing for the limitations of the menu system.
- By combining the hamburger menu with the traditional menu, you are getting the best of both worlds. Traditional users might get lost if there is only a hamburger menu on the site (this will not always be the case) and tech savvy users will appreciate the presence and functionality of the hamburger menu.
- Hamburger menus are able to contain more than just menus. I love this about the hamburger menu. You can put contact information at the bottom of the menu, or embed other important information that you can’t display as easily within the context of a traditional menu.
- The combination of the hamburger menu and traditional menu keeps the site design clean and simple.