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Our Faves: Hover Effects that Delight and Amaze

One of the ways to make your website outstanding from a UX perspective is to apply one of the many hover effects. We discuss some of those in this post.



When you design a website or application you need to create something that does more than just get the job done; you need to connect to the user. UX design seeks to connect with the user on a more emotional level. This is not an easy thing to do in the digital world. If you are looking for ways to enhance your user experience, consider the humble hover effect. Hover effects breathe life into buttons, keep boring navigation at bay, and give a boost to your image. Here are some hover effects that will delight and amaze your users.

Hover Effects without JavaScript

You don’t need to use JavaScript to achieve great hover effects; you just need to get creative with CSS. Check these out:

Bring life to your navigation. These 4 effects will create geographic shapes, lines, and brackets hover effects for your navigation menus without using JavaScript!

CSS Hover Effects: Highlight the Current Navbar Item with Brackets, Shapes, and Lines

See the Pen 4 Navigation Hover Effects by Nastasia (@nastasia) on CodePen.

For another take on hover effects for navigation, strikeout from left to right with this effect. The effect is as clean as the code. Don’t go looking for the JS; there isn’t any.

See the Pen Strikethrough hover by tsimenis (@tsimenis) on CodePen.

Hover effects are great for link icons too. This effect allows you to provide a splash of background color without decreasing the white space. This is a pretty cool effect for social media icons.

CSS Hover Effects for Link Icons (1): Add Background Color Without Sacrificing the White Space

See the Pen Icon hover by Ian Gloude (@igloude) on CodePen.

Here’s another take on a hover effect for social media icons. This one creates an expanding social media icon. The resulting effect is very fluid and JS-free!

CSS Hover Effects for Link Icons (2): Expand a Button without Using JS

See the Pen SNS Button Simple hover effect by Ryota Kitagawa (@ryok_codepen) on CodePen.

Hover Effects with Images

Sometimes images need a little help to communicate the full message. Don’t use dull captions and titles. Instead, apply a hover effect that your audience is sure to love. Whether you need to add information such as a caption or are looking to add functionality like sharing or commenting, hover effects are up to the job. Check out these examples:

Add titles and captions to your images with this effect. Content rotates up from the corner. It’s like flashcards, but much cooler. Much, much cooler.

See the Pen #1470 – Image Hover by LittleSnippets.net (@littlesnippets) on CodePen.

If flashcards aren’t your thing, try this overlay hover effect on for size. Your text can fade in from any direction for a stunning effect that will delight your users.

Use Image Hover Effects Like The One in this Codepan to Avoid Dull Captions 

See the Pen Simple Image Overlay Hover Effects by Arnaud Balland (@ArnaudBalland) on CodePen.

Want a side of icons with your image? This overlay effect adds titles, captions, and interaction icons to your images. It’s the overlay effect +1.

See the Pen #1446 – Image Hover by LittleSnippets.net (@littlesnippets) on CodePen.

Hover Button Effects

Buttons don’t have to be boring. Bring them alive with these hover effects. Here is some inspiration to add high contrast and high style to your buttons.

This collection of 13 button hover effects is fueled by pseudo elements. If you can’t find something to brighten your button here, you aren’t looking hard enough.

CSS Button Hover Effects (1): Leverage the Power of Pseudo Elements

See the Pen Button Hover Effects by Kyle Brumm (@kjbrum) on CodePen.

High contrast makes this button hover effect pop. Inspired by the GitHub app circle button, it’s sure to inspire you too.

See the Pen Hover button #scss by MY (@yoanmarchal) on CodePen.

Why settle for solid colors when patterns can be much more delightful? Check out these 6 incredible button hover effects. You’ll find zigzags, dots, and more! It’s a great animation effect and it is pure CSS.

CSS Button Hover Effects (2): Add Exciting Animations to Your Buttons

See the Pen Buttons with animated background by Giana (@giana) on CodePen.

Some Useful Goodies for You

Push, slide, hinge, shutter, and more with these 44 amazing hover effects courtesy of ImageHover. The library has a little bit of everything and every effect has been built with pure CSS.

Bruce Kean has set a personal challenge to create a library of 100 different button hover effects. He’s about a third of the way done and is keeping it all JS free. Pulsing arrows, text to arrows, and fill effects are just the beginning of what will be an excellent collection.

What’s your favorite hover effect? Share with us below. We love seeing what excites you.