Since I first signed onto CompuServe in the 1980s I have visited tens of thousands of websites—to date this one remains my favorite. Not because of the design (it’s plain), not because of the navigational structure (the use of frames makes it tricky to share links), not even because of the information (while lots of it is smart and innovative, I disagree with plenty of what Jim Watson, its author, believes and doesn’t believe).
It’s my favorite website because it is a crystal-clear example of a foundational principle: that design is opinion.
Yes or no. Left or right. Light or dark. To my way of thinking, the calling of a designer is to determine what you believe to be the source and meaning of truth and to use that knowledge to improve communication and perfect systems. If you’re good at it some significant number of folks will agree with you. If you’re not, you’re forced to dig deeper—there is no faking success as a designer.
I won’t spoil it by giving you the whole story, instead, I encourage you to take some time to explore Professor James Robert Watson’s website then to return here and tell me what you think.
Here, unabashed and in depth, is one designer’s opinion and his expression of it.
From the “Personal” section: Chronology of Jim’s life
Regarding the design/navigation evolution of the website…
The site when I first pointed to it in 2008…