2014’s Major New Abstract Icon
Originally called the navicon, this icon started being used in 2014, when more websites became optimised for phones.
For opening navigation menus, it was renamed ‘the sandwich’, before becoming known as ‘the hamburger’.
Missing the Signpost
Research at the time, by James Foster of web publishing company, Exis, showed recognition of the hamburger with website visitors was relatively slow.
This posed a major problem, with visitors ignoring this icon and all content beyond the site’s home page. Bounce rates went sky high!
James Foster’s study of 240,000 unique visitors, replaced an unlabelled ‘hamburger’ icon with the word ‘MENU’. This increased menu link click throughs by 20%.
In conclusion, for more abstract icons, hybrids provide a temporary solution. They allow quickened navigation for those familiar with the icon, whilst the label aids those not yet up to speed.
PLEASE NOTE: Hamburgers hide signposts, so only use on phones! They make no sense on desktop views or tablets, even though Times Magazine has done just that.