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Examining the Role of De Facto Standards on the Web (13 Oct 2003)
In short, adhering to standard (or at least common) practices in website design can be beneficial, but also has a potential pitfall: creating a generic experience that is emotionally uncompelling. On the web there is an inherent tension between creating a uniform experience across sites (which lowers development costs and increases usability) and creating a unique, compelling experience.
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