Navigation is important as it guides the user through the website, and you want the guidance to be clear. Yet a bit of creativity and love would do no harm but rather leave pleasant emotions from your journey across the website.
Below are the 15 examples of original yet reliable menu designs created to easily guide you through the website.
The online flash portfolio of a Boston photographer Francine Zaslow is designed as a book. It navigates with multicolored square buttons, and while loading the pages are flipping with the fan. This is one of few times when it's not boring to wait while the page is loading.
IDEO is a global design colsuntancy. Their homepage consists of the small screenshots of their design works with two menues - one being scattered on the screen and the other being a regular one at the bottom. When you point the cursor on the category, the number of screenshots gets marked out. Each subpage has it's unique design with different navigation, which might seem a bit distracting, yet rather interesting.
The online showcase of Pawel Wojcik's photography is also designed as a book and in flash. Yet there's no menu - to navigate it, you just point the cursor at the corner of a book page and click, and the page turns over. It might be not original but the vintage erotic style of Pawel's works combined with the vintage style of the book feel harmonious as if you're looking through an old photoalbum.
And one more book-styled flash website - the representation of the Prinz Myshkin restaurant online. The reason I liked their menu is that it's very unobtrusive and exqusite, yet easy to navigate.
Red Issue is the women's clothing brand. Just as the brand itself pays tribute to women's individuality and freedom, their website does as well, as you've got to 'draw yourself what you want to do'. You draw the arrows, and then follow to another page of the website. And the arrow doesn't have to be of a particular size or angle - you're free to choose them yourself - they just have to point up, down, left or right. I find it rather original!
Getränke Kukral is drinks delivering service in Leipzig and the surroundings. The website design is simple, but I liked how they used the drinks representations on the buttons.
Simple Art is a web design studio based in Russia. I enjoyed their desk-styled menu with certain things on it being the links to the subpages.
Boukarabila is the online portfolio of a graphic designer Kerim Boukarabila. I find the horizontal menu rather appealing though shiny. And the smoothly appearing comments to each category are a nice addition to the menu.
The website of a Rochester-based web designer Kevin John Gomez is rather playful due to the handwritten and paper elements, ink illustration, and goofy portrait. And though Noob-ish, it's still original in its design - at least, you don't get to navigate from the Big Noob's top of the page.
Though designed in formal style, the La Privata Republica's website menu is rather friendly and informal due to the human figures in relaxed poses on it. It's amazing how little is sometimes needed to create an unconstrainded impression of a constrained website!
MB Dragan is an ndependent interactive agency based in Bucharest Romania that has a neat blue website design with a space theme menu - a true example of great creativity and accessibility application.
Timeforcake creative media, inc. is a boutique web and graphic design company located in the mountains of Frisco, Colorado. I was attracted to their website design because of it retro style, and the paper style collaged header with a handwritten menu in particularly. Informal and stylish - just like this!
Sarah Hyland (from MTV’s “Punk’d”) is a Comedian, Actress, Improv Artist, Street Performer, and Roller Skate Queen. Her website is a true reflexion of her personality - bright and provoking. The sketch-like menu fits it just right!
Babasónicos is an Argentinian rock band that has emerged in the wave of Argentine New Rock bands of the late '80s and early '90s. The menu designed like a poster using bold disco-style type reflects their spirit well enough.
You don't have to understand Spanish to appreciate the crayon-written menu the Oink website has. It's childish and sloppy, and yet, but cute in its so-called 'carelessness.'