Animated Content Menu with jQuery

Today we will create a slick animated content menu with jQuery for a restaurant theme. The menu items will be animated and when clicked, a content area with more information will appear. Also, he background image is going to change according to which menu item was clicked. The main idea is to […]

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Today we will create a slick animated content menu with jQuery for a restaurant theme. The menu items will be animated and when clicked, a content area with more information will appear. Also, he background image is going to change according to which menu item was clicked.

The main idea is to have a restaurant menu with the different menu categories displayed. Each content are will have some foods/drinks listed. Once a content box is shown, the menu items are going to disappear. If we click on the close button to close the box, the menu items will be shown again.

So, let’s get started.

The Markup

The HTML structure is going to contain some elements for the background image, the grid overlay, the loading icon and the main menu. The Markup for the background is going to look like this:

<div id="ac_background" class="ac_background">
	<img class="ac_bgimage" src="images/Default.jpg" alt="Background"/>
	<div class="ac_overlay"></div>
	<div class="ac_loading"></div>
</div>

As a default background image when the page loads, we will have the image Default.jpg. Whenever we click on a menu item, we are going to change that image by adding another one and making the current one disappear.

The menu content will be wrapped by a div with the class “ac_content”. There will be a title and an unordered list for the items wrapped by a div with the class “ac_menu”:

<div id="ac_content" class="ac_content">
	<h1><span>Cafe + Bar</span>Dhalia</h1>
	<div class="ac_menu">
		<ul>
			<li>
				<a href="images/Appetizers.jpg">Appetizers</a>
				<div class="ac_subitem">
					<span class="ac_close"></span>
					<h2>Appetizers</h2>
					<ul>
						<li>
							A wonderful serenity has taken possession 
							of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings 
							of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart.
						</li>
						<li>Lobster Bisque</li>
						<li>Smoked Salmon Terrine</li>
						<li>Tuna Ceviche</li>
						<li>Wild Mushroom Flan</li>
						<li>Almond Bruschetta</li>
						<li>Green Chilli Canapee</li>
						<li>Artichoke Rucula Salad</li>
					</ul>
				</div><!-- ac_subitem-->
			</li>
			...
		</ul>
	</div><!-- ac_menu -->
</div><!-- ac_content -->

For each menu item, we will have a div “ac_subitem” which will contain the submenu content box. Inside of that box we will place another list (but it can be any other kind of content).

The link element in the main menu will have a href attribute pointing to the image that we will make appear in the background then.

Let’s take a look at the style.

The CSS

In the beginning of our CSS we will import a reset.css:

@import url('reset.css');

We will make the body black since we want to fade out the background images and make them appear darker while we do that:

body{
	background:#000;
	color:#fff;
	font-family: 'PT Sans Narrow', Arial, sans-serif;
	text-transform:uppercase;
}

The links are going to be white:

a{
	color:#fff;
	text-decoration:none;
}

The background image is going to be fixed and we don’t want to show it in the beginning – we want to take care of the appearance using JavaScript. The positioning and the size of the image is also going to be done dynamically, since we want to place it regarding to the size of the user’s window:

img.ac_bgimage{
	position:fixed;
	left:0px;
	top:0px;
	opacity:0.8;
	display:none;
}

The overlay is going to be placed on top of the image. It’s a repeated pattern that will give the image a neat look:

.ac_overlay{
	width:100%;
	height:100%;
	position:fixed;
	top:0px;
	left:0px;
	background:transparent url(../images/pattern.png) repeat top left;
}

We will place the loading icon in the top right corner of the page and it will appear in the beginning while we load the images:

.ac_loading{
	position:fixed;
	top:10px;
	right:10px;
	background:#000 url(../images/loader.gif) no-repeat center center;
	width:50px;
	height:50px;
	border-radius:10px 10px 10px 10px;
	z-index:999;
	opacity:0.7;
	display:none;
}

The main content div will also be fixed and placed in the middle of the screen. We set the top value to 50% and subtract half of its height from that position by setting the margin to -65 pixel. Like that we place it exactly in the middle of the webpage:

