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Hamburger Menu

Want the best User Experience? Make it harder to add features.

Adding features is easy when you design with scalability in mind. But is that really a good thing?

The hamburger menu pattern has gotten a lot of bad press in the design community over the past few months. Most of the negative attention it’s garnering relates to usability issues like lower discoverability, information not being glancable and that it clashes with other navigation patterns. Worst of all, it allows for complacence, leading to a sloppy information architecture.

For me though, it brings to light a different issue entirely; it makes scaling in apps and adding features too easy.

Hamburger menu on the Jawbone app

Need a to add a new navigation 6 months down the line? Easy, stick it in the hamburger menu. It acts as an easy way to scale an app without compromising the overall look and feel.


Kindle Love

My Kindle sucks, but I love it

Why clear priorities are at the core of great product design

The Kindle Paperwhite, one of my most-used and most-loved possessions, is a creaky plastic rectangle with an ancient-looking black and white display. As a device, it’s far removed from the sexy, exciting world of tech product design, and for a company that’s trying to make delivery drones an actual thing, you’d be forgiven for expecting something a little more advanced. Every iteration of the Kindle has been basic, understated, and (some might say) boring. Even reading, its main function, is a bit crappy. Turning the page causes the entire screen to blink in and out of existence, just like when you’re reading a real book and you drop it down the stairs.

The software is simplistic; relatively easy to use, sure, but not the most consistent. As a product, it’s not exactly sexy or thrilling. The first time I saw a friend using a Kindle I thought: “Wow, that looks like a piece of shit.”

But as soon as I started reading my first book on a Kindle, all of these criticisms turned out to not matter at all.

The Kindle is an example of a product that thrives on technological and budgetary constrains.

Here’s the thing about the Kindle: it works. When you read a book on it, the hardware and software disappear. The content itself becomes the only thing. This is a product doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, and doing it without a fuss, without begging for my attention. Unlike those needy delivery drones, pestering people for signatures…