5 Websites with Creative Menus: Inspiring Navigation Designs for Your Next Project

Menus are like the guiding stars of a website, directing visitors towards their desired destinations. Just like a restaurant menu helps diners choose their favorite dish, a website menu assists visitors in finding the right pages, products, or services. In this article, we will explore different types of website menus and learn how to create a captivating and user-friendly navigation experience.

Common Types of Website Menus

Website menus come in various styles, each catering to different design aesthetics and user experiences. Here are some common menu types you can consider for your website:

  • Horizontal Menu: This classic type is a horizontal list located either at the top or bottom of a page, displaying the names of important pages.
  • Hamburger Menu: Comprising two or three stacked horizontal stripes, this menu reveals an expanded list of options when clicked.
  • Sidebar Menu: As the name suggests, this menu appears as a list on the left or right side of the page, typically next to the content.
  • Sticky Menu: These menus remain fixed in one place while visitors scroll through the website, providing consistent access to navigation options.
  • Dropdown Menu: Hidden until clicked, dropdown menus save space and offer interactivity by displaying additional options.

Different menus work better for different websites, depending on their purpose and target audience. Single-page websites with long scrolls benefit from sticky menus that eliminate the need to scroll back up. Ecommerce websites should ensure that menus don’t obstruct important elements like the shopping cart button. The key is to strike a balance between functionality and visual harmony.

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It’s worth experimenting with various menu types to find the one that best suits your website’s needs. Time invested in creating multiple menus is well-spent when it leads to discovering an effective and seamless navigation solution.

5 Websites with Inspiring Menu Designs

To inspire your own menu design, we’ve gathered five examples of websites that showcase exceptional and artistic navigation experiences:

1. The Rail Park

The Rail Park

The Rail Park’s website features a full-page menu that opens when visitors click on the hamburger icon in the top left corner. This comprehensive menu organizes all the necessary information into stylized sections and subcategories, ranging from basic pages like news and shop to an interactive map and team pages.

The menu’s white font on a black background creates ample negative space, allowing menu items to stand out. Additionally, a prominent search bar at the top ensures easy navigation. Notably, a green “donate” button on the top right corner serves as a standout call-to-action, inviting visitors to contribute while adding a touch of color to the monochromatic design. Placing a CTA on a frequently visited element like a menu ensures maximum visibility.

The Rail Park’s full-page menu prioritizes functionality and seamlessly integrates conversion goals.

2. Swell Nav Menu

Swell Nav Menu

Created by Bradley Stallcup, the Swell Nav Menu impresses with its interactive design and engaging hover effect. Clicking on the hamburger icon in the top right corner opens a full-page horizontal menu that moves sequentially with the cursor. As visitors hover over each menu item, a square black-and-white image appears behind the text, accompanied by a subtle animation, visually distinguishing different pages. The top and bottom portions of the page consist of static text, providing contact details and social media links.

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This motion-based menu design effectively captivates visitors, encouraging them to explore the entire website. If you desire a smooth and visually dynamic menu, take inspiration from Swell Nav Menu or clone it using Webflow.