Great examples of innovative navigation for inspiration



Could you imagine landing on a website with no navigation? It would be like trying to find your way in the ocean with no compass. It would be terrible.

Lucky for you, most sites have at least some kind of navigation, so you’re not completely lost. Recently, the Betterment blog featured a UX Flows post on navigation, where we discussed the importance and function of navigation in a web site. Navigation is critical — and it’s safe to say that some sites do it better than others. For this post, we’ve decided to take a look at some navigation that’s breaking the mold.

Take a look, and say “ahoy” with your thoughts in the comments!

Yar, Matey! Let’s Set Sail to 23 Web Destinations.

1. Disqusnavinsp_disqus

Disqus offers simple and effective navigation. The streamlined header is highlighted in white, which stands out against the blue background, and a footer navigation also appears with more options after scrolling down.

2. Big Spaceshipnavinsp_bigspaceship

With a different approach, Big Spaceship offers left sidebar navigation that expands from a menu icon that is similar to what you see on mobile sites. The nav is easy to find in the upper left hand corner of the main landing section, which displays a paint splash animation against a black background.

3. Dataveyesnavinsp_dataveyes

Upon loading, the Dataveyes navigation is conspicuously displayed in the center of the header, but then shrinks to a mobile navigation icon, allowing you to easily access the information without intruding on the content.

4. Glossy Reynavinsp_glosseyreyWith contrasting white text against a black background, the split navigation header is easy to locate and offers a really cool hover animation for each menu option.

5. Words Pictures Ideasnavinsp_wordpicturesideas

This single page, anti-navigation website is captivating and organized — users can still find their way around the site with ease.

6. Equus Designnavinsp_equus2

Simple, clean, and minimalist, the navigation design for Eqqus Design pops against the page’s dark background.

7. Miss Julia Piepnavinsp_julia

When you land on Miss Julia Piep’s page, the company logo is centered with a row of five menu options below it, and when you select an option, the responsive navigation moves to the top of the page. Neat.

8. Teehan + Laxnavinsp_teehan

Teehan + Lax’s mobile navigation icon flies out to offer six menu options that you can later close.

9. Danielle LaPortenavinsp_danielle

Danielle LaPorte’s nav is fancy, as the navigation responsively appears in both the header and the footer as you scroll. Best of both worlds!

10. Olympic Storynavinsp_olypmics

A mobile nav icon flies out to be a substantially sized sidebar menu that also can be closed. Boom — mobile can be anywhere and now it is.

11. Curad Mirnavinsp_carmir

Users’ attention is drawn to the upper left hand navigation icon, and without even clicking — just hovering over the icon — a menu sprawls out along the top bar while a white frame outlines the page.

12. Weyland Industriesnavinsp_weylandindust

Neatly tucked under the company’s logo with an arrow that implores you to click, the mega- navigation flies out to offer three main categories of navigation with multiple options below it. For sites that have a ton of content, neatly organized mega-menus with flyouts are where it’s at (jussayin’).

13. Lexusnavinsp_lexus

This navigation is different from most top bar menus. Lexus layers it up with a full navigation bar that flips out directly below the “MENU.” Layers of navigation = layers of fun. (Plus the option to use your keyboard!)

14. P’unk Avenuenavinsp_punk

P’unk Avenue’s navigation keeps it easy breezy for users with a horizontal grid-esque design at the top of the page that’s also numbered, titled, and provides a short, one-sentence description of what you’ll find.

15. SRGnavinsp_rg

It’s the circle of navigation! The pageless design is navigable by way of a responsive hero area circle navigation. I clicked to learn more — would you?

16. I Think I Mightnavinsp_ithinkimight

Easy to use icon navigation in the upper right hand corner of the page makes navigating this site caveman-picture simple.

17. Zaarly’s Employee Handbooknavinsp_zaarlyhandbook

Zaarly’s nav starts out as a boring mobile icon — then BOOM! Fun, full-screen navigation with color bar menu that cascades down and across the screen. I love it when designers realize the nav doesn’t have to be boring.

18. Editernavinsp_editer

Speaking of top bar navigation menus, Editer provides us with just that, but the flyout feature enhances the experience and organizes the content, which is essential for mega-sites.

19. Firestormnavinsp_firestorm

The Guardian’s completely interactive site is exploding with drool-worthy design aspects. The vertical navigation menu is easy to see but doesn’t take away from what’s going on visually — and it’s educational! Bonus!

20. Petersham Nurseriesnavinsp_cafesite

Petersham Nurseries gives you two navigation menus: vertical navigation menu on the left, providing new users with information on the company, and a horizontal navigation menu on the top right for account holders.

21. NKI Studionavinsp_nki

This site’s navigation commands attention from a different perspective in the bottom left of the page.

