Sexy Drop Down Menu w/ jQuery & CSS

Studies show that top navigations tend to get the most visual attention when a user first visits a site. Having organized and intuitive navigation is key — and while most drop down menus may look aesthetically pleasing, developing them to degrade gracefully is also essential. In this tutorial I would like to go over how to create a sexy drop down menu that can also degrade gracefully.


View Demo of Sexy Drop Down Menu

Image1 in Sexy Drop Down Menu w/ jQuery & CSS

Step1. HTML

First create an unordered list for your base top navigation. Then simply nest another unordered list for your sub navigation.

<ul>
    <li><a href="#">Home</a></li>
    <li>
        <a href="#">Tutorials</a>
        <ul>
            <li><a href="#">Sub Nav Link</a></li>
            <li><a href="#">Sub Nav Link</a></li>
        </ul>
    </li>
    <li>
        <a href="#">Resources</a>
        <ul>
            <li><a href="#">Sub Nav Link</a></li>
            <li><a href="#">Sub Nav Link</a></li>
        </ul>
    </li>
    <li><a href="#">About Us</a></li>
    <li><a href="#">Advertise</a></li>
    <li><a href="#">Submit</a></li>
    <li><a href="#">Contact Us</a></li>
</ul>

Step2. CSS

Next, it’s time to style the navigation wireframe with CSS.

ul.topnav {
	list-style: none;
	padding: 0 20px;
	margin: 0;
	float: left;
	width: 920px;
	background: #222;
	font-size: 1.2em;
	background: url(topnav_bg.gif) repeat-x;
}
ul.topnav li {
	float: left;
	margin: 0;
	padding: 0 15px 0 0;
	position: relative; /*--Declare X and Y axis base for sub navigation--*/
}
ul.topnav li a{
	padding: 10px 5px;
	color: #fff;
	display: block;
	text-decoration: none;
	float: left;
}
ul.topnav li a:hover{
	background: url(topnav_hover.gif) no-repeat center top;
}
ul.topnav li span { /*--Drop down trigger styles--*/
	width: 17px;
	height: 35px;
	float: left;
	background: url(subnav_btn.gif) no-repeat center top;
}
ul.topnav li span.subhover {background-position: center bottom; cursor: pointer;} /*--Hover effect for trigger--*/
ul.topnav li ul.subnav {
	list-style: none;
	position: absolute; /*--Important - Keeps subnav from affecting main navigation flow--*/
	left: 0; top: 35px;
	background: #333;
	margin: 0; padding: 0;
	display: none;
	float: left;
	width: 170px;
	border: 1px solid #111;
}
ul.topnav li ul.subnav li{
	margin: 0; padding: 0;
	border-top: 1px solid #252525; /*--Create bevel effect--*/
	border-bottom: 1px solid #444; /*--Create bevel effect--*/
	clear: both;
	width: 170px;
}
html ul.topnav li ul.subnav li a {
	float: left;
	width: 145px;
	background: #333 url(dropdown_linkbg.gif) no-repeat 10px center;
	padding-left: 20px;
}
html ul.topnav li ul.subnav li a:hover { /*--Hover effect for subnav links--*/
	background: #222 url(dropdown_linkbg.gif) no-repeat 10px center;
}

Step3. jQuery

For those who are new to jQuery, you can learn about it here.

The following script contains comments explaining which jQuery actions are being performed.

$(document).ready(function(){

	$("ul.subnav").parent().append("<span></span>"); //Only shows drop down trigger when js is enabled (Adds empty span tag after ul.subnav*)

	$("ul.topnav li span").click(function() { //When trigger is clicked...

		//Following events are applied to the subnav itself (moving subnav up and down)
		$(this).parent().find("ul.subnav").slideDown('fast').show(); //Drop down the subnav on click

		$(this).parent().hover(function() {
		}, function(){
			$(this).parent().find("ul.subnav").slideUp('slow'); //When the mouse hovers out of the subnav, move it back up
		});

		//Following events are applied to the trigger (Hover events for the trigger)
		}).hover(function() {
			$(this).addClass("subhover"); //On hover over, add class "subhover"
		}, function(){	//On Hover Out
			$(this).removeClass("subhover"); //On hover out, remove class "subhover"
	});

});

*To degrade gracefully, we only show the drop down menu trigger to those who have javascript enabled.

Degrade Gracefully Demo in Sexy Drop Down Menu w/ jQuery & CSS

This is what it looks like when javascript is disabled:

Javascript Disabled=

View Demo of Sexy Drop Down Menu

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: