Rethinking the mobile Hamburger Menu

The hamburger menu is an aesthetic that was primarily developed to display web-pages on small devices to keep them “cleaner-looking”. While it provides an easy, fast navigation solution that is consistent across mobile sites, the hamburger menu still uses valuable space. Especially on very small screens.

Here’s a Bootstrap tutorial to change the look and location of the hamburger menu to get it out of the way:

I’m using my own site,, as an example:

Bootstrap Navigation

I’m using the default bootstrap navigation code found here

<nav class=”navbar navbar-default navbar-custom navbar-fixed-top”>
<div class=”container-fluid”>

The Brand and toggle items get grouped together here for better mobile display:
<div class=”navbar-header page-scroll”>

<button class=”navbar-toggle” type=”button” data-target=”#bs-example-navbar-collapse-1″ data-toggle=”collapse”>

My “hamburger menu” will be a rectangle that displays the word “Menu”:
span class=”sr-only”>Toggle navigation/span>Menu/button>

Here’s where I add my brand, Imageandaspect, to the upper left of the navigation bar:
a class=”navbar-brand” href=”index.html”>IMAGEANDASPECT/a>/div>

Now, collect the nav links, forms, and other content for collapsing/toggling:

div id=”bs-example-navbar-collapse-1” class=”collapse navbar-collapse”>

Add the navigation links to an un-ordered list:

<ul class=”nav navbar-nav navbar-right”>
<li><a href=”philosophy.html”>Philosophy</a></li>
<li><a href=”concierge.html”>Personal Services</a></li>
<li><a href=”products.html”>Products</a> </li>
<li><a href=”gallery.html”>Gallery</a></li>
<li><a href=”blog.html”>Blog</a> </li>
<li><a href=”contact.html”>Contact</a></li>

Notice that the data-target “#bs-example-navbar-collapse-1 and the div id=”bs-example-navbar-collapse-1 must be exactly the same name. You can change the default name, but it must match in both places or the collapsed menu will not open.

The CSS:

I’m using Bootstrap 3 and the bootstrap CSS available here


Make customizations in your own CSS document. Not a good idea to change the Bootstrap CSS.

To change the text color to Aqua:

.navbar-custom .navbar-header .navbar-toggle {
color: #57BBBF;
font-weight: normal;
font-size: .4em;


.navbar-custom .navbar-brand {
font-weight: normal;
font-size: 1.em;
color: #FFF;

Makes nav bar transparent on bigger screens, displaying white nav links:

.navbar-default {
background-color: transparent;
color: #FFFFFF;

Use a media query to remove the transparent background and change it to a color for easier viewing on smaller screens:

@media screen and (max-width:1024px) {

.nav li a {
color: #57BBBF;
background-color: #002633 !important;


Make sure to add the bootstrap scripts jquery.min.js and bootstrap.js to make the collapsed toggle nav work correctly. I add it right before the closing body tag, for faster page loading.

(See my website: as an example of how the navigation displays differently on different sized devices)


[email protected]

My Contact Page

Other articles you might like:

-Using images: Tips to improve your SEO rankings

-6 Tips to Make Your Blog Post SEO Friendly

-Use a customer thank-you page to avoid missed opportunities


About the author

diane-author-300x181 Rethinking the mobile Hamburger Menu

I developed Image and Aspect because I believe that professionals need to have an impactful web presence. One that showcases their unique talents, skills, and abilities as well as their values and style. A presence that focuses on social engagement and connection.

I’m passionate about what I do; I like helping fellow humans, I like having all kinds of social connection with others, and I want to give back, to make the world a better place.

I do much of the designing and coding myself, and I also have a wonderful network of professionals that may contribute as well; photographers, copywriters, branding experts.

I love designing and coding beautiful, elegant and responsive web creations. I ALSO teach and help others who want to learn how to do it themselves.

‘Tips and Snips’ is my blog, and it’s full of information and inspiration to help transform any online persona from “meh” to AMAZING! Sign-up HERE to get blog posts right to your in-box every Friday! I write about Design, Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Branding, Vlogging, Color Theory, HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, WordPress, Social Media…anything you’d want to know to get yourself noticed online.

Visit Image and Aspect to learn more about your web presence options

Diane M. Metcalf, M.S.

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hamburger-comparisons-2 Rethinking the mobile Hamburger Menu
Article Name
Rethinking the Hamburger Menu
Bootstrap tutorial to change the look and location of the hamburger menu to save space
Diane Metcalf
Image and Aspect