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A great site is a usable one


In web design, when you think about flow we usually think about "task flows" or "flow charts" but there's another type of flow that we should keep in mind. It's that feeling of total absorption when you're engaged in stuff you love to do and are not disturbed by frustration or boredom due to steps that are misdirecting, repetitive or overly taxing.
Flow, as a mind state, was first introduced by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and is described by a incorrect sense of time, a deficiency of self-consciousness, and complete participation in the process at hand. Program engineers often experience 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 hope to achieve in the users of our site.
How can we create sites that inspire that feeling? Well, it begins with a site that sorts out 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 design a simple page. The purpose should be to design a page that feels intuitive to use no matter how complex it actually is. But wait, you may think, hasn't there been a simplicity trend in the design field over the last few years? Yes, but there's a learning curve for any site that seeks to sort out a difficult task. We shouldn't confuse usability with a desire to avoid excessive complexity.
The way to make the complex feel painless is to consider flow in your structure. By creating a page that is smooth and intuitive and engages flow, you help people get up-to-speed in a shorter time, lower the chance that existing users get bored your page and switch to another and create users that promote your site to their friends. That way you will get more users, growing activity, and bigger awareness of your page.
The primary point in designing for flow is to determine clear goals for your users. It's important to develop both a global goal and smaller, incremental goals. Goals help users understand what is their final destination and each step they'll 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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