Adventures in Responsive Navigation

Responsive Navigation?

Yes - navigation patterns in responsive web design can be tricky to tackle - especially while keeping a consistent look, feel, and experience on your site. Your website's navigation is how users get around on your website and discover all that you have to offer. So when your responsive site is viewed on smaller screens - make sure it's still easy to navigate. I've put together a list of popular methods of dealing with navigation on a responsive website. I've included code samples as well. Check out the source code for how each method is achieved.

I've written a few tips on how to structure your menu to help you build a better desktop menu and mobile menu. I've also written a blog article about my thoughts on responsive navigation with a few helpful things to think about before building your site's navigation.

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The Examples

Do Nothing Approach

This involves just adding a little padding to your links to optimize them for touch enabled devices.

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Footer Navigation

A link in your header will take the user to your navigation list in the footer of your site.

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Select Menu

This technique takes your menu list and turns them into a <select> element through the power of JavaScript.

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Menu Overlay

This simple technique turns your menu into a simple one column overlay drop-down.

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Multi Toggle

This technique turns your menu into an accordion style list. Great for large menus and very versatile.

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Off Canvas

Hide your navigation "off canvas" and reveal it when your menu toggle button is clicked. Popularized by Facebook.

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Grid Based

This is a really nice way to present your menu at the top or bottom of your page. Just a clean grid based method.

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The Flip Method

This is a "neat" way to hide your nav, but maybe only good for vanity's sake right now.

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Always Off Canvas

This is a very cool way to use off canvas all the time + it's touch enabled!

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