Why not a Menu Bar?

By the way, if I remember correctly, keys or key combos (including PF or F keys) to bring up a menu item are leftover from the old DOS days. Toolbars are more of a modern innovation of OSs (e.g. Windows, macOS, etc).

Both Apple and Google, just to name a few, actively maintain lists of keyboard shortcuts. Neither commercialized DOS.
Also, they don’t just “bring up a menu”, but they execute a command.

Shortcut keys are irrelevant. They should exist in combination with other navigation methods, there should never be justification for either / or.

As to standard desktop navigation, commands you are actively using are usually at the top / left. Window customisation & close are at the top right. Therefore a user’s mouse is usually at the left-side of the screen.

Phones have moved ALL menus to the top right (the burger menu) as they have little screen space, and also need to place the menu in reach of the thumb.

The two device types, screen types and interface styles are COMPLETELY distinct and have a completely different mentality and convenience when using them. There’s no reason Desktop interfaces should be of the same style as mobiles / tablets.

Enable a toolbar OPTION, and everyone is happy. Simple as that. I detest “burger menus” in my desktop interfaces.

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I found the discussion about the data Firefox used in their new interface design to be germane to the conversation… :slight_smile:

Just fair warning: if you really like your menus, you probably need to be jumping to Vivaldi. I don’t think you’ll have the option in Firefox much longer either. There’s still the rather hidden option to turn it back on, but one of these days I think you’ll probably see it disappear.

I don’t really see any data relating to the actual “Menu Bar” there though? In their heatmap, the menu bar was turned off and they were just focusing on the hamburger menu.

Of course most people (grandmas and non-technical) aren’t going to use it when it’s disabled by default! No problem with that though as long as the OPTION is there. That’s what this thread was all about.

It’s obvious that the Hamburger menu was created to streamline the experience (and minimise development effort) between the mobile & desktop browser interfaces.

However the Hamburger menu isn’t as suited to the Desktop interface as traditional menu bars are, as it factually takes longer and MORE clicks to get to the required items.

The menu bar not being in the heatmap is kind of the point; they’re measuring very specific user interactions with the interface, and making design decisions based on that data. They know exactly how many people turn on and/or use the menu bar, and they still decided to disable it by default. It not being in the heatmap or part of the menu-use discussion indicates how statistically insignificant it is.

If the use of a feature is statistically insignificant, its existence in a given program/app is only a matter of when it is eliminated, not if. That’s simply the cold hard truth of development & programming. The days of a menu, even in Firefox, seem numbered. It is a legacy feature that will likely cease to be there at some point.

Although, given Firefox’s steep usage decline, it is true that the entire browser may fall by the wayside before the menu dies:

I happened to notice this topic title in the recent activity list and thought to myself, at last, someone who thinks the way I do, that the absense of a menu bar is such a pain. Then when I clicked through to this topic I was shocked to see how long it had been running, how many people have expressed a desire for an option to have a menu bar, and how closed-minded some of the responses have been to this. Brave isn’t alone in making these terrible design decisions, but that doesn’t make it any more palatable. I feel that today’s designers think usuability and functionality are secondary to looking cool, and their answer to usability defects is to tell users to stop complaining and move with the times.

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Maybe so, maybe not, however they didn’t display the data did they. That smacks more of a “decision is made” to me. Otherwise they’d at least show the data to back it up.

Tbh as they’ve disabled it by default and the majority of the user base will be technically illiterate, I do fully expect the counts to be low. However come on now, you know how design departments work nowadays in tech. “Let’s go with whatever is trendy, like all the cool kids” wins over functionality, every time. Just because something is a design trend, doesn’t mean it’s better.

Legacy ONLY by that point above. It is still factually faster to get to menu options through a menu bar than it is through the burger menu, and the burger menu is designed for, and suited to a mobile interface.

I fully believe they probably will get rid of it (like all the cool kids!) but absolutely disagree that it’s truly legacy by nature, as the functionality has not been replaced or enhanced by an objectively better method suited for desktop interfaces.

Actually, that’s not how design departments work at all. I know this because I’m a developer that works on a design team (but I design websites, not applications). There’s a lot that goes into interface design decisions, including the science of how our eyes operate, the psychology of how we make decisions, and considerable user behavior research and testing. Obviously, the aesthetic of some specific design cases is a matter of taste, but UX design as a whole is not ruled by a desire to be trendy.

While it is by no means exhaustive, this page provides some background for why modern interfaces are generally simplifying across the board; it’s not just web browsers.

I understand that old habits die hard; it’s difficult to adopt new ways of doing things. And everyone is welcome to their preferences. But it’s simply false to assume every UX design team out there working to minimize their interfaces is doing so just because it’s trendy.

And I’m a Software Engineer who actually builds **** and doesn’t just design it. And yes I know about how our eyes work etc. as I had to study HCI as part of that. I remember when Nielsen ripped into Windows 8 (including the “flat style” that’s now the rage, again due to ****** mobiles), for it’s terrible decisions: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/windows-8-disappointing-usability/

I never completely retire a feature unless it’s been fully replaced by an equivalent, OR it has become a security vulnerability (and no secure equivalent exists). Sure I may bury it in the menus a little, but if it has a function, it’s still there. NEVER have I offered my users an “upgrade” into a functionally inferior product.

There’s NO excuse for removing traditional menus at the expense of something that objectively takes MORE CLICKS. Especially for every day things. Imagine how much those extra clicks multiply over the course of a year!

The burger menu is **** for desktop navigation. Absolutely, utterly cack. It offers no additional features, is in a daft place on my screen (right under the close button, ffs!) and takes far more clicks to get to whichever option I need to get to. It also compacts all the additional options of a menu bar on a nice, widescreen monitor into one daft, long menu, making it harder to find individual options.

But hey if that’s the default for the plebs then fine! But leave my OPTION to have the standard, superior navigation mode in, please. The burger menu was made for mobiles (vertically longer screen) NOT desktop monitors (horizontally wider screen) and it far suits mobile OS, not desktop.

It is pure laziness and pursuit of “style” and “brand” that it is now being pursued on a desktop OS. Form over function.

I’m a minimalist myself and don’t mind certain things being compacted, but absolutely hate the lack of customizability, and the removal of options, resulting into something “less” than before.