3 lines button

This button is appearing in many mobile apps and has the function of displaying off-screen menus, whether from the top of the screen or the side.

When writing tutorials for example, what is a logical name for this button?

  • "Tap the menu button"
  • "Tap the menu expand button"
  • "Tap the menu icon"

Of course, in an ideal world there would need to need to explain what buttons do, but telling folks to tap on "the gear icon" for instance has never proven problematic so far.

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    The catch with that icon is that it's a bit similar to the 'drag and drop' indicator of a 'grippy' texture. – DA01 Feb 15 '13 at 23:31
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    Just call it 'the menu'. "tap on the menu to expand it". Users are going to abstract the name away at some point anyway so why not beat them to it. – Jerry Saravia Feb 15 '13 at 23:48
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    See this answer against a very related post - ux.stackexchange.com/questions/32877/… – JonW Feb 16 '13 at 7:28
  • Navicon Smashing Magazine covered a comprehensive article on this mobile.smashingmagazine.com/2012/10/08/… – Sushi Feb 16 '13 at 11:43
  • The problem with calling it "Menu" is that, it's used all differently. Some use it as a way to indicate responsive layout, some use it to hide sidebar menu. I personally like Hamburger icon, as shown in JonW's link above. – Jung Lee Feb 16 '13 at 16:25

I'd name it after what it does. If it looks like a button and it opens the menu, I'd call it the Menu Button.

In my personal opinion, I think you're probably pretty safe leaving it at that; thanks to apps like Facebook, I'd wager that most smartphone users already are used to seeing that icon on a regular basis. Your mileage may vary based on your target demographic, though.


I propose the name:

3 lines button.

in all seriousness, I have never actually heard a proper term for this. Most things I have seen tend to allude to the button as a menu button.

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    I believe this is the most logical answer, yes it should be logical, that's what users expect and cannot be confused :) – JeroenEijkhof Feb 16 '13 at 5:47

The official name on Android is the List Icon, but I've also heard it referred to as the "menu slider" or "panel slider" icon.

Strictly speaking, on iOS it is the icon to show that you can grab something, but that is not how it is used in this sense. Apple just haven't caught up yet.


I like to refer to it as either:

  • Navicon
  • Hamburger
  • Menu icon

I mostly use Navicon though.


To add to the above mentioned answer of the "Burger" icon. It's been asked about a year ago over here: What is this side menu called...

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