Several months ago, we began trialing Matomo, a Google Analytics 4 alternative. Mamoto, I’m happy to say, includes a heatmap tool, something Google removed from Universal Analytics several years ago.

You can use heatmaps to determine how people use page elements, such as the top navigation.

Within a week, we could see just how important the top navigation is to a manufacturing website. Why? Because people use it to find what they need (e.g. Products / Services) — without scrolling to see what else is on the page.

The issue? Some WordPress theme designers have eliminated the top navigation and have replaced it with the hamburger icon.

The hamburger icon is used to denote the menu when users view a website on a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet. It gets its name from the three horizontal bars which comprise it.

Users tap it to open a large drop-down menu. The screenshot below is from my iPad.

Huff Industrial Marketing home page

The problem, however, is that not everyone knows what the icon is or how it works. The other problem is that it goes against website usability standards for desktop.

Based on the data we see from our manufacturing customers’ websites, the vast majority of site visits come desktop, not mobile.

Replacing the standard top nav with the hamburger icon confuses people — which makes it harder for people to do business with you.

Recommendation: Stick with your standard top nav. It works!