3 Alternatives to Hamburger Menus for Mobile App UI

Hamburger Menu is the first choice for designers when they think of an icon to display several sub-menus. This navigation has widely been incorporated in mobile UI design. However, UI and UX are in search of some other alternatives to this popular design element.

Fortunately, we came across a number of solutions that proved quite effective and are more efficient than the Hamburger menu. Some of the ideas that we discuss here are not the best solution, however, depending on the circumstances, they may work and fit really well with your design needs. Take a look.

#1 Tabs

While you are working on a limited number of sections for your website or mobile app, it is a prime need that users must be able to quickly switch between various menu sections and tabbed navigation might be the solution.


Although tabs are the simplest navigation design pattern, there are certain things you need to consider.

  • Tabs work well with maximum 5 menu contents
  • It is essential to show an active tab menu at any instance and it must be clearly visualized
  • Use the first tab to navigate to the home screen and rest should be placed as per the priority
  • Tabs should either be placed at the top or at the bottom of the main screen in the context of the OS platform(Android uses bottom display).


#2 Scrollable Navigation

In some cases, it might get difficult to limit the number of navigation items. Unless you design for bigger screens, it might not be possible to manage all the menus at once. In the case of a mobile view, one of the best ways to puzzle out the problem is to use scrollable navigation.

Through this approach, you can incorporate a number of menus that can be moved just like a slider or a carousel.

One of the disadvantages of scrolling Navigation is that only a few items are visible at an instant without further scrolling them. However, this is an acceptable option when users are made to explore the content, e.g. a menu designs with so many options to choose from.

#3 Tab with More Option

While dealing with 5 or main sections, a practical approach might be to display the four sections having higher priority and display other menus within the more option.

These are similar to the usual tab design. The ‘more’ button can be linked to a new page or can have dropdowns with multiple menus.

You may think that the ‘more’ option isn’t as good as the hamburger menu, but to let you know, if you work a bit on prioritization, most of the users will be anticipating one of the four visible items anyway and your navigation is likely to be improved.


Saurabh Tiwary

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