22. Cloud Ninenavinsp_cloud9

Cloud Nine has left side icon navigation in a blue colorblock bar, which nicely complements the responsive, pageless design.

23. Pervasive Lightnavinsp_pervasivelight

Pervasive Light’s light bulb nav is exciting with an electric wiggle mouse over feature. The nav also smartly flies up and out of the way when users reach their destination.



The beginner’s guide to Sass



You may have heard of CSS preprocessing and be wondering what all the buzz is about. You may even have heard of Sass or LESS.

In short, preprocessing your CSS allows you to write more concise stylesheets which are formatted nicely and require less repetitive techniques commonly found when writing CSS code. The result is more dynamic styling and ample amounts of time saved when developing websites or applications.

If you already write CSS, then you can easily learn to preprocess your CSS. Once you understand the scope of Sass, you’ll wonder why you didn’t switch sooner.

How is Sass different to CSS?

Sass looks similar to CSS but has its obvious differences once you dive in. There are two ways of writing Sass and it’s ultimately up to you which style you prefer. I use the indented and bracketed style (.scss) in my projects because I like to really visualize where a block ends and begins when a lot of code becomes nested. Once processed the Sass code compiles to traditional CSS automatically using a preprocessing engine.

There are many apps available which allow precompiling your Sass to be seamless and downright easy. To install, you can use the command line as long as you have Ruby installed on your machine. If you’re not comfortable with the command line there are other options (more on this below) and if this is over your head visit to learn how to do this in an easy step-by-step format. In the end, using any method be it command line or app, the Sass installation will watch your changes and automatically compile down to traditional CSS for you.

I highly recommend using apps such as CodekitLiveReload, or Mixture which help you set up a Sass project on a Mac from scratch or if you’re a Windows user I recommend PrePros. Codekit, my choice of preprocessor, helps me by preprocessing my Sass as well as validating and minifying your code to allow your website to run quickly and effectively. (The ability to create Compass or Bourbon based projects within Codekit is also an awesome feature but is beyond the scope of this article.) After you get more comfortable with Sass be sure to check out how to use Compass and Bourbon in your Sass projects.

So what is Sass?

Sass stands for Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets and was created by Hampton Catlin. Sass introduces new concepts like variables, mixins, and nesting into the CSS code you already know and love. These concepts ultimately make your CSS awesome, easier to write and more dynamic. All of these features combined, speed up any designer’s or developer’s workflow.

What commonly confuses people is the alternative ways to write Sass. You will see other tutorials or explanations of Sass using the .SCSS or the .Sass extension for their Sass files. This is apparent because there are two ways of writing the code which produce the same output. The most common I’ve seen, and the method I currently use is the bracketed version known as .SCSS. Another method is the .Sass extension which relies more heavily on indentation rather than punctual elements and is white space dependent. With this syntax there’s no need for semi-colons or brackets as you see in CSS and the .SCSS syntax.

Check out the example below.


#container {
        margin:0 auto;
#container p {
        color: black;


/* Same as CSS but has variables and nesting. */
$black: #000000;
#container {
        margin:0 auto;
        p {
                color :$black;


/* Same as SCSS without semicolons, brackets, and more dependent on indentation. */
$black: #000000
        margin: 0 auto


Okay so now you’re probably wondering how to get Sass setup for your own projects. The process is pretty easy, especially if you use Codekit or a similar application to help you along the way.

A typical file structure of a Sass project looks like the outline below. This may look daunting but I promise that your workflow will improve once you wrap your head around how things work together. In the end all of your Sass gets compiled down to one CSS file which will be the file you include inside your working documents be it HTML, PHP, etc…

|-- modules/ # Common modules
| |-- _all.scss # Global level styles
| |-- _utility.scss # Basic utility styles
| |-- _colors.scss # Global Colors
| ...
|-- partials/ # Partials - use these to target specific styles and @import on _base.scss
| |-- _base.scss # imports for all mixins + global project variables
| |-- _buttons.scss # buttons
| |-- _figures.scss # figures
| |-- _grids.scss # grids
| |-- _typography.scss # typography
| |-- _reset.scss # reset
| ...
|-- vendor/ # CSS or Sass from other projects
| |-- _colorpicker.scss
| |-- _jquery.ui.core.scss
| ...
|-- main.scss # primary Sass file - where your main Sass code will likely be.

How you set your structure up ultimately depends on you. Start with a basic structure and fine tune to your own needs and workflow.


Sass extends the CSS @import rule to allow it to import Sass and SCSS files. All imported files are merged into a single outputted CSS file. In addition, any variables or mixins defined in imported files carry over into the main file which means you can virtually mix and match any file and be certain all of your styles will remain on a global level.

@import takes a filename to import. As a last resort Sass or SCSS files will be imported via the file name of your choosing. If there is no extension, Sass will try to find a file with that name and the .scss or .Sass extension and import it.

