Create the Google Button Effect with CSS

By  on  

I always found Google's branding simple but grew to realize that was the beauty in their design; there's something about "just enough" that is the perfect balance between bland and over the top.  GMail's design grew old over the years and Google just got around to updating its design and it's true to the Google design pattern:  simple enough with a bit of flair.

Part of the flair I really enjoy is their new button design, which you can see with their "Delete all SPAM now"button (when looking at the Trash folder) and likewise buttons.  The button is flat (it looks like a link) but the animated background effect is so simple and elegant that I can't even explain the feeling; it's almost as though the effect is less "heavy" than a simple text-decoration change.  Let's examine the CSS to make the effect happen!

The HTML

The "button" requires only one HTML element:  a <span>:

<span class="google-button">Click here!</span>

The CSS

The effect can be accomplished with one HTML element because we use a ::before pseudo-element.  I've isolated the styles down to only those that are required:

/* The core button */
.google-button {
    align-items: center;
    border: none;
    display: inline-flex;
    justify-content: center;
    outline: none;
    position: relative;
    z-index: 0;
    -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;
    background: none;
    border-radius: 4px;
    cursor: pointer;
    padding: 0 8px;
    white-space: pre-wrap;
}

/* ::before, which will become the hover effect */
.google-button::before {
        content: '';
    display: block;
    opacity: 0;
    position: absolute;
    transition-duration: .15s;
    transition-timing-function: cubic-bezier(0.4,0.0,0.2,1);
    z-index: -1;
    bottom: 0;
    left: 0;
    right: 0;
    top: 0;
    background: #4285f4;
    border-radius: 4px;
    transform: scale(0);
    transition-property: transform,opacity;
}

Notice the scale and opacity are 0 so as to be invisible.  And then the simple :hover CSS to kick off the effect:

.google-button:hover::before {
    opacity: .06;
    transform: scale(1);
}

Most of the effect is setup by the ::before that all the :hover needed to do was lift opacity and scale to normal size!

I can't explain why I love this button so much, and that seems like a hallmark of a successful, simple design.  I think I love the button so much because the effect is incredibly lightweight but still animated.  In any event, enjoy the button and let me know if you see improvements!

Recent Features

  • By
    9 Mind-Blowing WebGL Demos

    As much as developers now loathe Flash, we're still playing a bit of catch up to natively duplicate the animation capabilities that Adobe's old technology provided us.  Of course we have canvas, an awesome technology, one which I highlighted 9 mind-blowing demos.  Another technology available...

  • By
    CSS @supports

    Feature detection via JavaScript is a client side best practice and for all the right reasons, but unfortunately that same functionality hasn't been available within CSS.  What we end up doing is repeating the same properties multiple times with each browser prefix.  Yuck.  Another thing we...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Retrieve Google Analytics Visits and PageViews with PHP

    Google Analytics is an outstanding website analytics tool that gives you way more information about your website than you probably need. Better to get more than you want than not enough, right? Anyways I check my website statistics more often than I should and...

  • By
    Create an Animated Sliding Button Using MooTools

    Buttons (or links) are usually the elements on our sites that we want to draw a lot of attention to. Unfortunately many times they end up looking the most boring. You don't have to let that happen though! I recently found a...

Discussion

    Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!