Great read! It’s a somewhat common design pattern already. Unless designing for elderly, handicapped, or small children…there is really nothing wrong with an overflow menu (or two) when done within reason.
Good UX ~utilizing research and architecture, should be able to determine how a user landed here, and what they are most likely looking for.
The extra bells and whistles are hidden under the overflows to reduce clutter, and possibly hidden purposely, in order to push visitors down a path the stakeholders would rather the visitors go through.
Perhaps in the future, Google can remember that I too, always search for the largest image size, and after a while, it will learn to serve those menu options up to me right away, as opposed to continually serving the menu options that I never click on.
Mobile screens are just too small to list every possible feature that we (or clients) dream up, trying to cater to every persona. Scrolling on mobile is easy, but nobody wants to land on a page and only see a ton of options, before having to scroll down to see the content they entered for.
With minimum button size for mobile being around 40x40, it limits our options. Not to mention some Icons can be VERY abstract.
Since 1999 I’ve read “usability nazi” propaganda, and its hard to disagree with their gospel. However I’ve have come to believe some people will only be happy if the web looks like it did in 1996, with pure html text, one column, Times font, colored underlined links only.
These purists virtues, are dead right when designing for scenarios of people simply trying to find information quickly…hiding options is certainly counterproductive.
For scenarios of people seeking entertainment, the process of exploration and discovery can be rewarding…even bordering on gamification.