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We have a menu of 5 options and we want to decide whether to use a floating burger or a bottom navigation menu for our mobile web app.

We already have a sticky bar on top where our logo, a notification bell and user's avatar (clicking on it will open profile's options) live.

Floating burger will give a quick action button to navigate to the menu but it stands out and...it stands in the way.

On the other hand, bottom navigation provides quick access to the menus without effort and it can be considered as a good standard for apps however due to safari's bottom bar it provides bad user experience for iOS users because you need to click twice on a menu tab when the browser bottom bar is away.

What is the best option between the two? Any other better alternatives?

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As linked here, the hamburger might keep parts of your app invisible as described in this study. From this evidence, a menu which at least permanently shows the other categories might be better.

Bottom line of the study in case the link goes dead: After switching from hamburger to a bottom navigation bar (with less entries, i.e. different information architecture),

  • "Customers used the app more frequently: the number of sessions more than doubled!
  • They spent more time in the app: session time increased 70%
  • We ultimately saw more customers return, with a 65% increase in daily active users nearly overnight."
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Maybe, another option would be to place the menu on the sticky bar on top. Traditionally, the menu is expected to be on top part of the screen. The floating burger is mostly used for quick actions, not so much for navigation.

Another option would be to have the menu of the 5 items stuck to the bottom of the screen so that you don't need to open it up.

Home, User profile and notification on the bottom

  • Yeap, just wanted to look at alternative solutions avoiding to go with the classic burger menu. The last option you suggest is the one I mentioned and creates a bad experience on ios devices as described here benfrain.com/… . 20-25% will use ios devices, will this pain point be enough to create a bad experience or they won t notice it? – Dimitris Mar 2 '17 at 12:22
  • Well, this article is one opinion. Most of the application that people use in iOs actually have a bottom bar. I cannot say if it is right or wrong, but I can say that users are used to it. If I were you, I would "hide" the menu bar, mostly for reasons of scalability. What if in the future there are 7 items for example? Also, have you thought of placing the notifications and the user profile on the bottom bar instead? – Dimitra Miha Mar 2 '17 at 12:40
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You could also do a swipable tab-navigation style like Apple used to have on their mobile website. The benefits here are the UI will always be present, sans the offscreen options. In my opinion, the burger is a poor solution to a dang hard problem. Obvious always wins, and keeping more options shown to more users will most often lead to more usage.

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