"Taskpad"-Interactive Transparent UI Elements

I built this UI as the new interface for NOAAView (a data imagery portal). In order not to obscure the maps below, the entire menu is semi-transparent with the option of changing the opacity and color settings.

I used minimal javascript in this menu, taking advantage of CSS3 transitions for animated interactivity. Adding/removing classes or triggering CSS3 transitions with Javascript allow for an almost purely CSS driven menu that is unobtrusive to the complex javascript of the application.
*Note: This UI uses the CSS3 "Calc" rule which is not supported in older browsers-fixes for this would be done in production.

Click on one of the grey buttons to start playing with it here or view it in action »

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1) The initial slide animation of the tabs happens only the first time a user clicks an item.

2) Hovering over the tabs shows the tab label cluing the user into the meaning of each icon with a smooth CSS3 transition.

3) The background has a slight noise image applied ensuring that there is a clear delimination between the Taskpad and the content below, regardless of color and lightness/darkness of content

4) The Taskpads are draggable and hide/show-able



5) Scrollable Content:

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6) The separate Taskpad below would normally hold additional content that may be rendered on on certain user actions. I added the transparency slider here just to make it prominent.

Slide to Adjust Menu Transparency