Hamburger menus for mobile navigation: do they work?

Hamburger menus are ubiquitous in mobile web design, but the jury is out on whether the little three-lined icon actually works.

A lot of people hate hamburger menus because they feel not everyone knows what it means and that menu options are hidden from view.

However much of the negative feeling seems to be based on a vague notion that the icon harms the user experience, without any actual evidence to back it up.

Last week Booking.com released the findings of its own study into the use of hamburger menus and it turned out to be good news for fans of the three-lined icon.

I’ve summarised the results below along with the results of several other studies into the uses of hamburger menus, so you can make up your own mind.

For more on this topic, read our posts on 14 inspiring mobile commerce websites and 11 ways to improve the navigation on your mobile site.

Zeebox rebrands as Beamly, launches new second screen app: review

Zeebox launched two years ago as a fairly simple program guide with many second screen integrated features.

Ben Davis covered the app in his article Zeebox: insanely powerful advertising but will it catch on? At the time of writing in October 2013, it was found that 53% of adults interact with another form of media while watching television and of that number, 25% were chatting online about the shows they were watching.

With 6m downloads of the app, Zeebox were well on the way to capitalise on this second-screen trend.

As of this week, Zeebox has been rebranded as Beamly and a new app has been launched. The theory behind the rebrand is to expand upon the initial conceit of an app that added enjoyment to the programme you were watching at that particular moment, by expanding the experience throughout the day, away from the television. 

My fundamental doubts about the second screen

Forgive the first person pronoun in the headline, but television is the most emotive of subjects.

Not for nothing does the Simpsons use the TV set as a cultural trope. Perhaps the emergence of broadband and the creative decline of the Simpsons is more than correlative?

Anyway, I don’t dispute the second screen phenomenon, not one bit. I use my phone whilst watching TV all the time.

What I am disputing, outside of a few important examples, is the extent of consumer demand for contextual second screen experiences. Within this disputation comes the assertion that a lot of second screen use is indeed not contextual (aside from social media use) and cannot therefore be ‘monetised’ as such.

Of course, fans of the second screen may point out that the reason second screen usage isn’t yet contextual is because second screen services and apps are nowhere near maturation yet. There may be improved uses and better content to come.

I’d argue that the same problems that beset social advertising (a place for branding but not sales) will ultimately beset the second screen, driven as it is by the demand for socialising whilst watching the box.

See if you agree with my devil’s advocate’s views.

Great British Bake Off and the rise of social TV

The Great British Bake Off finale achieved 156,000 tweets during its 8pm-9pm broadcast last night.

The flagship BBC2 show has also seen a steep rise in audience figures over its 2013 season, achieving 9m viewers during its finale, up from 6.5m who watched the crowning of last year’s winner.

Although an assured move to BBC1 and a 32.6% audience share is a huge success, perhaps The Great British Bake Off’s greatest legacy is highlighting our changing viewing habits and how Twitter is transforming the way we watch TV.

Zeebox: insanely powerful advertising, but will it catch on?

We’ve covered second screening a bit on this blog (like this on Twitter’s lead over Facebook), but with Zeebox providing an ever more sophisticated product, I don’t think we’ve fully taken stock of the possibilities for advertisers.

Yesterday I attended Mobile Marketing Live and listened to Ernesto Schmitt, CEO and Co-Founder of Zeebox, talking about the future for the product, and TV in general.

In this post I’ll look at what Zeebox looks like now, which broadcasters are supporting it, opportunities for advertisers, and other possible revenue streams for the company.

The question I’ll attempt to answer – ‘Are the incentives for users as broad as those for advertisers?’

A third of smartphone owners tune in to live TV for social buzz

If you’ve watched any episodes in the current series of X Factor you’ll be aware that the show’s producers are pulling out all the stops to get people talking about the show on social media.

During the auditions new hashtags flashed up after almost every performer, which may have seemed like overkill, but was in fact a shrewd tactic for encouraging more people to tune in.

This is because a new Red Bee Media survey of 2,000 smartphone owners found that one in three respondents said that they are more likely to watch a show live rather than on-demand if there is significant social buzz around that programme.

In fact social media appears to be the most effective way for broadcasters to engage with smartphone owners, as although 86% of respondents said they have used a second screen while watching TV just one in five have used a synchronous companion app such as Zeebox.

It should be noted however that in the population as a whole second screening is less popular than among smartphone owners.

Zeebox announces Monterosa partnership

Zeebox has partnered with second-screen technology provider Monterosa to allow the social TV app to offer new ways to engage with audiences.

Monterosa has already worked with the BBC, Channel 4 and Living TV to create online games and apps, and the deal with Zeebox will give broadcasters, producers and brands early access to Monterosa’s latest product.

This service, which is invitation-only at the moment, will allow users to reach consumers simultaneously through Zeebox and their own websites or mobile apps using a web-based control centre.

Q&A: Zeebox CEO Ernesto Schmitt

In just a few months social TV app Zeebox has established itself as one of the front runners in the battle for connected TV audiences.

Despite only launching in October it attracted 250,000 users by January 2012 and sold a 10% stake in the company to BSkyB in a multi-million pound deal.

As of this month it was seeing up to 15,000 sign ups an hour thanks to a TV ad campaign.

Social TV app Zeebox adds 22,000 users during Dancing On Ice

Social TV app Zeebox added 22,000 UK users last night during ITV’s Dancing On Ice, with host Phillip Schofield tweeting several times about the app during the show.

Schofield tweeted a link to the app four times during the broadcast and encouraged his followers to watch the show “together with Zeebox.”

Zeebox CEO Ernesto Schmitt denied that the presenter had been paid to plug the app and suggested that he was doing it to engage with his audience.

Zeebox adding 15,000 new users an hour thanks to TV ad campaign

Social TV app zeebox is adding as many as 15,000 new users every hour following the launch of a new TV ad campaign over the weekend.

The 30 second ad slots, which portray zeebox as TV’s new sidekick, debuted during Sky’s Premiership coverage before being rolled out across its primetime channels.

Zeebox monetises its social TV app with ‘click-to-buy’ tags

Social TV app Zeebox has moved to monetise its service by launching ‘click-to-buy’ icons during ad breaks.

It is also going to start selling targetable in-app ads to brands.

The iPad and iPhone app recognises TV adverts in real time using speech-to-text and other metadata, then shows icons that link to the product page of an etailer or the brand’s own website.

Sky launches new online TV service

Hot on the heels of a new deal to stream BBC iPlayer and ITV Player through its on-demand service, Sky has launched a new online service that makes its content available to non-Sky customers.

Launching in the first half of 2012, the service will include a range of content, including Sky Movies with sports added later in the year, on a variety of pricing options.