So why do they all look alike?

In general, the developers of tools of this sort, aware of the fact that their clients are captivated by the graphic possibilities of the World Wide Web, provide a large amount of images from which the site's designers can pick and choose for inclusion on their pages. Choosing a graphic is often a drawn-out process of loading a web page with a huge selection of pictures, and clicking on the desired one. This process has to be repeated each time a new graphic is needed, and since loading a page with so many images can be very time consuming, a great deal of patience is required to choose the graphics for an entire site.

But with so many possibilities available, one would expect to find more variety on the sites of schools that use this tool. It turns out that the vast majority of schools ultimately rely on a very limited selection of graphics even though the amount of choices is huge. In other words, they all seem to have a pre-determined picture in their minds of how the various sections of a web site should look, and they're more than happy to choose the most standard possibilities offered. This perhaps explains the feeling of deja-vu that a first-time visitor to a site of this sort experiences. Unless the designers are trying their hardest to be particularly creative. But though there's nothing particularly impressive in these sites, one gets the feeling that Jakob Nielsen (on one count at least) might be pleased.

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