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I know the hamburger icon for long now, I used it several times and I personally like it. But as it seems, it isn't state of the art.

I am wondering, what would be a good alternative for web apps? Because as far as I can see, the hamburger icon is the only platform independent icon available.

In native mobile apps, there are far better solutions, in iOS the tab bar and in Windows Phone you have hub apps.

But both concepts you cannot bring easy in the mobile web world without making others feel uncomfortable. So, what should we use, instead of the hamburger icon for a site like http://getbootstrap.com/.

Here are two articles:

  • I don't understand the question. The two sources you cite already discuss all of your points. So, what are you asking here exactly? – Rumi P. Dec 16 '14 at 14:12
  • The 'whys' they point out are not exactly clear to me. Also they concentrate on plattform specific apps, not web apps. – Knerd Dec 16 '14 at 14:15
  • I find the 'whys' there well explained and illustrated. Even when the author uses jargon ("navigation friction"), the context seems sufficient to understand it. Your question would be much more answerable if you can explain what exactly you don't understand in the article. It might turn out that your question title is misleading, and what you need is not an explanation of hamburger icons (which is explained in the article) but of basic UX concepts which the article uses but are not known to you yet. – Rumi P. Dec 16 '14 at 15:12
  • @RumiP. I hope it is better now :) – Knerd Dec 16 '14 at 15:26
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    Why the need for an alternative icon? What is the problem with using something that is likely widely understood? Without knowing the reason for wanting an alternative icon (or whatever the problem is), it is pretty difficult to suggest an alternative solution for you. – zigojacko Dec 17 '14 at 8:41
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You still could use something like a tapbar on mobile (see twitter.com for example) or build a navigation-bar which also includes some navigation elements (pinterest). Personally I think that for now the hamburger button isn't the worst option (facebook still has it on it's webapp version) and we shouln't kill it just yet. Yes there are drawbacks, but pretty much every pattern has its drawbacks. So nothing to freak out IMHO.

More important than the navigation system you use, should be how you organize your data. IMHO Information Architecture (IA) will have the most profound impact on the user experience.

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