I see a few sites use the hamburger menu in a web experience as a constant navigation element. I can understand using it when the browser window is reduced in width/height in a responsive manner but not so sure hiding your main navigation constantly is a great experience i.e. http://www.mtv.com

Is this a design preference, a work around for non-responsive design sites or just plain wrong?


In my experience, using the hamburger menu as a constant navigation element has less to do with laziness, and more to do with maintaining one navigation pathway (also code) in all responsive states of the website.

In our user testing, our target users have glazed over any non-traditional navigation on desktop views. However, our research firm noted, "the millennials totally got it."


i think it is a design preference (or potentially laziness). i've asked a similar question about its effectiveness too and there's some good links in the answer: responsive menu logo


It's clearly a design preference, and maybe a workaround (that's a question for the internal team on a project). It is a user interface best practice to create consistency and use common UI elements. So it is not explicitly 'wrong' (however you could argue the hamburger menu icon and off canvas navigation is not common UI for desktop web sites).

The real argument against adopting this UI for desktop sites maybe best presented by Anthony Rose, co-founder and CTO of zeebox, in his article "UX designers: Side drawer navigation could be costing you half your user engagement." His article focuses on the performance cost of off canvas navigation in mobile apps. If its a common UI element in the mobile context but its costs engagement with your product, you wouldn't want to utilize it in other contexts, like desktop, where we have better options.

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