In the world of mobile application development and in-app navigation, there are often two oppositions in terms of mobile menu design: the supporters of the Burger menu and the fans of the Tab Bar menu. The opportunity to take stock of the disadvantages and benefits of these two families of essential menus, to make the right choice when designing the mobile application.
The Burger Menu: an elegant and minimalist menu
The Burger menu takes the form of three superimposed horizontal lines reminiscent of the American culinary specialty. As it is elegant and occupies little space on the screen, the Burger menu is ideal for mobile showcases and blogs, which prefer to dedicate their space to attractive content.
If you adopt it, it is quite possible to add a label “menu” just below or above, to understand that it is a button. And, as tests have shown that this menu is often overlooked by mobile users, it is better to use it for items that are not essential.
The Tap Bar: to encourage interaction
When designing mobile applications, the Tap Bar menu is better suited to the essential features of an application, making it ideal for applications with less than five top-level pages. It has the advantage of encouraging interaction and being discreet when it is not necessary. However, it is also criticized: some complain that it takes up space on the screen, or that its appearance varies by operating systems.
Combining both types of menus
Many applications choose to combine these two menus, for more ergonomics. Experts especially recommend this solution for mobile applications that contain a limited number of sub-menus and many top-level elements. This explains why social network applications, which offer many options to users, often opt for the Burger and Tap Bar duo.
Where to place your menu?
The choice of where to place the menu has a direct impact on the success of an application. The easier it is to access, the more it will be used. According to specialists UX, some areas are to avoid because too difficult to reach with thumbs: this is the case of the top of the screen, including the top left corner. Areas that are then to avoid if you want to maximize the attractiveness of its menu.
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