You’re likely so used to seeing the hover feature when you visit websites that you don’t even realize it’s there. There are many reasons to utilize mouseovers, including engaging users and drawing attention to a specific element on the page. You can use hover functionality to morph a photo into a different picture, highlight where the user is on the page or draw attention to a call to action (CTA).
According to Internet Live Stats, there are 1.8 billion websites in the world and around 140 trillion emails sent every day. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to up your game in any subtle way you can find. If you’ve not already tried adding some interactive elements, hovers are an excellent place to start.
There are many interesting ways of using the hover features. Let’s look at a few ideas to get you started and some examples of sites already using enticing mouseover effects. However, don’t let these ideas limit you. Get creative in how you add this element to your site.
1. Enlarge Images
You can use a mouseover effect to enlarge images in the presence of the cursor. Enlarging images slightly or changing the focus engages users and shows where they are on the page. Not many sites utilize this feature at the moment, so you’ll also gain points for creativity.
Naomi Kizhner does an excellent job of highlighting feature stories via the thumbnails. Hover over any image, and it enlarges slightly. The slight refocus brings the photo into relief and also keeps the user engaged. They may hover over several items before choosing the one they’ll read.
2. Swap Background Colors
Do you want to enhance the customer experience on your website? Use a background color swap on hover for individual sections you’d like to draw attention to. The user uses their mouse to scroll down your page. When something changes color, it grabs interest and makes them notice it more. You can add a lot of information simply by highlighting the key features of your page. Effectively use this hover technique to move the user to the next phase of the buyer’s journey.
3. Enhance Text
They say a photo is worth a thousand words. The human brain processes visuals much faster than letters. However, there are times when you want to draw attention to some detail via the text. One way of doing this is by using pictures and, when someone hovers over them, swapping a transparent color and bold typography for the image. The transition grabs the user and makes them read what the typed content says and better absorb the information than via text or photographs alone.
Cornwell Door Service does an amazing job of implementing hover effects into their design in a way that moves the user from one section of their site to the next. If the consumer is looking for a particular garage door style, they’ll see the photo of the design and then have the selection confirmed when they hover over the image by a gray background with white text.
4. Use Before-and-Afters
If you sell any home improvement or self-improvement product, before-and-after hovers can highlight the differences. Show customers what they’ll get when they buy from you. You can also use a black and white image for the before and a color image for the after to grab attention. Before and after photos always engage the user’s imagination, but they become even more dramatic when they appear on hover.
5. Animate Your Page
As more and more people gain access to high-speed internet connectivity via fiber optic cables and 5G, expect to see more sites using animation effects. Animations add an extra touch of elegance to most pages but can also be used to bring in fun or excitement. If you want to draw attention to a specific area on your page, include an animation on mouseover.
Sol Beachclub uses a light animation effect in the far right menu sidebar. When you hover over it, a slight change in color morphs diagonally. The movement shows the user this is an essential section on the site, and that they should pay careful attention. The color of the letters also changes when you hover over them, so you understand it is a clickable link resulting in a transfer to another page.
Expand the Menu With Hovers
One of the most common ways of utilizing the hover feature is with a mega menu. If you have a large website, you might have many subcategories. Since you want to keep your main navigation menu fairly short and to-the-point, expanding menus allow you to add more detail without taking up more space.
A mega menu allows you to add both subcategories and images to your menu. You’ll expand a narrow column into a full-page box showing details about the products you offer in the category. The user stays on the landing page until they locate the area they want to view.
An Integrated Design
Hover features should match the overall style of your website but add enough interest to stand out. Think about the natural path a user takes as they scroll down your page. Where might their mouse hit? How can you use this information to grab attention and keep them on your website longer? There are various ways of adding hover effects, so try different methods until you find the ones that work best with your target audience.