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Is it more usable to toggle a hamburger icon to X to represent to signal users to open close a menu specially in mobile devices?

3 Answers 3

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The state of the button shows what will it do when you click it.

In the page the hamburger button transmits there is a Navigation Drawer or sidebar to be opened. In my opinion, once opened, the hamburger icon shouldn't be used in the button as it would transmit clicking it opens a new Navigation Drawer.

Now, a close icon seems good to me. In Material design, however, they don't use a button to close it. So the way to close the sidebar is to either click on an element, on the page or to drag the sidebar (in touch devices).

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I think you're asking if toggling a hamburger menu icon to an X when the drawer opens is better than leaving the icon unchanged?

If so I would argue that yes it's helpful, especially if you animate the transition. Updating state to reflect new capabilities is a good thing in my book. However abruptly changing symbols on people is a no-no.

If possible, you might want to reconsider having a hamburger menu at all. Nngroup has some compelling arguments against using them: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/hamburger-menus/

If you must use one, here's some guidelines to enhance navigability despite the hamburger: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/support-mobile-navigation/

Cheers

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It depends. In the case of an app with a hamburger menu, there is no need for an X icon as users know that it is enough to swipe left to minimise the menu. However, it is different in websites in the case of which, because they usually don't support all the gestures present in apps, it is better to show some kind of close icon.

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  • I've never swiped left to close a menu. Have clicked/tapped outside of the menu, used an X, used the back button on the device, but never swiped. Jan 29, 2017 at 14:20
  • But apps which comply with Material Design always offer this kind of functionality and most people use it, thus if the website is supposed to be user-friendly and it doesn't have this feature, it should have a visible and obvious alternative like the mentioned X.
    – user96349
    Jan 29, 2017 at 16:57

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