Tab Bars are the new Hamburger Menus

Grzegorz Primus

18 listopada, 2019

66 minutes read

History Lesson

2014 Apple sparked a fundamental change in thinking on how mobile navigation should work. Until then the “hamburger menu” or “navigation drawer” (official Material Design naming) was the most common mobile navigation solution. During their 2014 WWDC Talk “Designing Intuitive User Experiences” Apple basically crushed this design element and recommended using different types of navigation — like tab bars.

I sigh inwardly, and prepare myself for a long conversation in which I try to untangle the many
assumptions, mis-understandings and half-truths that have been absorbed uncritically from the
cultural soup we swim in.

Navigation Goals

It’s not surprising that this viewpoint is so common that it has become the default position for
many, if not most; it’s a viewpoint supported by some powerful voices. Stephen Weinberg, for
example, a Physics Nobel Prize winner said,

The world needs to wake up from the long nightmare of religion. Anything we scientists can do to
weaken the hold of religion should be done and may in fact be our greatest contribution to

I hope you didn’t miss the rather sinister-sounding totalitarian element in this statement:
“anything we scientists can do…”

This attitude is not new. I first met it fifty years ago while studying at Cambridge University.
I found myself at a formal college dinner sitting beside another Nobel Prize winner. I had never
met a scientist of such distinction before and, in order to gain the most from the conversation,
I tried to ask him some questions. For instance, how did his science shape his worldview—his big
picture of the status and meaning of the universe? In particular, I was interested in whether
his wide-ranging studies had led him to reflect on the existence of God.

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