Tabs are set of buttons which help users to see all the site sections quickly and where they are in the site’s structure. Tabs also make easier for users to find what they are looking for.
Using tabbed navigation for web pages needing to provide access to a lot of different content modules allows you easy switching to a different view or to an alternate data set, in just one click. If done right, tabs create a sense of realism, can be very clean and organized within a web layout.
Like any other interface design component, tabs require lots of detailed design attention to be really effective. You will notice tabbed navigations has many different styling trends. Some tabs will have rounded corners on buttons. This helps to create a clean look. Also helping to make a clean look is the use of separation between buttons. Most designs use space to separate buttons, but a bevel, single line, or background color contrast will also look nicely. Use of hover effects, with Gradient color which is common in tabbed navigation help to achieve an impressve hover effect that brings dimension to the button that the user is selecting. The most important aspect in the design of tabbed navigation is that the active tab needs to be clear and obvious. This is what separates a tabbed navigation from an ordinary horizontal row of buttons or hyperlinks.
Some of the websites i liked with beautifully styled tabs are www.ExpressionEngine.com, www.astratos.com, www.veer.com, are www.jepcoministorage.com, www.fancast.com, ww.adfed.org