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Hamburger Icon

Should your website use the Hamburger icon?

By Design, Website, Wordpress No Comments

What is the Hamburger icon?

The Hamburger icon is a website tool. Intended to make minimalistic design optimal for mobile. Three simple horizontal bars make up the hamburger icon. The icon is often placed in a top corner as an alternative to a navigation bar. How does it work? The icon represents a hidden navigation tool (like a side menu).

The idea is that when you have a navigation bar, while fine on a regular site it can take up too much space on mobile. This is a real problem. The hamburger icon is an attempt at keeping a minimalist design while still being functional.

However the hamburger icon has received a lot of criticism. Despite the clear need for less cluttered mobile sites. Here’s why:

Hamburger icon cons

The hamburger icon is often considered a poor design choice. This is because you are effectively hiding all of your website’s feature behind an icon. There is a lot of theory suggesting that the hamburger icon is bad for user engagement. Put simply if users can’t see your navigation menu, they won’t use it.

The argument is that people are not familiar enough with the hamburger icon to recognise that it is used to hide your website or apps special features. Hamburger buttons are not very efficient in terms of UX. Think about it. In comparison to a navigation bar you have to tap just to even see what your options are. Then again if you want to move to your next page. Websites visitors are not known for their patience. Do not give them a reason to bounce from your site before they even know what your offering.

Also the triple bar is not particularly indicative of anything it is quite literally three lines. This unintuitive design is very negative on all kinds of conversions.

Hamburger icon pros

So, does this mean there is no place for the Hamburger icon? Actually no. In fact in terms of mobile optimisation the icon can prove vital. Yes, you are risking visitors misunderstanding the purpose of your hamburger. But the triple bar is becoming more and more prevalent across all devices. While I think there is very few circumstances to warrant a hamburger icon on your desktop website, navigation bars on mobile’s are incredibly frustrating.

Not to mention the lack of screen space. There are some alternatives to the hamburger even on mobile however such as the Tab Bar. An array of small navigation bars spread out across your page. This is definitely worth considering especially if you have less navigation options on your website.

Conclusion

In the end the Hamburger icon has a clear purpose. To give smaller resolutions some space to breathe. While it’s true that it is not the easiest icon to recognise initially. Once you understand it’s function it quite clearly indicating some kind of list. When you consider the only realistic alternative so far is the word ‘menu’, I think the icon is here to stay.

With time people will only grow more accustomed to the icon but for now it is definitely worth considering whether you really need this on your website, mobile or not.

 

I hope that this has helped clarify the Hamburger icon issue for you. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business with web design please leave a comment below or call us on 01273 328877.

oban less is more for your website

Less is more on your website

By Design, Website, Wordpress No Comments

Your home page is really important as it’s most likely going to be the first page a visitor see’s. When you first land on a page you have certain expectations. So how do you ensure your viewers find the goodies of your site? Cut the clutter.

Sleek websites not only look great but they minimise confusion and contribute to ensuring that you achieve targets like subscribers, sales and more signups. This gives your website a spring clean that can be just what you need to up those conversions, but how do you go about it?

Simplifying your website may seem daunting at first, it’s particularly painful after having worked on that useful content. Every step you take towards streamlining your website will make an impact. You shouldn’t look at simplifying your home page as a mammoth task which you could never have the time to finish, this is an ongoing process. Improvements will be possible each and every time you search, you can take it slow as long as you don’t neglect this process. Persistence is key.

Finding the Focus of your Website

What is the necessity on your page? Most likely there will be one fundamental aspect of each page you have which you cannot go without. Perhaps it’s a Call to Action, a subscription to your newsletter, a download to your latest eBook. What ever your page’s aim is you have to narrow it down to this point as much as possible. Any distractions are only giving the visitor an excuse to leave. Don’t give them that excuse.

Minimise your page count

This doesn’t always mean deleting all your content. Merging two pages or even more into a single page can be much more user friendly than having to click through page after page. However there is almost definitely going to be at least some content which is unnecessary somewhere on your site, maybe it’s simply out of date. Then it simply has to go. When you have less places to visit on your site not only are you making content more coherent, but your navigation bar will be a lot less complicated.

Keep content above the fold

Many studies have been undertaken regarding the fold on a webpage, it is widely regarded that any content below the fold is largely ignored. Therefore it is very important that your website’s focal elements are not below the fold. While I would like to argue a gripping webpage will draw relevant users to go below the fold and that there are many irrelevant reasons which could be interfering with reading further. The evidence is there and statistically you would be much better off avoiding placing important pieces below the fold.

Non-Obtrusive Design

When reading through content the most distracting aspect of a website tends to be colour. If you want a safe bet most designers stick with the 60-30-10 Rule, suggesting that you use three colours in a ratio of 60%, 30% & 10%. Not only is this minimising interferences with your visitors but you will give a thoughtful and professional impression. You can take this one step further by understanding the demographics of your audience. Analyzing the competition will allow you to either stick to trends or stand out without alienating your audience. Highlight your focal elements with primary colours which contrast with the rest of your design so that your visitors can’t help but consider them.

Hopefully this article has informed you of the importance of simplicity. If you would like to learn more about web design and how it can help your business please leave a comment below or call us on 01273 328877

TCmarketing Website Icon

How to make WordPress secure

By Website, Wordpress No Comments

WordPress is the most popular CMS system with over 20% of the website CMS market. Not surprising considering it is open source, packed with features and very easy to use.

But with popularity it has become a target for hackers and so it is vitally important to make sure it is secure.  Our quick list outlines the 5 main areas you need to cover when running a WordPress website:

1. UPDATE your plugins and core WordPress files regularly.  There is a whole army of developers out there that constantly work to make their plugins more secure, so take advantage of it.  But remember to back up before doing this.

2. Make the LOGIN HARDER.  There are lots of things you can do to make it harder for hackers to login to your WordPress website; put a captcha on the login page, allow only 3 login attempts, delete the ‘admin’ account and use strong passwords.

3. Upload a SECURITY PLUGIN.  There are lots of Woprdpress security plugins, some are better than others, but make sure you have one that protects against people hacking into your files and database.

4. Try to avoid FREE THEMES AND PLUGINS. For the home blogger they are fine but for a business then they can come with too may vulnerabilities.

5. Take a regular BACKUP.  This speaks for itself and there are plugis that will do it automatically for you.

WordPress has its own article going through some common forms of vulnerabilities, and the things you can do to help keep your WordPress installation secure.

If you’need more professional help and advice with securing your WordPress website then please call us on 01273 328877.