Flipping, scrolling, or otherwise moving the un-highlighted text to make room for the highlighted text doesn't accomplish anything – it's the same text, just with a different presentation.
Save these spatial animations for progressive disclosure. When you want more information to pop out of something, or you want additional controls to present themselves when the user has entered a specific context, that's when you should consider scrolling and flipping your elements.
Granted, they're definitely not link styles to be used "generally", in body text, etc. -- but for an appropriately image-conscious site, they could work particularly in a site header, for example.
Unfortunately it's hard to comment on them individually since they don't really have "names"... but "Wafture", and "Chatoyant" (against red) are particularly nice and tasteful.
BTW, you can right-click a link and inspect with firebug or chrome dev tools to see what css styles are applied to it and how they change when you hover over the link.
1. It requires you to randomly hover over things in hope of a link.
2. You can't hover on a touch screen.
Repeat after me: You're a designer. You are not an artist.
Just curious. Mostly I'm indifferent to these kinds of posts because CSS is getting more complicated faster than I can learn it (it seems but it might just be me).
Ditto for ones that involve lines flying across your link text.
The subtler effects are nice, but the delay on them can make it easy to miss that these are links if the cursor is moving fast.
Links should be blue and underlined, and visited or hovered-over links should be purple and still underlined. (Or some other pair of colors, that makes links stand out from non-links, and visited links look "faded" compared to non-visited links.)
Distracting special effects just show off you 1337 web skillz and detract from whatever made your site worth visiting.
If you use chrome, try this:
So, that means you disagree but can't articulate why?
If that is how you feel, just browse the internet with CSS turned off
If you had ever actually tried this, you'd know it's completely bullshit advice.
or with your own style sheet overriding the site's own style sheet.
Because the proper solution to shitty website UIs is to force everyone to jump thru hoops to fix them individually, rather than to rant at the webdevs in the hops that they think about things from the users' perspective rather than just "hey, that looks cool"?
It should be immediately apparent that links are links.
It is generally helpful if visited and non-visited links are different. For some things (say, a list of product categories) this is less important.
Fancy hover effects are annoying. They're slow, if the effect looks like replacement I need to re-read the caption to see that it's still the same, the eye-catchingness makes it impossible to look at something next to it until the animation finishes (this is especially bad for any effects set for when the hover ends).
In the context of surrounding text, it's entirely possible that these link effects are as usable as underlined text.
Design is about concepts like contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. The designer here left the use of design principles like contrast up to other designers to choose how to indicate that a link is a link.
Contrast makes a link look like a link. Not blue, not purple, not underlines, but contrast.
Besides contrast, context matters too. There are words and expressions which are often linked, such as proper noun phrases, references to other works on the internet, obvious link phrases like "click here", etc. Once you've read one utterance in a different style on the page that is likely to be a link, then you have enough information to mouse over or try tapping and verify your hypothesis. Once you've verified the link style on a site once, you don't need to do it again.
Humans are pretty intelligent pattern matchers, and so long as the designer has placed enough clues in a page to identify a pattern, that is good usable design.
FWIW I don't disagree that it would behoove the designer to make things explicit by showing his links in example contexts, but that doesn't excuse everyone showing up here raining on his or her parade because they lack the imagination to see how these could work in context.
User interfaces shouldn't reinvent the wheel. They should respect standards so users don't have to relearn commands every time they switch programs. Same for websites: Keep it familiar.