Once a week the hamburger place down the road has a $10 hamburger meal deal so it almost seems like a waste of money not to get a hamburger. 

But those aren't the kinds of hamburger menus I'm talking about today!

We all enjoyed this article recently from the Red Booth blog "Why We Banished The Hamburger Menu From Our iPhone App

The Hamburger Menu is probably one you're familiar with even if that's not what you call it. Three horizontal lines that sit in the top left or right corner of a mobile website or app and slide open to reveal the main menu for the website. On the Redbooth blog Rachel Kumar (cool surname, btw) is talking specifically about the hamburger menu within their mobile app and as of this time the Redbooth website still uses the hamburger menu when viewed on a mobile device.

That's not a criticism by any means. It's a long time since I've built a mobile site without a hamburger menu and the new Jack Marlow responsive website we've got in the works... has a hamburger menu on small devices.

But I think that the issues Kumar raises in her article are well worth thinking about for mobile websites as well as mobile apps.

I've always considered the hamburger menu to be a fine standard solution to having a menu on a mobile site. With limited space, why not collapse everything together? The icon has become pretty standardised now... And is a standard feature of Bootstrap the framework we use to streamline development of our responsive websites.

But recently I've noticed a worrying trend: hamburger menus on full-sized desktop websites. 

I'm seeing more and more of these - gorgeous full sized images or videos and navigation hidden behind those three little lines.

And suddenly I realised that the hamburger menu which I had no problem with - thought was a fine solution - and was willing to put up with on innumerable mobile sites and apps. Is actually really annoying, unintuitive and frustrating.

My colleague Simon pointed out that it's much easier to lose a hamburger menu on an app which is generally designed around a small number of tasks... but then we got to thinking about whether the sorts of websites our clients need and the sorts of websites we build could be as focussed and streamlined as a purpose-built mobile app.

In the early days of putting together a website I talk to a surprising number of people who tell me they don't want their phone number on the homepage of their site. Or their opening hours.

"We want people to read a bit more before they call us," they tell me. Their logic is that if people have read more information about the company they'll be an easier sale by the time they find the phone number.

It doesn't work like that. Your visitor who is looking for your phone number won't be happy they've read your mission statement or looked at a photograph of a smiling director. They just wanted your number!

When we hide menu items behind a hamburger menu I wonder if we're committing the same mistake as the people who want to bury their phone number at the bottom of a sales page. 

I think the limited screen-space on the mobile version of your website should become an opportunity to think about what your website is really for - what your visitors are looking for and what it is that will turn your visitors into customers.

We haven't finalised any designs yet but we're very excited about alternatives to the hamburger menu. Here at Jack Marlow we're big fans of Font Awesome and we're thinking about tools to allow administrators to use icons for menu items.

What do you think? Is the hamburger menu a permanent fixture in our mobile lives or can we do better? We think we can!


This may come as a surprise to you, but Jack Marlow’s Support Team takes quite a few calls each day. In spite of our 99.9% uptime (hey, we think it’s worth bragging about!), we field heaps of requests all day long about websites - ranging from accidental deletes and oopses, to site capabilities or mysterious-seeming error messages.

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses get online, and along the way we’ve learned a few tricks. As you’re getting your business online, sooner or later you’re bound to hit a bump or two. Whether you're after tech support from Jack Marlow or anywhere else, knowing the right steps to get help can make all the difference.

When technical things throw you curveballs, here are the Three Things your Support Team will need to know to help you:

1. What were you doing?

If something goes wrong on your website, the very first thing Tech Support is going to try to do is to replicate the problem. In the simplest terms possible, just tell us what you did and where you clicked. Give as much information as you can about where on the site you were and what you were trying to do when you ran into the problem. Don't worry if you don't know the "technical term" for things. Because even a simple “how to” might depend on the context of where you are on the site, the more information you can offer Support, the easier it will be for them to find the solution.

2. What did you...

As any new website owner can tell you, getting all the nuts and bolts of an e-commerce site worked out can be a lot of work. When you sell online, one of the most important things you'll need to work out is your payment methods - what system you will use to process the transactions that go through your shopping cart. If you’re accepting payments directly through the website and you’re in Australia, you have two main options: a Payment Gateway/ Internet Merchant Facility combo or PayPal.

In Australia, to accept a credit card payment through your shopping cart the best thing to do is set up an Internet Merchant Facility (with your bank) and a Payment Gateway. (Sometimes the internet merchant facility and the payment gateway may be combined into a single service.)

Using an internet merchant facility and payment gateway to accept credit cards is the most professional-looking payment option you can have on your website. Particularly if your business is new online, building consumer confidence should be high on your list of web priorities. You want the buying process to be as smooth as possible. In addition to making sure your customers know that your business is trustworthy, one of the biggest perks of setting up an internet merchant facility is that the money from your sales will be deposited directly into your bank without delay.

Setting up an internet merchant facility and payment gateway has its price, however. Many business own...

Internet Explorer 6 is a web-browser which was released in 2001. That's 10 years ago! 10 years might not seem like a long time, but the internet has changed a lot in the last 10 years.

Internet Explorer 6 was a great web-browser in its day (and it really was much better than its predecessors!), but that day has long passed.

Last week, Microsoft launched their IE6 Countdown website: it contains some shiny graphics and information about how and why you should move away from Internet Explorer 6.

If you're still using IE6 I strongly recommend that you upgrade to a later version of Internet Explorer, or switch to another browser. Mozilla Firefox is very popular, but my preferred browser these days is Google Chrome.

If your life is anything like mine, chances are you use a large number of online services which each need a password for security. You may have dozens and dozens of passwords, and it's pretty much impossible to remember more than a few different ones for your most frequently used services: let alone the ones you log in to only a few times a month or year.

Password Reuse.

A common strategy for dealing with password overload is to use the same (or very similar) username and password combinations for every service. That way, there's not so much to remember.

I know that it's tempting but this probably the worst thing you can do. I'v...

A Web Browser is a program you use to browse the internet. There are a number of different Web Browsers available for free and while the basic functionality is the same (with an address bar and the ability to view websites) some of the advanced functionality is different and each browser has a different interpretation of websites.

The intricacies of “browser bugs” aren’t important to anyone that’s not a web developer and even in our office here we have different opinions about which is the “best” web-browser. The important thing is to make sure that your visitors all have a great experience, regardless of which browser they prefer to use.

Internet Explorer

For people who know me, this may seem a disingenous thing for me to blog about, because I've long decried (often loudly) how fundamentally stupid an idea mandatory filtering is. In short, it's a money-pit for government and industry that doesn't actually solve any of the problems it sets out to solve, creates problems for law enforcement that didn't exist before, generates a false sense of security and complacency, and provides governments with a dangerous apparatus to control the flow of information.

But enough of that.

If you're an Australian business, with your website hosted within Australia, mandatory internet filtering in the minimal form proposed...