Here are some suggestions for possible uses of the site, and some hints about how to achieve those usages.
This site contains information on characters that are used in the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi), a standardized test for students of Chinese as a second language. The characters used in the HSK are a standard for what characters one needs to know to be competant in Chinese. This is not the only possible standard, or even necessarily the best possible standard, but it exists and is well defined. As it happens, the HSK was recently revised. The "new HSK" started to be used in HSK testing centers around the beginning of 2010. If you are planning to take the HSK, the vocabulary list that you want to study is most likely the vocabulary list from one of the 6 levels of the new HSK. These vocabulary lists are published in book form by the sponsoring agency, Hanban, but don't appear to be officially published on-line. Unofficial copies of these vocabulary lists are available on this site.
This site's landing page, "http:huamake.com/web2_0.htm", contains text that reads "Characters used in the: old HSK, new HSK;". Click on the link labeled "new HSK", and you will be taken to a page containing lists of characters which or sorted by the HSK level that the character first appears in. The heading of each list of characters contains a link labeled, "Vocabulary List" which will take you to the appropriate vocabulary list for that level.
All text data at this site is encoded using UTF-8. So, the vocabulary lists should be copy-pasta-able into other programs from your browser, or you can study them where they are.
In the San Francisco area, the HSK is offered at The University of San Francisco (USF). You can use that link to find out more about their program, or through their site find additional links to a possably more convenient testing site, or further information about about the HSK itself.
The screenshot below labels parts of the landing page that you can interact with. Explanations follow.The landing page for this site, "http://huamake.com/web2_0.htm", displays information about a single Chinese character. This information includes, definition, pronounciation, a breakdown of the radicals that compose the character, links to other characters that share a selected radical with the current character, and a list of words that the character appears in. There are also links to external sites that contain additional information about the character. These external links include information on the character's etomology, an illustration of how to draw the character, usage examples, and a search for related Chinesepod lessons.
You can see from the functions described above, that this site contains a lot of information about each character, and links to outside sites for additional information. One of the things to be marveled about Chinese is that there can be so much to say about even an single character.
There are two methods for using this site to achieve flashcard-like functionality. The first is to un-check the "display pronounciation" and "display definition" boxes on the landing page (http://huamake.com/web2_0.htm). The second is to navigate to the list of Characters used in the HSK. You can mentally quiz yourself as to whether, or not, you recognize the characters in a particular list. If you are are unsure your recognize a character, you can move the mouse over it and a definition and pronounciation for that character will pop up. The latter technique may be most appropriate for those who are preparing for the HSK.
If you are completely without a clue where to begin, you can try using the graphical index. If you spot something that looks like a fragment of the character you are looking for, click on it. If any of the related characters that are displayed look like part of the character you are looking for, click on that. If you keep going, with a little luck, you will find the character you are looking for. If you know some characters and can enter them with an IME, there is another option that may be more efficient. Please, read on.
The techique described here requires that you already recognize many simple characters, but are still having trouble with less commonly used characters. Frankly, if you have the character in an electronic encoding, such as UTF-8, the easiest way is to look it up using an on-line dictionary, or a local program. However, Chinese characters often appear in printed material, or in pictures, where the electronic encoding is not available, unless you somehow manage to guess how to input that character into your computer. Guessing is not always fruitless, but after the first few trys, it is time to look for a short-cut.
If you know a character that shares a radical with the one you are searching for, there is a good chance that you can use that knowledge and this Web site to find the character you don't recognize. Once you find it, you will learn its pronounciation in pinyin and can use your favorite on-line dictionary to look it up, or you can explore the newly found character at this site. It is easiest to understand with an example. Suppose, you don't recognize the character 剂 but your recognize that the knife radical,刂, also occurs in 到。 You can then enter 到 into the "Enter Hanzi" field. Once the information for 到 appears, you can select the knife radical from the set of components of 到 in the upper left corner of the page. 剂 will appear in the list of characters sharing the knife radical, or you could observe that 文 occurs within 剂 and search in a similar way on that basis.
The advantage this technique has over traditional dictionaries, is that there isn't a "correct" radical to start your search with, and you don't have to count strokes. The advantage of this technique over electronic, hand-held dictionaries with character recognition, is that you don't need to draw the character using the correct stroke order, nor do you need fast drawing reflexes to avoid having the character recognition software time out before you finish drawing the character. If you don't know anything at all about characters, you are still up a creek without a paddle, but that fact is shared with the other available techniques.
In the course of putting together this Web site, I developed a strong sense that Chinese characters have mostly been assembled by combining a few simple combinations of strokes and existing characters. Some of these simple stroke patterns and simple characters are classified by traditional dictionaries as "radicals" (部首）and are used to index characters. Learning to recognize traditional radicals is certainly helpful in learning Chinese characters. However, there are more relationships between characters than are highlighted in this way. It seems these additional relationships are also helpful to learning Chinese characters.
You don't have to take my word for it. You can use this Web site to explore what characters contain other characters, patterns between how radicals are used, etc. I am confident you will learn something in this way.
A few examples will help to illustrate. 街 is 行 with 圭 stuffed in the middle. 圭 is itself two 土 stacked together. For a longer sequence, you can start with 木， double it up to get 林， put a 广 on top to get 麻， then shove in a 石 to get 磨. You can use the links on this site to look for other "matryoshka" characters. Or, the characters 隹，昔 and 亥 are all not commonly used as stand-alone characters, but are all quite productive in regard to appearing within several commonly used characters. Look them up on this site to see which famous characters they contribute to.
This site, itself, focuses entirely on the visual structure of characters. History certainly had an influence on how they developed, but they are what they are now, and there are visual patterns between them. Links on this site may be used to explore how they may have evolved. There are also stories about how various characters came to have their meaning, that can be helpful to learning them. However, I am mostly interested in organizing them visually so that I can memorize them, and this site reflects that bias.
This page can be used to convert Simplified Chinese to Traditional Chinese, or visa versa. It doesn't attempt to deal with a number of tricky issues, though. The tricky issues include multi-character words that use different characters, but have equivalent meanings, such as, 软件 and 軟體, and Simplified characters that map to different Traditional characters, depending on meaning.
Last summer I spent four weeks in Beijing as a student of Chinese on weekday mornings and a tourist the rest of the time. When a friend of mine, who lives in Nanjing heard of my experience, she started cooking up schemes to setup a similar program in Nanjing; basically make arrangements with a local university for the teaching part, and be tour guide for the rest. I think it needs around 15 people to make sense. Anyway, if you are interested, send me an email. If I get enough emails on the topic, I will try to make it happen.