Why Glossier abandoned Hamburger Menus in their Mobile NavigationJanuary 28, 2018
Steve Krug once said: “As a rule, conventions only become conventions if they work,” but I’ve come to realize that this is a somewhat idealistic view. Instead, I would contend conventions become conventions if enough people assumethey work. While many are grounded in thorough research, others are simply based on companies copying a seemingly successful competitor, assuming that whatever they are doing must be the best possible solution — Remington’s sales are skyrocketing, so the QWERTY layout must be the way to go. This halo effect, the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area, is a common cognitive (and design) bias that contributes to the emergence of conventions.
Don’t get me wrong — it’s generally good practice to adhere to conventions in design. They can be incredibly valuable in helping users navigate your product and more often than not, it’s wise to respect them. But there are some cases in which they emerge for the wrong reasons and aren’t backed up by any real evidence.
An interesting article by Jan-Niklas Kokott, Head of User Experience Design at Glossier, about how they changed their mobile navigation and why they abandoned the Hamburger Menu. Challenging conventions, trying out different solutions and testing the results should be a basic part of every design project.