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My co-founder and I debated whether to use the hamburger menu for our iOS and Android apps (currently in beta -- https://recent.io/).

We decided to keep the hamburger menu on both platforms for launch. Our reasoning was that it's a common UI convention and our primary navigation options -- Home, Recommended, Hot News, Local News, and topics -- are visible in the extended app bar. An option to follow additional topics appears inline in the Home tab.

So the three functions that are only accessible through the hamburger menu are bookmarks, history, and settings, which seems like a reasonable compromise. You could use our app fully for a year, albeit with the default settings and no bookmarks/history, without ever seeing the hamburger menu.

Analytics shows that the hamburger menu is used frequently by our beta users, so I'm fairly confident that we made the right choice. On the other hand, the new YouTube Android app -- which had more in its hamburger menu than we do -- has moved in the opposite direction and eliminated it.




This is a really important point. While the article makes several strong conceptual points, the metrics won't necessarily stand the test of time. There's nothing particularly "natural" about design, so anything that becomes habitual and conventional is part of "good" design. If the hamburger lives on we won't think twice about it, like we no longer think about that stupid "gears" icon for "settings" and the very idea of a windowed UI.


Could you integrate bookmarks and history into "home"? For instance, if home is supposed to be what's recent, history is a natural "less recent".


Thanks for the suggestion! I don't think either of us had thought of that.

Inside the app, Home is a starting point that lets you see your news highlights at a glance. It does seem like the concept could be broad enough, as you say, to support history and bookmarks...


The inspiration came from Firefox Mobile, which has a unified home screen that incorporates navigation, recent history, bookmarks, and tabs from other devices, all in the same home screen.

If Home is highlights of the day, then it seems natural to scroll down and see a heading for "Yesterday" with yesterday's highlights, rather than less relevant news from today (which could appear in the other views).




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