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Menu bar

The user needs to access frequently needed application functionality.

The screenshot shows an example menu bar.


The menu bar places the most frequently used functions in the bottom area, which can be reached best by the operator. Research has shown that elements in the lower visual area of a display device perform better in terms of pointing accuracy and speed [Po2004].


The most important, safety-relevant, and most frequently used functions should be placed in the menu bar.

These elements should be placed in the lower visual field of the display device.


The solution proposes a menu bar placed at the bottom of the screen. It uses standard size buttons with an icon and a label. If more functions must be placed on the bar than available screen real estate allows, lesser frequently needed functions can be arranged in a second page of the menu bar. However, this should be avoided if possible.

Various types of controls can be placed on the bar that have been described in earlier articles, e.g.:

Usability impact

Efficiency; error prevention

Safety impact

Safety-relevant functions are available within one user interaction, which makes them easily and quickly accessible.

Usability and safety of interaction with these elements can be increased additionally by properly sizing these controls.


[Po2004] Barry A. Po et al, Mouse and Touchscreen Selection in the Upper and Lower Visual Fields. Proceedings of the CHI 2004, Vienna, pp359-366.

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