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Archive for the ‘Menu & Navigation’ Category

Improving (manipulating) standard HTML elements with JavaScript for a better usability makes sense when used wisely.

ddSlick, a lightweight jQuery plugin, does that by mimicking the behavior of list-menus with a better look and more information.

It works as a drop-down menu where we can use images and description besides a simple text.

ddSlick jQuery Plugin

The data source that populates the drop-down options is JSON and there are multiple options for customizing the functionality. The look & feel can be changed as well (very few styles used).

There is also a callback function that is fired when an option is selected (which is good for auto-modifying a hidden form for a possible submit, etc.).

Codrops, a web development blog publishing very nice tutorials, has released a set of creative navigation examples built with pure CSS(3).

There are 10 unique examples, all have the same HTML structure but different CSS styles that make use of CSS transitions and animations.

Icons used are from a symbols typeface, so, no images are used in the examples but only HTML, CSS and a custom font file.

They are definitely beautiful "as is" and also a good starting point to create new ones.

CSS3 Navigation Examples

Flexible Nav is a jQuery plugin that can automatically generate a sitemap-like navigation for web pages.

It analyzes the heading tags of the page and displays them on the right side of the page as links by proportionally keeping the distances between each item.

Each link gets users to the related items and, as the user scrolls, the navigation keeps showing "on which part of the page you are".

jQuery Flexible Navigation

As the name states, the plugin is flexible in many aspects; it can target any custom tags (rather than headings) or create the navigation for a given wrapper rather than the whole <body>.

The plugin is specially handy for web pages that are updated frequently in a given structure as there will be no need to update the navigation each time.

If you have a web application where users need to know few tricks before using it, guiding them in the beginning would be a good idea.

Codrops is sharing a very nice jQuery script that makes creating a chic site tour so easy.

jQuery Site Tour

It works by adding classes (with a specific format) to the elements to be highlighted and configuring them to display any custom text.

The script can work manually by the user clicking prev-next links or totally automated in the pre-defined order.

Tooltips displaying the information can also be customized as color, position and the duration they will be active.

jMenu is a jQuery plugin that enables us to create horizontal navigations with unlimited sub-menus.

Besides jQuery, it also requires jQuery UI and supports all the effects of this library (like fadeIn or slideDown).

jMenu

The markup of the menu is pretty clean as it makes use of nested lists.

The look and feel of the output is set in a CSS file so updating it without touching the JS code is possible.

P.S. The resource page is in French (Google-translated version), however, demos and the JavaScript code is commented in English.

CSS3 Menu is a free application for creating navigations using the CSS3 properties and no JavaScript.

The application has both Windows + Mac versions and it is possible to set the styles of the outputs easily.

CSS3 Menu

Menus are generated in a HTML list structure, can be vertical or horizontal and have multiple sub-menus.

Also, it can display the previews of the navigations on every step which is a nice feature that speeds up the development.

We know that using CSS sprites has a very positive effect on website speed by decreasing the amount of HTTP requests.

Nav-o-Matic is a free online service which makes generating navigation sprites easier.

It simply asks you to upload the image of the navigation which has 2 rows (for normal and hover states, like this one), add your guides, define the CSS/image folders and you're done.

Nav-o-Matic

jStackMenu is a jQuery UI widget which transforms the children of any element into a beautiful stack menu.

The menu opens with a smooth animation and it is possible to control:

  • when it opens and closes
  • the direction it opens
  • the size of the arc
  • the time it takes to open

In order customize it more, it also has support for events.

The widget uses CSS transforms for creating the arcing and for browsers that doesn't support the feature, it displays the menu as a straight line.

jQuery Stack Menu

Jeegoocontext is a jQuery plugin for creating highly customizable context menus.

It transforms unordered lists into multi-level, smartly positioned navigations.

Multiple context menus can be created on the same page & they can be customized via CSS.

jQuery context menu: Jeegocontext

It has customizable time-delays for submenus' disappear values which makes browsing them easier.

The plugin also has a workaround for Opera not allowing right-click overrides & works with it as well.

SlickMap CSS is a stylesheet for transforming HTML unordered lists into attractive sitemaps.

The stylesheet can easily fit into most of the websites as it supports up to 3-level navigations.

It also provides a functional visual output by displaying the URLs besides the titles. For a demo of SlickMap CSS, click here.

SlickCSS

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