This portion of Lynch and Hortonís (2001) overview ties in nicely with the sections on Make a Theme
and Navigation Aids
. It deals with the necessity of using a template, or a prevalent style that remains constant throughout the entire site. It is all about uniformity.
Problems occur when users discover a lack of uniformity. When one page looks different or acts differently than the last, users land up concentrating more on the new environment then they do content. If the intent is to have users access instructional materials and instead they are bogged down with layout and design issues, the users will not have a successful learning experience on the site.
Make each page feel like it is part of a larger whole. Use text fonts and placements that are basically the same on all pages. Have graphical components that remain standard, too. Sites that follow this standard look professional and benefit from users who like them, are more likely to return to them, and possibly inform others of them.