The hamburger menu, a pattern inspired by mobile designs, helps make navigation accessible while prioritizing content. It has become popular for many web designers, as makes it possible to put so much functionality into an app. This menu is also tempting when translating full-featured website application into a mobile.
Despite these advantages, hamburger menu has its shortcomings. C1 Partners and other Denver SEO service providers note that hidden menus make navigation less discoverable, which then provides a bad user experience. Hiding the navigation also affects content that is not accessible via an in-page link.
More Interaction Cost
It is true that users will have a much difficult time completing tasks on sites with hidden or less discoverable navigation. This is because it doesn’t tell users what is inside the menu icon or label unless they expand it. Clicking or expanding creates a further problem, as it requires more interaction cost for users, which discourages them to do it.
Hidden navigations like hamburger menu are also full of inconsistency in the labelling and placement of navigation. Sometimes, there is an emerging pattern on mobiles phones. For desktops, however, there is the lack of standards. The hamburger menu is implementable in different ways by various sites and may create confusion.
Low User Familiarity
Using the hamburger menu on a desktop is not the brightest idea. Many users may not be familiar with the icon that commonly for such menus. Low familiarity is associated with more time in completing the task successfully and relying on search bar most of the time. This decreases task time and annoys users.
There is no one-size-fits-all navigation rule for any project. For desktops, however, it is not advisable to use hidden navigation in user interfaces; a top-level navigation is better. For mobile phones, displaying visible links is recommended, but note that hidden navigation may still be useful if a site has more than four top-level navigation links.
When designing sites, it is best to follow the UX guidelines. Getting help from reliable SEO experts and web designers is also advisable to avoid hidden navigation or make use of it only when needed.