There are not many aspects of web design that seem to ignite the same fascination in developers as making elements dynamic by hiding and showing them on user interaction. Collapsible lists, maps with hover elements and multi level drop-down navigations still seem to be hot and need to be part of a web site to make it "cool" and to "increase usability". Much like the magician conjuring the rabbit out of the top hat for the tenth time in a row, this design stunt does gets a bit stale though. Maybe it is time to take a step back and look at what we do.
Dynamic Page Elements-Cloak and Dagger Web Design (Page 1 of 10 )
The History of Dynamic Elements
Originally, HTML was not meant to have dynamic elements that show up when the user interacted with other elements. That is what links were for, and interaction with them meant a new page was loaded.
In the olden days we were amazed to see a bunch of links in different states (link, active, visited) and we looked awe struck at a blurb of colour or a rectangle slowly turning into an image.
These restrictions and the simplicity also had its merits:
Sites were designed to tell us at any stage of our journey where we are and where other pages with related content are - a static navigation on one spot.
The different link states made us realize where we have been already and what is new without any search effort.
Deep sites never dared to show us links not related to this sub section in the main navigation - the sitemap, the search and internal promotions fulfiled that job nicely.