.ac_content{
	position:fixed;
	height:90px;
	width:100%;
	top:50%;
	left:0px;
	margin-top:-65px;
}

The heading to the left will have a black semi-transparent background and we will style the h1 and the span differently. We will also add a 1 pixel margin to the right in order to separate it a bit from the menu wrapper:

.ac_content h1{
	background:transparent url(../images/bg_menu.png) repeat top left;
	display:block;
	float:left;
	width:90px;
	height:50px;
	padding:20px;
	font-size:36px;
	font-weight:bold;
	line-height:20px;
	margin-right:1px;
}
.ac_content h1 span{
	display:block;
	font-weight:normal;
	font-size:14px;
}

The main menu wrapper will have the same background like the heading and we will give it an initial width of 0 pixel. In the JavaScript we will then animate the width when we load the page to fit the width of the window:

.ac_menu{
	background:transparent url(../images/bg_menu.png) repeat top left;
	float:left;
	position:relative;
	height:90px;
	width:0px; 
}

The unordered list which will contain the menu items will float right:

.ac_menu > ul{
	float:right;
}

The list items will have a specified height and the overflow will be set to hidden since we want to animate the link elements to appear from the bottom. If we wouldn’t set the overflow to hidden, we would be able to see the link elements under the menu.

.ac_menu > ul > li{
	float:left;
	position:relative;
	height:90px;
	overflow:hidden;
}

The link elements will initially be hidden by setting the margin top to 60 pixel and the opacity to 0. We will animate that margin to 0 pixel and make them opaque, in order for the items to appear, each one with a little delay, creating an interesting effect.

.ac_menu > ul > li a{
	margin-top:60px;
	opacity:0;
	display:block;
	height:90px;
	padding:0px 10px;
	text-align:center;
	line-height:90px;
	outline:none;
	font-size:18px;
	font-weight:bold;
	text-shadow:1px 1px 1px #000;
}

The subitem boxes will have a width of 400 pixel and an initial height of 0 pixel. We will animate that height and the top margin in order for each box to appear from the middle:

.ac_subitem{
	width:400px;
	height:0px; /* animate to 400px */
	top:50%;
	right:0px;
	margin-top:0px; /* animate to -200px */
	position:fixed;
	z-index:99;
	overflow:hidden;
	background:transparent url(../images/bg_menu.png) repeat top left;
}

Let’s give some styling to the content of the subitems:

.ac_subitem h2{
	font-size:22px;
	font-weight:bold;
	color:#fff;
	padding: 40px 0px 0px 40px;
	text-shadow:0px 0px 1px #000;
}
.ac_subitem ul{
	padding:0px 40px;
}
.ac_subitem ul li{
	margin:10px 0px;
}
.ac_subitem ul li:first-child{
	font-size:14px;
	text-transform:none;
	border-bottom:1px dotted #333;
	padding-bottom:15px;
	margin-bottom:15px;
}

And let’s place the little closing cross at the top right corner:

span.ac_close{
	float:right;
	margin:10px;
	width:11px;
	height:12px;
	cursor:pointer;
	background:transparent url(../images/close.png) no-repeat top left;
	opacity:0.4;
}
span.ac_close:hover{
	opacity:1.0;
}

And that’s all the style. Let’s add the magic!

The JavaScript

For the effects will will be using some easing, so we will need to include the jQuery Easing Plugin after including the jQuery script.

Let’s first cache some elements:

var $ac_background	= $('#ac_background'),
$ac_bgimage		= $ac_background.find('.ac_bgimage'),
$ac_loading		= $ac_background.find('.ac_loading'),

$ac_content		= $('#ac_content'),
$title			= $ac_content.find('h1'),
$menu			= $ac_content.find('.ac_menu'),
$mainNav		= $menu.find('ul:first'),
$menuItems		= $mainNav.children('li'),
totalItems		= $menuItems.length,
$ItemImages		= new Array();

We want to preload all the image, so let’s add all the image sources that we have in the href attributes of the link elements in the menu items, and also the one of the current image:

