The perils of hiding navigation

Duncan Stephen
Wednesday 28 May 2014

Side drawer navigation could be costing you half your user engagement

The side drawer navigation menu is similar in function to the hamburger menu, as used on the Study at St Andrews website. The side drawer / hamburger menu has been an increasingly common design pattern, especially on mobile, and particularly Android. But it seems as though the tide may be turning against it.

Here, the co-founder of Zeebox outlines the problems the company found when they implemented a side drawer navigation menu. And it’s yet another reminder that we cannot always trust what users say they want or like.

To make sure people knew about all the available views and options we had the app start up by showing the navigation drawer open.

When we launched the new version the user reviews were great (“Love the new design, 5 stars”).

But when we looked at our analytics, it was a disaster! Engagement time was halved!

It looked like “out of sight, out of mind” really was the case.

It would be worth us considering whether the hamburger menus should just be removed from the Study website, particularly since the usefulness of global navigation is also under question.

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