PROVIDIAN CORP. uses iconography reminiscent of the Works Progress Administration to convey the image of strength and stability through its Web site. Called "Your Financial Workplace," it went live in August and gets about 8,000 hits a day. The diversified, Louisville-based insurance company showed various prototypes to focus groups before settling on the "retro" design.

The 200-page site lets surfers calculate insurance and retirement needs. But the most popular section has been the one on career opportunities, said project manager Greg Pacheco. (

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