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Have mobile eCommerce websites become too dependent on the hamburger menu? Navigation for mobile eCommerce websites

Mobile phones have become a ubiquitous element in modern-day society, with many people using their mobile devices for online shopping. Mobile eCommerce websites specifically offer users the ability to view or purchase a product without entering a physical shop. With the added implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile eCommerce websites play a more prevalent role in consumerism than in the past. Given the popularity of mobile devices and extensive research into eCommerce design, it was surprising to see little research into navigation menu for mobile eCommerce websites The navigation positioning, type of navigation, and user experience are areas investigated within this thesis. This research’s main goal was to look into navigation menus on mobile eCommerce websites and learn which approach offers the most optimal solution for a successful navigation experience. We learned that the hamburger menu in the top left-hand corner is the most commonly used form of navigation through a case study. We also identified that the hamburger menu in the top left-hand corner might not be the optimal solution. We then conducted a user study to investigate user preferences concerning navigation options on mobile devices. We used the case study findings and developed a secondary navigation option to test against the top-left hamburger menu. This secondary option was a menu bar navigation, with a hamburger incorporated on the bottom right. Results showed that in general users preferred the layout and experience that the bottom bar navigation option offered. We could recommend the inclusion of a bottom bar navigation option in the development of mobile eCommerce websites. The research suggested that a bottom bar navigation option would offer a more user-friendly mobile eCommerce website experience. Finally, we identified the limitations of the study, as well as future work surrounding the topic.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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