Cocoa Village Publishing


Menus, tips and explanations about website menus

Menus that are dynamic (move, layer, change images, make sounds, act on events like mouse hover) are commonly used on websites that need navigation.   The ways to implement dynamic menus are many and non are compatible with all versions of all web browsers. 

Some common ways to implement the 'dynamic' part of the menu is to use features of the web browser that may be native or added like plugins. The client's web browser has to have way understood by the source on your web server and the applications used by the web browser to implement the dynamic actions driven by events like a mouse pointer over a location or other.  

  • DHTML, Dynamic HTML, is built on an object model that extends the traditional static HTML document which enables Web authors to create more engaging and interactive Web pages. DHTML provides authors with enhanced creative control so they can manipulate any page element at any time. DHTML is also the easiest way to make Web pages interactive, using open, standards-based technologies.
  • Java, either by script or applet used with features of the web browser to make web page(s) dynamic.
  • Using DHTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS, a simple mechanism for adding style (e.g. fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents) and some scripting or aplets like Java.
  • Active X was around for Microsoft Internet Explorer prior to DHTML but not for Netscape Navigator.
  • Macromedia Flash can do a lot of unique things, but it is not native to most web browsers and requires that it be installed, usually as a plugin.
  • other methods....

If you are using a content management system, likely a module or plugin already exists to create 'nice menus '

As of this documentation many websites use to depend upon DHTML with Javascript or Java applets, but the trend is towards more CSS with less Java to implement.

Their is no one grand nomenclator to assign nomenclature, naming, to things on the Internet.  Like the real world naming conventions get mangled.  That said, we will endeavor to describe some dynamic menu types and reference notes here:

  • Popup menus, usually the menu is on a different layer above so it can cross over frames if appropriate information is included in the content of frame overlapped.

  • Drop Down, usually the menu is horizontal, if it is vertical sometimes it is thought to be fly out.  Usually the drop down menu is on the same layer and will not cross over a frame or some other elements

  • Fly out, usually done vertically.

  • Slide, somewhat like other menus but it slides or opens up differently.

  • Spherical/Centric, sometimes implemented in unique ways like expanding dots or buttons moving outward in a radius.

  • Tree/branch 

  • And many others....


Other Websites that may be useful: