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One of the things that I felt Windows Phone 7 and 8/8.1 in their design language did well was encouraging designs that were better than the hamburger (pivots and sprawling "hubs" that encourage you to explore in two dimensions; app-bars with ellipses).

It's interesting to see Hamburger menus bleeding back into the design language with Windows 10. It seems a strange, sad concession to meeting Android/iOS designs and even Desktop designs (with their million year old menu bars) "half-way". That said, one of the interesting twists that Windows 10 designs thus far tend to put on the Hamburger menu is that secretly in many cases the Hamburger icon is just a replacement for the Windows Phone 8's App Bar ellipsis:

The items on the bar show just icons at tablet size or lower and the Hamburger simply reveals app labels and maybe (rarely) lesser used text-only options. (At larger than table sizes sometimes the bar defaults expanded rather than condensed.)

This roughly corresponds with the Facebook suggestions in the article here.

The interesting differences to a WP8 app bar are that the W10 hamburger "app bars" have mostly gone vertical and the hamburger is a toggle rather than the WP8 app bar ellipsis was a "slide".

It will be interesting to see how this design language continues to accrete/evolve as Windows 10 Mobile gets closer to launch.




As someone who has been using Windows Phone devices since WP7 was launched the hamburger button making an appearance makes me just shake my head in disgust. To an extent Microsoft has been making reasonable use of it, in Outlook it's particularly nice since I no longer need to expand the app bar to get to my folder list - but I fear the signaling it may be giving 3rd party designers, that they can get away with mystery meat navigation and ruin one of the better parts of the Windows Phone UX.


I'm right there with you. My hopes are that enough developers and designers are paying attention to why and what the hamburger menus are doing in Outlook and Xbox and some of the other Microsoft-built Windows 10 applications rather than just duplicating whatever they've been doing on iOS/Android. I've got a feeling that maybe Microsoft themselves hope that their smarter use of hamburgers might be contagious in the other direction (just as so much of Material UI copied some of the flatter styles of WP7/8) and iOS/Android developers might start using the Windows app bar-style of hamburgers. I'm worried, of course, that designers/developers won't be paying attention and will assume the consistency in iconography applies a consistency in functionality. That said, I also see Microsoft's point that the global consistency in iconography may be more important than consistent functionality in a world where users are using applications on multiple platforms (ie, so many people are using some admixture of Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android these days).




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