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Why put usability first


With web design, when you think of flow we usually mean "task flows" and "flow charts" but there's a different type of flow that we should keep in mind. It's that impression of complete absorption when you're doing stuff you love to do and are not disturbed by anxiety or boredom caused by tasks that are misdirecting, too long or overly taxing.
Flow, as a mind condition, was first introduced by psychology scientist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and is described by a distorted sense of time, a low level of self-consciousness, and total engagement in the task at hand. Software engineers often feel it when they're writing code, gamers do feel it when playing Guitar Hero III, Christopher Cross felt it when he started his trip. For design artists, it's exactly the feeling we hope to promote in the users of our site.
How do we create sites that promote that feeling? First, it begins with a page that solves a challenging problem and is complex enough to require a certain degree of learning by people who use it. The purpose should not necessarily be to create a simple page. The purpose should be to develop a page that is painless to navigate no matter how complicated it really is. But wait, you might be thinking, hasn't there been a simplicity movement in the design field over the last few years? Yes, but there's a learning curve for all the sites that want to sort out a difficult task. You shouldn't mix simplicity with an urge to avoid excessive complexity.
The trick to make the complex appear painless is to consider flow in your design. By developing a page that is smooth and intuitive and engages flow, you help people get up-to-speed in a shorter time, reduce the chance that existing users get bored your site and change to a different one and produce users that recommend your page to their friends. That results in more users, growing activity, and bigger awareness of your site.
The primary point in creating for flow is to set certain goals for the users. It's vital to develop both a global goal as well as smaller, phased goals. Goals help people understand what is their final destination and what steps they have to take to get there.



 Standard Toolbar Icons

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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