Fancy hover and focus effect at navigation items using transform CSS property.

  • Use the :before pseudo-element at the list item anchor to create a hover effect, hide it using transform: scale(0).
  • Use the :hover and :focus pseudo-selectors to transition to transform: scale(1) and show the pseudo-element with its colored background.
  • Prevent the pseudo-element from covering the anchor element by using z-index: -1.



<nav class="hover-nav">
    <li><a href="#">Home</a></li>
    <li><a href="#">About</a></li>
    <li><a href="#">Contact</a></li>


.hover-nav ul {
  list-style: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  overflow: hidden;

.hover-nav li {
  float: left;

.hover-nav li a {
  position: relative;
  display: block;
  color: #222;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 8px 12px;
  text-decoration: none;

li a:before {
  position: absolute;
  content: "";
  width: 100%;
  height: 100%;
  bottom: 0;
  left: 0;
  background-color: #f6c126;
  z-index: -1;
  transform: scale(0);
  transition: transform 0.5s ease-in-out;

li a:hover:before,
li a:focus:before {
  transform: scale(1);