$menuItems.each(function(i) {
	$ItemImages.push($(this).children('a:first').attr('href'));
});
$ItemImages.push($ac_bgimage.attr('src'));

Then, let’s define our main function:

var Menu 			= (function(){
	var init				= function() {
		loadPage();
		initWindowEvent();
	},
	loadPage			= function() {
		/*
			1- loads the bg image and all the item images;
			2- shows the bg image;
			3- shows / slides out the menu;
			4- shows the menu items;
			5- initializes the menu items events
		 */
		$ac_loading.show(); //show loading status image
		$.when(loadImages()).done(function(){
			$.when(showBGImage()).done(function(){
				//hide the loading status image
				$ac_loading.hide();
				$.when(slideOutMenu()).done(function(){
						$.when(toggleMenuItems('up')).done(function(){
						initEventsSubMenu();
					});
				});
			});
		});
	},
	showBGImage			= function() {
		return $.Deferred(
		function(dfd) {
			//adjusts the dimensions of the image to fit the screen
			adjustImageSize($ac_bgimage);
			$ac_bgimage.fadeIn(1000, dfd.resolve);
		}
	).promise();
	},
	slideOutMenu		= function() {
		/* calculate new width for the menu */
		var new_w	= $(window).width() - $title.outerWidth(true);
		return $.Deferred(
		function(dfd) {
			//slides out the menu
			$menu.stop()
			.animate({
				width	: new_w + 'px'
			}, 700, dfd.resolve);
		}
	).promise();
	},
		/* shows / hides the menu items */
		toggleMenuItems		= function(dir) {
		return $.Deferred(
		function(dfd) {
			/*
			slides in / out the items. 
			different animation time for each one.
			*/
			$menuItems.each(function(i) {
						var $el_title	= $(this).children('a:first'),
							marginTop, opacity, easing;
						if(dir === 'up'){
							marginTop	= '0px';
							opacity		= 1;
							easing		= 'easeOutBack';
						}
						else if(dir === 'down'){
							marginTop	= '60px';
							opacity		= 0;
							easing		= 'easeInBack';
		}
				$el_title.stop()
				.animate({
									marginTop	: marginTop,
									opacity		: opacity
								 }, 200 + i * 200 , easing, function(){
					if(i === totalItems - 1)
						dfd.resolve();
				});
			});
		}
	).promise();
	},
	initEventsSubMenu	= function() {
		$menuItems.each(function(i) {
			var $item		= $(this), // the <li>
			$el_title	= $item.children('a:first'),
			el_image	= $el_title.attr('href'),
			$sub_menu	= $item.find('.ac_subitem'),
			$ac_close	= $sub_menu.find('.ac_close');
			
			/* user clicks on a menu item */
			$el_title.bind('click.Menu', function(e) {
					$.when(toggleMenuItems('down')).done(function(){
					openSubMenu($item, $sub_menu, el_image);
				});
				return false;
			});
			/* closes the submenu */
			$ac_close.bind('click.Menu', function(e) {
				closeSubMenu($sub_menu);
				return false;
			});
		});
	},
	openSubMenu			= function($item, $sub_menu, el_image) {
		$sub_menu.stop()
		.animate({
			height		: '400px',
			marginTop	: '-200px'
		}, 400, function() {
			//the bg image changes
			showItemImage(el_image);
		});
	},
	/* changes the background image */
	showItemImage		= function(source) {
		//if its the current one return
		if($ac_bgimage.attr('src') === source)
			return false;
				
