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Inclusive Design Patterns by Smashing Magazine, Heydon Pickering

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A Menu Button

Sometimes we hide menus away (like the navigation regions of the last chapter), putting the content center stage. Revealing the menu should be at the user’s discretion, so we provide a button. Were menu buttons straightforward and uncontroversial, I could have folded this pattern into the last one, but, alas, there are a number of challenges and concerns to address: the method of rendering the menu icon; how to make it easily intelligible; how to label it accessibly; the communication of open and closed menu states; the ergonomics of touch operation. All these things have to be taken into account.

First of all, though, it needs to be stated that — like drop-down menus — if you don’t need a menu button, don’t involve one. As a rule ...

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