If you have a typical Sass project setup you’ll notice some @import rules within a base file. This simply allows you to have multiple files which sync effectively once they are compiled, for example:

@import "main.scss";


@import "main";

If you have a SCSS or Sass file that you want to import but not compile to CSS, you can add an underscore to the beginning of the filename, which is otherwise known as a Partial. As the code is compiling Sass will ignore partials when processing to CSS. For example, you might have _buttons.scss, no _buttons.css file would be created and you can then @import “buttons”;

Best practice is to create a partials directory and place all of your partial Sass files inside it. Doing this insures you won’t have any duplicate file names which Sass will not permit, for example, the partial _buttons.scss and the file buttons.scss can’t exist in the same directory. Using partials is a great way to stay organized at a global level. As long as you @import the file, the Sass you write is usable throughout the entire project. Typically inside partials I create mixins or variables to use throughout my project. I name them based on their contents and the elements they are styling.


Variables in CSS are a breakthrough in modern web development. With Sass you can create variables for things such as fonts, colors, sizes, margin, padding, etc… The list is endless. If you write JavaScript or PHP the concept is fairly similar in terms of defining variables and conventions.

So why use variables? Easy, variables allow you to use an element more than once, similar to a class in HTML or a variable in JavaScript. For example, say you define multiple divs with a specific background color. You can use the variable which is easier to remember instead of the traditional hex code or RGB calculation. Making a variable with an easy to remember name allows for less copy and pasting and a more productive workflow. The same concept applies whenever a variable can be implemented, and with Sass that is virtually anywhere, for example this .scss:

#container {

        /* Here we define our variables */
        $basetextsize: 12px;
        $container-space: 10px;
        $red: #C0392B;

        /* Variables are applied */
        font-size: $basetextsize;
        padding: $container-space;
        color : $red;

will result in this .css file:

#container {
        font-size: 12px;
        padding: 10px;
        color: #C0392B;

Operations and functions

The cool part about variables is that they are extremely similar to those used in scripting languages. Variables inside Sass can be used inside both operations and functions. The standard math operations (+, -, *, / and %) are supported for numbers. For colors there are functions built into Sass which target lightness, hue, saturation, and more.

Having this functionality makes your code more dynamic than ever. For example, If you wanted to change the overall link color of your site you could simply change the variable, re-compile, and your site will update dynamically throughout. Check out another example below for a reusable navigation list, this .scss:

        $nav-width: 900px;
        $nav-links: 5;
        $nav-color: #ce4dd6;
        width: $nav-width;
                float: left;
                width: $nav-width/$nav-links - 10px;
                lighten($nav-color, 20%);
                        lighten ($nav-color, 10%);

will result in this .css:

nav {
        width: 900px;
nav li {
        width: 170px;
        background-color: #E5A0E9;
nav li:hover {
        background-color: #D976E0;


Nesting is a huge reason why I love Sass. You write fewer lines of code in the end and all of your code is easy to read due to the nested formatting. (The same concept of nesting is also found in LESS.)

There are two types of nesting:

Selector nesting

Selector nesting in Sass is similar to how you would nest HTML:

<div id="container">
        <div class="main">
                <h1>Main Content</h1>
        <aside class="sidebar">
                <h3>Sidebar Content</h3>

The Sass version of nesting:

#container {
        .main {
                h1 {
                        color: $red;
        .sidebar {
                width: 300px;
                h3 {
                        margin: 0;

would result in the following CSS:

#container .main {
        width: 960px;
#container .main h1 {
        color: #C0392B;
#container .sidebar {
        width: 300px;
#container .sidebar h3 {
        margin: 0;

Property nesting

The second type of nesting is property nesting. You can nest properties with the same prefix to better target elements which results in less lines of code, for example this:

#container {
        .main {
                        weight: bold;
                        size: 12px;
                .intro {
                        size: 20px;

would result in this CSS:

#container .main {
        font-size: 12px;
#container .main .intro {


Of all of the Sass features Mixins have to be the most powerful. Mixins are similar to a variable but on steroids. You can define a complete style of an element and re-use those styles throughout your project.

Mixins are defined using the @mixin directive, which takes a block of styles you created before and applies it to the selector of your choice using the @include directive. Below is a common CSS pattern used for creating a horizontal navigation menu. Instead of writing the same code for every navigation instance, just use a mixin and later include it where necessary. This concept can be done for anything you use over and over such as buttons, typography, gradients, etc…

/* Here we define the styles */
@mixin navigate {
        > li {

And here we include the mixin with one line of code:

ul.navbar {
        @include navigate;

which results in this compiled CSS:

ul.navbar {
        list-style-type: none;
        overflow: hidden;
ul.navbar li {
        display: block;
        float: left;
ul.navbar li:last-child {
        margin-right: 0px;

You can even go as far as creating customizable mixins which use arguments to update dynamically. On top of that you can include mixins within other mixins or create functions using mixins and more. The power behind these is absolutely huge.

