Hamburger button

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Example hamburger icon

Screenshot of Wikipedia mobile app with hamburger icon and opened menu

The hamburger, sandwich, hotdog, pancake, tribar (or triple bar) double oreo or options button is a button placed typically in a top corner of a graphical user interface.[1] It takes the form of an icon that consists of three parallel horizontal lines (displayed as ), suggestive of a list,[2]. The names refer to its resemblance to the layers in a hamburger, a pile of pancakes, or three hotdogs.[3]

Selecting (tapping or clicking) this button results in a menu being revealed (sliding out or popping up), which distinguishes it from a menu bar, which is always on display.[1]

Use of this icon as a graphical shortcut originated in order to save space on smaller devices (like smartphones).[3] On devices with even smaller user interfaces, the wider hamburger button may be reduced to three vertically stacked dots (displayed as a tri-colon or vertical ellipsis ),[4] from which it may also be described as a kebab.[5] In the Microsoft Office 365 platform, a similar application menu consisting of three rows of three squares is displayed, which is informally described as the waffle by its users.[6]

In the context of mobile apps, compared to a bottom bar menu, a hamburger button increases interaction cost and pays out in less space usage of the screen.[7]

Hamburger buttons have been criticized by TechCrunch as a "poor design choice" in apps for mobile devices.[8]

The icon was originally designed by Norm Cox as part of the user interface for the Xerox Star, introduced in 1981;[2] it saw a resurgence starting in 2009 stemming from the limited screen area available to mobile apps.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bawcombe, Libby (August 27, 2014). "The hamburger menu-icon debate". The Atlantic. Atlantic Media. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Campbell-Dollaghan, Kelsey (March 31, 2014). "Who Designed the Hamburger Icon?". Gizmodo. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Lessin, Jessica (March 18, 2013). "What's a 'hamburger' button? A guide to app features". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Why did Google choose to use vertical three dots icon instead of Hamburger icon on Chrome? - Quora". Retrieved 2017-01-10. 
  5. ^ Bravo, Gonzalo. "Kebab Menu". Retrieved 2017-04-06. 
  6. ^ Nguyen, Chuong (June 26, 2015). "Office 365 Store saves time with single sign-on to web apps". Tech Radar Pro. Retrieved 2018-02-08. 
  7. ^ Tsiodoulos, Dimitrios (2016). Comparison of hamburger and bottom bar menu on mobile devices for three level navigation (PDF) (Thesis). Retrieved 2018-06-13. 
  8. ^ Constine, Josh (May 24, 2014). "Kill the hamburger buttons". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  9. ^ "A Brief History of the Hamburger Icon". 29 October 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2017.