Users from EL&U will know I am not an admirer of the new theme which has befallen on my once beloved site. See my answer on English Language & Usage's updated site theme is ready for testing! which seems to have drawn some consensus among regular users.
One of the questions I asked never received a formal explanation
I do not understand why there are now three ‘hamburgers’, and why the hamburger on the left does not brighten when it is clicked. In my modest opinion, due to its gloomy appearance, it is easily missed and its utility overlooked.
So, I'm asking here. I would like to know why the designers have created three hamburger icons on the top bar.
Technically, I know that the new menu icon, (☰) which is situated far left, is not the same as the SE hamburger logo but the two look remarkably similar. For the scope of this post and the sake of clarity, I'll call it the sandwich.
- The sandwich icon permits users to navigate to “home”, “questions”, “tags”, “users”, and “unanswered".
- The Stack exchange logo allows visitors to view all the hottest questions from all the different communities on a single page.
- The hamburger allows quick and easy access to sites which users belong to, followed by a long list of communities of which they do not, i.e. “more stack exchange communities” and a link to the SE's company blog.
Now, I'm not a designer but it seems to me that the sandwich menu should be brighter. Currently it is practically invisible, a dark grey icon on a pitch black background, it doesn't light up and it's situated on the far right-hand side. But not all is lost, there is a positive note, the sandwich menu has enough space to include the options displayed in the hamburger menu. In other words, the sandwich could have another button with a drop down menu allowing quick and easy access to those communities which interest users the most. Let's call that button “your communities”. This would eliminate the need of the hamburger icon and free up space on the top bar where I would urgently recommend that the developers insert a direct link to meta by means of the word “meta”. No weird icon, no indecipherable image, just ‘meta’ written in white, so it can stand out more.
The link can fit beside the Stack exchange logo (I apologise! Yes, it should be in the same font as the Stack Exchange logo and the kerning leaves a lot to be desired but this is the best I could come up with using the very limited tools available to me.) BTW, the search bar would have to shift a little closer toward the centre.
Two years later: How has moving the Meta link affected Meta usage? (posted 2015)
Understanding the significance of the elimination of one-click transfer between main and meta
Asking a question pertaining to another SE site that doesn't have meta