Starting as an alternative to traditional streamlined top navigations, slide-out menus were managed to carve out quite a niche for themselves. They are no longer something new or trendy. Nowadays, they are field-tested solutions that provide developers with not only extra space but also an opportunity to support and enhance the overall aesthetics.
More and more developers consider slide-out menus as a reliable platform for creativity. As a result, we can witness an upsurge of original solutions in this area. Dynamic effects, mouse interactivity, custom typography, unique layouts, video, sliders – are just a few examples of what can be found there. Let us consider some interesting representatives of this direction not only to enjoy the creativity but also to find out whether this originality benefits user experience or not.
Collection of Original Slide-out menus
The team behind Wannabe goes for some exciting tricks in website design, converting a regular online store into an enjoyable piece. Although at first sight, it seems that it is minimal, however, the website is replete with popular features. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that its main menu is also original.
Here the slide-out menu has two equal parts, where each one appears from its side to imitate the shutter effect. The design is also worth your attention. Maintaining a clean and neat layout, the team was managed to add artistic vibes by playing with typography, icons, and hover effects. As a result, the menu efficiently contributes to the entire aesthetics.
Wannabe is a perfect example of an original take on the banal eCommerce project. While at some point it makes your PC to stretch to the limit due to Three.js piece in the hero area, still slide-out menu is a thing that works smoothly, providing all the necessary gateways as well as brings joy with its artistic flavor.
Budounotane is another digital store in our collection that exudes an artistic vibe. There are lots of drawings, watercolor splashes, and lovely dynamic effects that tie everything together. The design is mesmerizing. However, there is a small drawback – the main menu.
It is here where the team has tried to embrace the chaos and please the audience with the content-heavy layout. There are many images; I even say too many. Yes, they give visual cues; however, they overwhelm. You lose your focus and cannot derive the necessary information quickly.
At some point, it reminds old-school mega-menus that were quite popular in online magazines almost a decade ago. However, this time, something is wrong. In addition, it is not in accordance with the entire theme: it feels like it stands aside from the project.
When you gather lots of information under one roof, you should always remember about the harmony.
From mega-menus to excessively minimalistic approaches. The team behind Kua goes very easy with its main navigation. There are no lavish decorations nor dynamic effects. It does not even occupy the entire screen, covering only the third part of the browser window.
Much like a website that focuses solely on vital information bringing real value to the audience, the main menu serves only its purpose. It includes just important navigational links that are well-formatted and carefully arranged in a grid.
There is only one small flaw. Menu partially merges with the overall design. You cannot efficiently delineate two areas. That is a bit confusing. Though it is not critical.
Kua is a perfect example of “less is more,” proving everyone that even the simplest approaches may look original.
Nextpage is the leading digital agency that knows a thing or two about web development. Their official website is a source of inspiration. Pinkish gradients, blocky aesthetics, Tron-inspired hero area, charming effects – there are many things to enjoy. However, its main navigation is its Achilles’ heel. Although it boasts of the same level of originality, what it needs is a good contrast.
First and foremost, it is an accessibility issue since people with vision problems will see nothing. Also, even if you have a perfect vision, you will still experience issues trying to read something in there. The realization certainly pushes users away, especially those who have a short attention span.
The slide-out menu looks original without a doubt. However, if you cannot get the necessary information from it quickly and easily, it will ruin everything. When it comes to navigation, optimal contrast and good readability are things that you cannot neglect.
Much like the previous example, Cloudforce is powered by trendy features that create an aura of sophistication and creativity. Again, we can see a dark coloring that sits at the core of the overall aesthetics. There are abstract backgrounds that set in motion, vertical rhythm, mouse interactions, and much more. Both projects have similarities, and the main menu is no exception.
Again, the readability is not very good, mainly because of ultra-thin line style typography and blueish gradient that do not contrast well with the black. However, still, it is much better.
First, letters have a touch of glow that naturally draws attention. Secondly, the font size is relatively big. Thirdly, the team has added special effects to the mouse cursor so that it is difficult to lose sight of it. Finally, the block with contact information is in pure white that is a relief for eyes.
Cloudforce has an original slide-out menu. They use mouse interactions, glow effect, and exciting hover states. Although it lacks a bit of contrast, nevertheless, it is acceptable.
OvulifeMD has a lot of character and charisma. The design team has created a symbiosis of layered layout and flat style. As a result, we can enjoy sophisticated aesthetics that feel harmonious rather than overwhelming.
Here the slide-out menu flows from the right side and occupies no more than a quarter of the space. It is compact and minimal. It looks as original as the main website. However, namely, this similarity causes problems.
The menu seamlessly flows into the layout. When you open it, it becomes a part of the entire entourage. You cannot draw a clear line between the main page and primary navigation. Therefore, everything feels a bit messy leading to confusion. Maybe shadows or vivid borders will save the situation here.
The design team behind Mountain Bike Atlantic shows how to do it right.
Here you can see almost the same slide-out menu. It is ultra-narrow, and it glides from the right side. It also goes perfectly well with the entire composition. However, this time it does not completely blend in.
The deal is the team has created a perfect contrast between the home area and the main menu. First, they have used colors that contrast with each other. Secondly, they have used a blur effect to decrease the visual weight of the hero area. Finally, they have added a small shadow to the slide-out panel.
Although the slide-out menu is not as original as the previous example, nevertheless it provides great readability and still supports the overall theme contributing to the businesslike atmosphere.
The team behind Umami Ware has skillfully combined clean and neat aesthetics with dynamic solutions. It is here where big, bold typography creates the entire buzz. This theme runs through all the sections affecting even the primary menu. Let’s consider it closely.
The main menu slides out from the top occupying the entire screen. However, it does not include a bulk of information: it has just vitals. Its design has the same quality and flavor as the home page. Not only do overwhelmingly big letters make it stand out from the crowd, but also the fact that they are in motion. What’s more, the mouse cursor has a special power that lets you stop this never-ending cycle of words and click on the link.
Honestly, when you first see moving links, it puzzles you since you do not know how to catch one. However, when you hover the mouse cursor over the letters, things slow down, and the bewilderment disappears. Therefore, this original slide-out menu causes mixed feelings, but still leaves a good impression.
Creative teams see slide-out menus as a tool for navigation and an element that is able to enhance an overall impression. Therefore, sometimes we can enjoy truly original ideas.
However, when playing around with menus, you should always remember that it should serve navigational purposes and only then entertaining ones.