When designing for mobile phones, space is always at a premium.
This has led to a rising use of icons, pictograms that represent something on the site visually instead of using text.
For the last year there has been a lot of talk about developing a universal menu navicon (navigation icon), something that when you see it on any site you would automatically think menu. There have been a few contenders, but based on what I’ve seen in the last few months the clear winner is three stacked, horizontal lines. Here are just a few examples I’ve picked up in the last week:
Personally, I don’t feel this is the most intuitive visual representation of menu, but it looks like it’s here to stay. Keep an eye out for this and other navicons the next time you’re browsing on your smart phone.