February 22, 2019

The State of Hamburger Button




So, I have heard a lot of discussion about the so called “hamburger button”. You know, I really hate these words together, I don’t know why. I like hamburgers, and as a programmer I certainly don’t hate buttons, I have problem with Velcros from time to time. I talked about SplitView before, I don’t have much issue with SplitView, even though that’s another name for “hamburger button”. Oh god, I really have problem to write this two words, from now on, the hell to “…”, whatever that is, I’ll call it SplitView.

That explains why so many people hate it. Honestly, I have never seen one single person who have said, “Oh, I like it.” Best words would be: I have no problem with it, I am OK with it. Second best is: You will get used to it. Folks, I don’t think “I am OK with it, or You will get used to it” are the words we want to hear about Windows 10, don’t you agree?

I understand, it can be symbolic. It has a lot to do with the fact that the UI is related to some ugly OS that no one wants to associate with. I think it’s not just symbolic. It’s more than that. I think most people embrace good things from other OSes, there are tons of evidence of that, I don’t have to list here.

So, lets get to the problem. I mean, why do they introduce this UI that everyone hate? What problem do they try to solve? This video explain it well (but he doesn’t give a solution). To make it short, they are not happy with the AppBar that has been there for both Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1. Their reason is not good for navigation. That’s the center of the problem. Their solution, as you already know, is the SplitView. I want correct many people: it’s not about top or bottom, or left hand or right hand. If I remember it right, they had said the SplitView can be on top or bottom.

Lets do some analysis. I want to see if they really tried to solve the issue, or if there is an issue. Or they just have some non-technical problems in their brain.

We used to have menus, which worked pretty well for decades. Menus can scale by simply hide/show items based on windows size. We have never separate actions from navigations. Well, it’s not a bad thing that we have separate actions for navigation, after all, we treat windows as pages now. My problem is,

What prevent AppBar from having navigation functions? And what prevent an AppBar to show app title for God’s sake?

What does this have to do with swipe? A pivot control can still work regardless all this. Why pivot is removed along with panorama?

Swipe is disproven, they said. How? The fluidity of the swipe UI is a work of art. They said, you have to swipe five times to get to the fifth tab. First of all, Swipe works both ways, you only swipe three time to get to the fifth. Second of all, apps are small applications. It is really hard to find apps have many pages. And third, if they do have more than 5, as I said, there is nothing prevent you from having navigation command from AppBar.

They said horizontal layout wouldn’t work, who said it has to be horizontal? The buttons on the AppBar can do whatever you want it to do. “Otherwise, what’s difference to SplitView?” you ask.

The difference is: 1. We have AppBar that is already working, if you want to add navigation to it, go ahead. What’s the point of SplitView. 2. If you want to have SplitView to replace AppBar, fine. Why make it look the same like the ones appeared on the ugly OS that I don’t want to name? 3. What’s the reason a pivot control don’t work with SplitView? 4. The problem with SplitView is not only it associates to an ugly OS, but also it’s dull, it’s static, which is in stark contrast to the smooth, animated UIs in Windows Phone.

In my view, the problem is totally non-technical. Some people in Microsoft have a wrong view angle of the company and their products. There are tons of fans who love your products, but you are telling them, people don’t like them. And you said there are data to prove that. True, Windows Phone haven’t got a large market share. I want to remind everyone, that has nothing to do with the products themselves. If anyone have any sense of objectivity, they choose Lumia 520 over any of the Samsung garbage.

The problem lies in the media relationship, not the product.

I have watched Windows Vista, Zune, KEN Phone, Surface and Metro design language, one thing in common among them, they are all state of the art from technical prospective, regardless what the media say.

Metro design language is the model for the future human computer interface design. It’s clear, modern, fluid and functional. Take a look at all the major websites today, you will realize there is a Metro revolution going on. The buzz word of web 2.0 has totally replaced by Metro. Just like anything else, Metro is evolving, one thing keep in mind is to incorporate styles with functions. Styles don’t override functions.

It would be sad to see the one who invented it, turns around and destroys it.


Further read:

UAP, HoloLens, Recommended Readings – Developer’s Collection

Why HoloLens Is Not Kinect

Surface 3 Will Be the Surface for the Mass

Digest the Windows 10 Technical Preview SDK (Updated)

HoloLens, Recommended Readings – Business Ideas Collection