4 Creative Alternatives to the Hamburger Navigation

Almost everyone is familiar with the hamburger menu, whether or not you actually know it by that name. What are we talking about? The hamburger menu refers to those three lines, most frequently in the top right corner of a mobile website, which symbolizes the rows in a menu and typically indicates that pressing there will open and close the mobile navigation.

The hamburger menu has been a common navigation choice for responsive web design over the past several years. It’s an element that our Iowa web development and design teams are familiar with and is without a doubt one of the bigger trends for website navigation. It may have its benefits - namely its clean, compact and intuitive design - but there are a few alternatives that are shining a new light on website navigation. Below is a showcase of four sites that are doing a great job using these hamburger menu alternatives!

1. Bottom Navigation

 As we all know, the most common location for a navigation bar is at the top of the page. Some websites are shaking it up with bottom navigation, and we love it. Placing the navigation at the bottom of a website allows users to focus on the core design elements and functionality. We’ve all browsed a website that has a navigation bar which takes up a quarter of the screen. Navigation bars like that keep the audience from getting to the most important content.

The bottom navigation still offers a clean look and direct access to the navigation bar, but it’s taking up less of the prime real estate at the top of the screen. Plus, users can still navigate the website with one simple click. No searching for the menu, opening and closing or getting lost!

2. Four Corner Navigation

The four corner approach is very unique, but it really helps to focus the eye to the center of the page. It has a simple yet unorthodox approach that makes it stand out. This navigation option works for centrally focused layouts, like this Proud & Punch website. It’s a simplified approach to a more standard navigation and guides users to search all “corners” of your website.

The downfall of a design like this? It can be confusing to users who are not used to this type of website navigation. If you’re considering a four corner approach, be sure the page is simple, so the navigation elements don’t get lost. Additionally, our Iowa web design team agreed that you need to make sure elements are large enough for users to identify quickly. The last thing you want is someone getting confused and leaving your website.

3. Vertical Sliding Navigation

The vertical sliding navigation is popping up rapidly, and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. What exactly is a vertical sliding navigation? Exactly what it sounds like! On the District Mobility website pictured above, simply slide over the left sidebar, and a vertical navigation appears. This type of design takes up less space at the top of the page, a huge benefit to going with a vertical integration.

It leaves an uncluttered canvas, which allows you to focus on the rest of the design. The navigation is easy to scan so long as there is adequate spacing between the elements. We like this look because it leaves an overall clean aesthetic.

4. Full-Screen Navigation

On this website for Cotonificio Olcese, the navigation is the design. This design that covers the entirety of the screen leaves plenty of room for menu items without sacrificing style. It gives a clear and direct roadmap to navigate the website. The simplicity is a breath of fresh air and entices you to engage with the website.

Try out a New Design for Your Website Navigation

These non-traditional navigation styles can add a little bit of fun to your website. Our Iowa web design experts like all of these options because they put the main focus on the design and functionality, without sacrificing the importance of navigation. They’re certainly giving the hamburger navigation a run for its money! Next time you’re working on a new responsive design, consider these alternatives.

Need a little help from Blue Compass giving your website a refresh? As a responsive Iowa web development and design company, we can help! Fill out our form below to see how we can take your website to the next level.

Author Thumbnail for Megan Johnston at Blue Compass
Megan Johnston

Megan Johnston is a web designer passionate about researching UX and design trends to successfully promote companies with the most intuitive and user-friendly designs. She earned a degree in General Art, which helps her bring a dynamic approach to her web designs.

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