It is always great fun to work out how those interesting effects are achieved by other designers and by doing this, we tend to learn more about our craft. It’s what I call learning to make it tick. Getting down to how a particular effect has been achieved with a little effort and probably a great deal more knowledge than I have is always a fascinating task. It’s like taking a giant puzzle and putting the pieces together until the last piece fits. Sometimes I must admit that last piece goes missing for quite a while before the penny drops.
I was lucky enough to get someone to show me how the Kobe effect worked and was very grateful as it had been puzzling me for a while. The overlay by using a semi transparent screen was an effect I had seen a few times. And it was only when they showed me the jQuery site that I finally understood it. The tutorial was so simple once I had found out what to look for.
Another useful item which I have only seen used a few times is the double navigation system where you are given a second menu via the first and then have the choice to scroll down that. It is similar in nature to a sub menu but not quite the same. This has been used by Ellis Lab where you will find a menu which shows you what I am referring to. This has used a variety of applications to achieve this effect.
The next effect is one I actually find quite annoying as it pops up out of nowhere on my screen and requires me to X out of it before I can go further. It is, however, interesting to see that it works. It draws immediate attention and dominates the screen. I am sure you all know what I am talking about. More and more sites are using it. It is the panel block. This I found out is a semitransparent layer and Microsoft actually had the answer.
Tags are becoming more and more important on the web and some people are finding ingenious methods to display them. The method of hovering over them is an interesting one. Making a visible list of tags can also be used as a menu element to find other items, which are related. An interesting article has been written about the absolute at stop design and its well worth a read.
Making your archives user friendly require considerable thought and a well thought out navigation system. You really need more than a month and a year. How am I going to know you wrote an article on XYZ in April 2008? If I come looking for an article on XYZ, and I have been told you have one the last thing I am going to do is look through two or three years of archives. I am going to leave and go to a search engine to find one. Maintaining your achieves in a searchable manner is very important and although an interesting method has been used by Chris Shiflett it is not all encompassing.