This effect was originally created by Panic, on the site for their web development app, Coda. Since then, its been duplicated countless times in every corner of the web, and with good reason. The effect serves two excellent purposes: hiding lots of content in a single space and loading the different content with a smooth animation and no page reload. Despite its overuse, it always seems well received and instantly adds depth and a definite wow factor to any project.
Cycle is one of the most flexible content cycling plugins available. There are literally dozens of ways you can configure the script. There are numerous transition effects, navigation elements, and with ways to integrate it with other plugins, the possibilities are endless.
With a plugin like ScrollTo you can really start change the way people navigate your site. Instead of having links take the user to a new page, you can have the link take them to a new section of your current page all with a smooth animation. The plugin is extremely flexible and allows multiple types of transitions and selectors.
Galleria is an image gallery plugin. It loads the images from an unordered list of thumbnails and displays the large image in a central viewing area. The plugin can even make your thumbnails for you and is extremely lightweight (only 4k!).
jTruncate is a plugin for easily hiding some extra content. It could be used to automatically clip entries that are too long or to hide something you don’t want to be initially viewable (like a login form)
Facebox is another lightbox script. Been there, done that, right? Wrong. Facebox is a very flexible, lightweight lightbox, which allows you to not only load images, but divs, remote pages, and alerts. Plus as an added bonus (and as the name suggests) its designed in the familiar and popular style of Facebook.
An inner fade is one of the simplest ways to fit extra content into a small space. Think of it like a simple slide show;, content just fades in and out on a timer. There are countless ways it could be used: displaying your latest photos, works from your portfolio, or whatever else you might want to slowly cycle through.
Don’t know a thing about jQuery? Why not review “15 Resources to Get You Started With jQuery From Scratch”.
I hope this short list has opened your eyes to the possibilities of what jQuery can do with even minimal practice. jQuery and jQuery plugins are so valuable to us as designers because of the huge community supporting it. If you ever need help or have questions, there is usually someone who can point you in the right direction or might even have a plugin already completed that does exactly what you wanted.