“…[D]esign must deliver results. Designers must also accept that if they don’t, they’re not actually designing well; in technology, at least, the subjective artistry of design is mirrored by the objective finality of use data. A “great” design which produces bad outcomes —low engagement, little utility, few downloads, indifference on the part of the target market— should be regarded as a failure.”

– Mills Baker

“Sometimes I’ll be walking her through some sort of interface over the phone and I’ll tell her to delete a file, only to realize that “Delete” is an icon. I’ll have to tell her at that point to search for some icon that looks like a trash can or an “X” or something. I’ve heard her say something genius after finding it like “Why doesn’t it just say ‘Delete’?”.”

– Tony Gines

“You’ll come to appreciate that it can be better to help others reach the right outcomes themselves than do it yourself. That, of course, is what we call leadership.”

Cennydd Bowles

“Everyone in a company should have empathy and practice design regardless of their title. Design can no longer be just be an outsourced add-on, limited to putting “lipstick on a pig.” Tech moves too fast for such short-sighted design thinking; it won’t be a lasting advantage.”

Enrique Allen

“I want to be the line, and I want to mess with that line, because that line is a total fabrication.”

Frank Chimero

Designing in the Browser Faster »

Tips for Mobile Design by @lukew (with images, tweets) · bombayhustle »

Lot’s of great bite-sized chunks of advice for designing mobile-friendly forms.

An Update on the Hamburger Menu

About a year ago, I wrote Hamburgers & Basements: Why Not to Use Left Nav Flyouts.

Since then, a few things have happened.

  1. Facebook has discontinued using the hamburger menu in their iOS app.
  2. A few desktop websites have replaced their persistent navigation with the hamburger menu – who knows if they’re actually testing it or how they’re interpreting the results.
  3. Time Magazine decided to use it:
  4. Personally, I think user testing the hamburger menu is good enough, but these guys A/B tested it: UX designers: Side drawer navigation could be costing you half your user engagement
  5. This guy tested it twice: Mobile Menu AB Tested: Hamburger Not the Best Choice? and Hamburger vs Menu: The Final AB Test
  6. This guy also wrote about it: The Hamburger is Bad for You

Despite all of this, I still haven’t seen any evidence suggesting that the hamburger menu is an improvement.


Basically it comes down to interface design patterns. Patterns rely on familiarity and emerge slowly over time. Most of the ones we use on the web today have been around for many years.

Users have plenty of new things to learn without adding contrived navigation patterns into the mix. Let’s stop trying to innovate device-specific interactions and leave it to the device manufacturers.

Let’s focus on the real problems

Product design requires solving many more difficult problems.
For example:

  • How does your product align with a user’s mental model?
  • How do you scale your information architecture?
  • How do you make your product meaningful to your users?
  • How do you reach a wider audience with your product?

Personally, I’d much rather be designing and testing solutions for problems like these.