There are some popular pre-defined mixin collections in which I mentioned earlier called Compass and Bourbon. With a simple @import in your project you can have access to already generated mixins commonly used throughout the web. There are so many options that it’s hard to cover everything available but it is definitely fun to experiment and get your hands dirty developing custom animations or transitions with a few lines of code rather than a screen full. Mixins make cross browser development a breeze if you don’t feel like typing browser defined prefixes over and over inside your CSS.

For example, here we create a mixin with arguments allowing it to be customized.

@mixin my-border($color, $width) {
        border: {
                color: $color;
                width: $width;
                style: $dashed;
p { @include my-border (blue, lin); }

which gives us this CSS when it’s compiled:

p {
        border-color: blue;
        border-width: lin;
        border-style: dashed;


While Sass has a learning curve, I truly believe that once you understand the methods and syntax, you’ll never want to go back to writing standard CSS again.

Sass is extremely powerful and I have only covered the basics here. With traditional CSS, we’ve all encountered the copy and pasting or find and replacing tasks which waste so much time in the development stage of your project. Give Sass a try and discover how to build an effective workflow in your future projects.

via Webdesigner Depot

shit for making websites


    A screen size chart for common devices. Sortable by Device name, OS, screen size, resolution, PPI, density and popularity.

  2. Log – Console.log with Style

    easier writes to console.log that provides colors and formatting. I am deeply in love with this one.

  3. Live editing proof of concept in Firefox and Sublime

    Should be released soon.

  4. Backbone.js

    Backbone’s been around awhile, but it hit 1.0 today. Definitely worth looking at as a framework for larger JS apps.

  5. Superhero.js

    a treasure trove of articles surrounding JavaScript application development.

  6. CSS Front-end Frameworks with comparison – By

    A comparison of more CSS Frameworks than you’ll ever care to use in practice. Compares more than 30 front-end frameworks by browser support, the use of less/sass, mobile and tablet support and finally, license.

  7. PouchDB, the JavaScript Database that Syncs

    PouchDB is a JavaScript library that allows you to store and query data for web applications that need to work offline, and sync with an online database when you are online.

  8. LESS- The Dynamic Stylesheet language

    LESS extends CSS with dynamic behavior such as variables, mixins, operations and functions. Everything gets compiled back to CSS on the server side (typically using Node) or client-side JavaScript.

  9. bower – a package manager for web

    A simple command-line tool to download components (and their dependencies) for web projects (there are over 1,000 in their registry). Requires Node.

  10. Screenhero – Collaborative Screen Sharing

    2 cursors, 2 keyboards, one remote session. And it’s free.

  11. Gather Content

    Help organize and collaborate on content needs for your project and then send it on it’s way via their API.

  12. Redacted

    A strange little typeface meant for use during the wireframing/prototyping phase of a project. Redacted is essentially a Lorem Ipsum replacement that renders solid blocks of grey or illegible scribbles instead of legible text.

  13. Handlebars.js: Minimal Templating on Steroids

    A JavaScript implementation of the mustache templating language.

  14. Swiftype: Modern full-text search for websites and applications

    An embedded search app for websites that provides great analytics and allows you to easily customize search results for specific queries.

  15. Firebase – A scalable real-time backend for your website

    A real-time SaaS backend for apps, accessible entirely from front-end JavaScript

  16. Moment.js – A lightweight javascript date library

    A 5.5kb javascript date library for parsing, validating, manipulating, and formatting dates.

  17. lenticular.js – tilt-controlled images

    sort of like tilt (or mouse) controlled animated gifs. fantastic for product demos, etc.

  18. Online JSON Editor

    A fantastic little JSON editor. Has a left pane for JSON and a right pane for a human-readable view of the data. You can edit either side and push changes back and forth, open from a url, or click save and download the edited file.

  19. Parsley.js – Forms Validation

    A client-side form validator (i.e. for users, not for servers) that let’s you use html data-attributes to trigger form validation, which is to say you don’t have to write any additional JavaScript to make it work.

  20. Bountify – Crowdsource Small Coding Tasks

    Post a problem and a cash bounty, get back code.

Design Responsive Websites Visually


With Webflow you build using our powerful and intuitive UI. Export production-ready HTML & CSS.

How it works?
Responsive design that’s faster & easier.
Webflow enables you to create responsive layouts and pixel-perfect designs directly in your browser, without writing a single line of code.

Drag & drop elements on the page, and style them any way you want. If you’re familiar with Photoshop, you’ll love Webflow.

Webflow generates beautiful, production-ready HTML and CSS. It’s the same code that a developer would write.

Your website works across all modern browsers and devices. Push the code to your own server or let us handle the hosting for you.

Try Webflow

Frontend Development



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