The Hamburger Menu - Separating Fact from Fiction

Few people know this, but the famous hamburger icon has actually been around since the 80's. Just as leggings, Transformers, and Full House are making their comeback, the hamburger icon has jumped on the bandwagon as well.


The Birth of the Hamburger Menu

Back in the 80’s, a graphic designer Norm Cox was searching for a simple design for the XEROX Star. The simple design of 3 horizontal lines fit the application as a simple guide and stuck. Norm mentions that his desire was to come up with a design that was “road sign simple” and mimicked the look of a displayed menu list. All we know is that it’s very distinctive and highly recognizable across applications and even operating systems.

Hamburger Menu Comeback is Largely Due to Facebook

Although it got its first real-world usage in the early 80’s, the hamburger menu didn’t actually catch on right away. In fact, it wasn’t until 2008 that the simplistic design was again implemented on a large scale. Facebook designers were looking for a very simple yet highly recognizable design option for a menu that would work for its mobile application. If you remember, back then Facebook was using a “grid” icon, which wasn’t a popular icon for additional menu items. Once they turned to the hamburger icon, it quickly took off and the “grid” icon was replaced.

Wait! Didn’t Apple Create the Hamburger Menu?

Probably the most widely used iteration of the hamburger menu is in Apple’s iOS operating system. When they were developing the iOS for smartphones, Apple needed a simple, effective way to add menu options in a compact form for the up-and-coming iPhone. Designers at Apple incorporated the hamburger menu as a well-known menu icon, and ultimately applied it across their OS systems.

Incorporating Timeless, Cutting-Edge Features to Digital Presence

As we continue to evolve in the technology sector, we often look back on the initial days of development and occasionally use an item from that time that makes sense in today’s environment.

At Unleaded Group, we continually strive to incorporate value added items to your custom crafted digital presence. To find out more, call us today at 720-221-7126.