I’m sure that at one point or another you were designing a website and thought it could use a little something extra. That bit of something that adds extra functionality or enhances what it already has, making it not only easier for the user to receive the information they seek, but also present it in a neat package.
In no particular order, I give you a handpicked collection of jQuery plugins and some CSS3 tricks to top it off. Surely, with these in your designer arsenal, your creations will stand out more than ever before.
1. Fly-out menu
Expanding tool tips with a smooth animation, revealing extra content only when the user wants it.
Suggestion: use with images that display several products (e.g. furniture) or when explaining the highlights of a design in your portfolio.
An interesting effect that can be added to make text elements more eye-catching. Basically, it shows random characters as it reveals the actual text.
Suggestion: use sparingly so as not to make everything confusing.
MopTip2 is a plugin that lets you add customizable tooltips to various elements. The tooltips can close automatically or be manually closed and they may also display images.
13. jQuery Timelnr
By just marking certain elements in the HTML, this plugin will automatically create a navigation menu for you, acting like small bookmarks placed neatly on the side of the window.
Ever thought PowerPoint or Keynote presentations were cumbersome? Then look no further! With Deck you can create online HTML presentations with a multitude of uses, perhaps enhancing an e-learning product.
17. jQuery pageSlide
Simple and effective, pageSlide reveals information by pushing the entire page to the side, thus not disrupting the positions of other elements.
Suggestion: it could be used to hide a vertical navigation, leaving room for full-page content.
A more interesting slideshow which pieces together the slides and pans through them with a slightly elastic effect.
Suggestion: given the effect, the slides could actually be parts of one big image for something more special.
21. 3D tag cloud
Add a little creativity to your tag cloud by turning it into a tag sphere! Just click and drag to rotate it and use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. The plugin simply transforms all divs that have the class “tags” and contain an unordered list with links inside.
Suggestion: since all it needs is a div, why not be creative and apply it to a navigation?
JEffects is a plugin containing more effects that can be applied to various elements within your website. For instance, it can be applied to input fields to create a very pleasant effect.
Note: not free.
PhotoShelf is an elegant gallery that allows you to scroll through a collection of images and zoom in on portions of the selected image. It can also add separators in the stack to organise your items.
Note: not free.
24. Grid accordion
Bonus: a few CSS tricks
3. OS X dock
Learn how to hide and display elements according to the size of the screen. A step towards responsive web design.
With just one line of code you can split a text container into columns, lending itself nicely to dynamic content.
Costin is a passionate multimedia designer focused on graphics, video and web. Coming from the often stressful Bucharest and currently living in Denmark, right now he is probably lost in thought, pondering absurd but creative ideas.