		var $itemImage = $('<img src="'+source+'" alt="Background" class="ac_bgimage"/>');
		$itemImage.insertBefore($ac_bgimage);
		adjustImageSize($itemImage);
		$ac_bgimage.fadeOut(1500, function() {
			$(this).remove();
			$ac_bgimage = $itemImage;
		});
		$itemImage.fadeIn(1500);
	},
	closeSubMenu		= function($sub_menu) {
		$sub_menu.stop()
		.animate({
			height		: '0px',
			marginTop	: '0px'
		}, 400, function() {
			//show items
						toggleMenuItems('up');
		});
	},
	/*
	on window resize, ajust the bg image dimentions,
	and recalculate the menus width
	*/
	initWindowEvent		= function() {
		/* on window resize set the width for the menu */
		$(window).bind('resize.Menu' , function(e) {
			adjustImageSize($ac_bgimage);
			/* calculate new width for the menu */
			var new_w	= $(window).width() - $title.outerWidth(true);
			$menu.css('width', new_w + 'px');
		});
	},
	/* makes an image "fullscreen" and centered */
	adjustImageSize		= function($img) {
		var w_w	= $(window).width(),
		w_h	= $(window).height(),
		r_w	= w_h / w_w,
		i_w	= $img.width(),
		i_h	= $img.height(),
		r_i	= i_h / i_w,
		new_w,new_h,
		new_left,new_top;
			
		if(r_w > r_i){
			new_h	= w_h;
			new_w	= w_h / r_i;
		}
		else{
			new_h	= w_w * r_i;
			new_w	= w_w;
		}
			
		$img.css({
			width	: new_w + 'px',
			height	: new_h + 'px',
			left	: (w_w - new_w) / 2 + 'px',
			top		: (w_h - new_h) / 2 + 'px'
		});
	},
	/* preloads a set of images */
	loadImages			= function() {
		return $.Deferred(
		function(dfd) {
			var total_images 	= $ItemImages.length,
			loaded			= 0;
			for(var i = 0; i < total_images; ++i){
				$('<img/>').load(function() {
					++loaded;
					if(loaded === total_images)
						dfd.resolve();
				}).attr('src' , $ItemImages[i]);
			}
		}
	).promise();
	};
		
	return {
		init : init
	};
})();

/*
call the init method of Menu
 */
Menu.init();

And that’s all! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and find it useful!

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Mary Lou (Manoela Ilic) is a freelance web designer and developer with a passion for interaction design. She studied Cognitive Science and Computational Logic and has a weakness for the smell of freshly ground peppercorns.

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Website: http://tympanus.net/

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Feedback 178

Comments are closed.
  1. 1

    Please, can someone help ?
    Script works in CHROME, FIREFOX, SAFARI and IE 9, but don’t work in OPERA ( submenu don’t see). Anyone tested this script in OPERA ? Best regards all …

  2. 3

    Hi Mary Lou,

    I really wish you had walked us through your choice of using the promises and deferreds apis. Why not use consecutive functional calls? What benefits do these new apis bring?

  3. 4

    @Sammy (maybe others too). First off al thanks for this great tutorial!
    I also was wondering how to go back to the default image after closing the sub page.
    And I found out how-to! Change the closeSubmenu (lines 129 – 138 from the tutorial) to:

    closeSubMenu = function($sub_menu) {
    $sub_menu.stop()
    .animate({
    height : ‘0px’,
    marginTop : ‘0px’
    }, 400, function() {
    //show items
    toggleMenuItems(‘up’);

    });

    var $defaultImage = $(”);
    $defaultImage.insertBefore($ac_bgimage);
    adjustImageSize($defaultImage);
    $ac_bgimage.fadeOut(1500, function() {
    $(this).remove();
    });
    $ac_bgimage = $defaultImage;
    $defaultImage.fadeIn(1500);

  4. 6

    I think my problem above may be because there are 2 javascripts running? (the second script being from lightbox)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  5. 8

    Hi, Mary first of I would like to thank you for this awesome tutorial. But I have an issue. I want to put a home link in the main menu and I don’t want any effect on home. But when I put the link of the same index.html in the href, it stops working. Is it necessary to always put an image link in the href. Or there is some way through which I can achieve my goal. It will be a great help.

    Thank you.

  6. 9

    Hi Mary, I hope you can help me.
    I like so much your tutorial, but I would like adding the “minimalist gallery” inside this menu content.

    The problem is that the thumbanails appear in vertical and also the controls…

    Can you help me?

  7. 12

    Hi – love your menu! I like navigatoin to have an escape rout – can I add the links inside the slider? I would rather they can go from ” apps” to “plates” without having to get off then back on again ( hope Im making sense! )
    thanks muy mucho!

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