Hamburger menu icons - should they be on the left or right?

  • Hamburger menus (the three small horizontal bars: the new menu icon). Should they be on the right or left?

    I'm only thinking of mobile and tablet applications.

    enter image description here

    The pattern I see the most is on the left side: Youtube app, Evernote app, and many more. However, I've seen the argument of the right being more user-friendly because when you're grabbing the phone with your right hand, it's easier to reach the menu.

    enter image description here

    What do you guys think? Should I go with the flow and implement the menu on the left side?

    I wondered when you said "mostly on the left side", before I saw that iPhone picture (haven't used iOS myself, but seeing this question, I assume it must be on the left there). On Android, it is always on the right side, including on the Evernote and YouTube apps. If by now Android users have formed an expectation for right-side and iOS users for left-side, you might want to go with the target platform convention.

    On my Android 4.4.2 smartphone, the Google apps have the hamburger menu on the left. I take it you've set the primary language on yours to one where the text runs right-to-left.

    Gosh, I always thought that three-line shape was like a ventilation grill. Sometimes it turns red in Chrome, and I would think, "Oh-oh, it is overheating!" When it turned green, I would think that it was too humid in here and algae was growing. It took a while for me to realize that it was supposed to represent a "menu". (Hamburgers are right out.) Then I started to see it other places too: "Oh, they are copying Chrome!"

    You should use whatever is standard on the OS instance.

    It will be easy to access if it's placed on the right. If placed on the left it's hard to reach. Many of the sites are placing hamburger icon to left.

  • Rafa Q.

    Rafa Q. Correct answer

    8 years ago

    This menu got "famous" because Facebook and Path implemented it for the first time. Personally I'm not really attracted to this menu but if I need to choose a side I would choose the right side.

    That's because aprox. 67% of users use the right thumb (so that means the right hand) and in several studies have proved that the screen area is more difficult to reach with this hand posture is the top-left one. Something that you can see properly in this image from the LukeW's book Web Form Design
    enter image description here

    The navigation of an application of mobile website it should easily reachable and accessible. In this way the experience is more comfortable (at least for that 67% of right hand users).

    Here you can find a really interesting article about how users hold mobile devices: How Do Users Really Hold Mobile Devices?

    Even though I agree that facebook made the icon "famous", they didn't implement it for the first time. It was first introduced in 1981 as far as I know. in the UI of Xerox Star; source:

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM