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A great site is a usable one


With web design, when we think of flow we usually mean "task flows" or "flow charts" but there's a different kind of flow that you should consider. It's that feeling of complete absorption when you're doing something you like to do without being disturbed by anxiety or boredom caused by steps that are confusing, too long or overly taxing.
Flow, as a mind condition, was primarily proposed by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and is characterized by a distorted sense of time, a lack of self-consciousness, and complete participation in the process at hand. Software developers might feel it when they're writing code, gamers do feel it when playing Quake III, Christopher Cross felt it when he went sailing. For designers, it's just the feeling we want to achieve in the people who use our sites.
How do we create sites that inspire that feeling? Well, it begins with a page that solves a serious problem and is complex enough to ask for a certain degree of learning by the user. The goal should not certainly be to create a simple site. The purpose should be to develop a site that is painless to use no matter how complicated it really is. However, you may think, hasn't there been a usability trend in web design over the last couple of years? Yes, but there's a learning curve for any site that want to solve a complex problem. We shouldn't mix simplicity with an urge to avoid needless complexity.
The way to make the complex appear painless is to consider flow in your structure. By creating a page that is smooth and intuitive and inspires flow, you make new users get up-to-speed more quickly, lower the chance that existing users leave your site and change to a different one and create users that promote your site to other people. That way you will get more users, increased activity, and bigger awareness of your site.
The first point in designing for flow is to determine certain goals for your future users. It's vital to create both an overarching goal and smaller, phased goals. Goals help users understand where they're going and what steps they have to take to arrive there.



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Standard Toolbar Icons

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Science Toolbar Icons


Icon editor ArtIcons Pro can find, extract, edit and create Windows icons in color depths up to 16 million colors. Import and export icon images, create and handle icon libraries. It supports the new icon format introduced in Windows XP (8-bit transparency). Download it

XP Icon editor IconXP can edit and create Windows icons in color depths up to 32-bit True Color. It supports the new icon format introduced in Windows XP (8-bit transparency). You can customize desktop and folder icons. Download it

Icon converter Any to Icon allows you to convert multiple BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, WBMP and WMF images to Windows icons in one action. It also breaks down entire icon libraries into individual icons. You can change color resolution and size to create customized icons. Download it

Icon editor and builder IconUtils is a complete icon and cursor solution. IconUtils package can edit icons and cursors, manage icon and cursor libraries, convert icons into images (in various graphic formats) and vice versa, customize Windows desktop and folder icons. Download it

Icon converter Icon to Any allows you to convert Windows icons and cursors into BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF, ICO, CUR, WBMP and RC formats. It has a wizard interface. It's simple to process multiple files at once. You can find icons and make images for use on Web pages. Download it

Cursor editor ArtCursors allows you to edit Windows cursors in color depths up to 16 million colors. You also can search files and folders for cursors, import and export cursor images and create cursor libraries for better and more efficient storage. Download it

Viewer AhaView supports all popular graphic formats, including JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, ICO, CUR, ANI, WBMP. You can browse images in thumbnail mode, view pictures full screen with zooming features, convert images to JPEG, PNG, BMP formats and manage files. Download it

Customize desktop icons CustomIcons is an ultimate tool for customizing the icons on you desktop, in Windows Start menu and many other locations. Using CustomIcons you can easily replace default Windows icons with the ones to your choice. Download it

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