Hilary Mason writes about what she’s learned about travel: take half as much stuff as you think you need, and twice the money. In other words: prepare less and be resourceful more. This leads to flexibility and great surprises.
Someone on Svbtle wrote about design in the same way. When you approach the layout of a page with a standard template in your hand, you’re bringing what you think you need to make the page quickly. This limits you! It limits the page. This particular part of the site may not need a login link at the top, or a search bar. Perhaps something else would be better in that spot, or nothing.
A great web site is more than functional. It’s an experience. Optimizing user experience, like taking a trip, is best done with less baggage.
Let go of decisions you’ve already made and look afreash at today’s feature, today’s adventure.
I wish Svbtle had a search feature that I could find 🙁 I’d link that post if I could.