The Hamburger icon

Three horizontal lines stacked on top of one another – yes it’s a menu and it also has a name – the Hamburger icon.

hamburger icons

I read the BBC news article on the Hamburger icon with interest. It delves into the history behind it and also throws up some interesting stats:

  • Adding the word “menu” underneath the three lines increases the button’s use by 7.2%.
  • Putting the hamburger inside a box, so it looks like a button, increases use by 22.4%.
  • Switching the lines for the word “menu” makes 20% more people click.

I’m now torn between adding the word ‘menu’ to my burgers or leaving it as a design choice. On my portfolio site it’s a design feature not a visual aid and when routinely building Bootstrap sites I actively remove the background so it doesn’t look like a button – maybe need to rethink that one.

You can read the full article here: Hamburger icon: How these three lines mystify most people.

Micro-Moments changing the rules

Interesting article on about micro-moments when people use their smartphones to learn/discover/watch/buy something.

  • Of leisure travelers who are smartphone users, 69% search for travel ideas during spare moments, like when they’re standing in line or waiting for the subway. Nearly half of those travelers go on to book their choices through an entirely separate channel.
  • Of smartphone users, 91% look up information on their smartphones while in the middle of a task.
  • Of smartphone users, 82% consult their phones while they’re standing in a store deciding which product to buy. One in 10 of those end up buying a different product than they had planned.
  • Of online consumers, 69% agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand.

Read more about micro-moments at

Who still uses Internet Explorer 6

I came across a site recently that counts down IE6 usage – The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown.

It’s interesting to note that in the UK only 3.3% still use that terrible browser. When I build sites on my own time I tend to use a conditional comment to warn users that ie6 is not supported – at work that is rarely an option as clients are adamant that all users should have the same visual experience.


If you need to support IE6 a great tool is the IE Tester which can check compatibility in IE versions 5.5 to 8. Simple to install and use and without the baggage other emulators seem to come with.

New laptop bag

Love my new Crumpler laptop bag that arrived today. It’s light compared to my old overpriced crap Samsonite one and has plenty of room for my laptop, power pack, mouse, kindle, HD – and best of all there is no zip fastener to break allowing my laptop to fall out and bounce down a flight of stairs – still recovering from that one.