"A sober and elegant presentation; fluid and unconstrained as if reading a newspaper." —juror Véronique Brossier
"A nice balance of experimental and usable. The portfolio is presented in a fresh way without the viewer ever feeling lost or confused." —juror Jill Nussbaum
Overview: The age of Web 2.0 and consistent (and strict) usability standards have brought with them a lack of experimentation. Along the way, developers learned to ignore their innate instincts to explore. To be surprised. To play. This promotional site alters the function of a Web browser so it functions merely as a frame for holding a very large canvas and displays Nessim Higson's portfolio of work in a manner that invites people to play. Created in Flash, the "redundant" navigation is the site's key feature and gives visitors more than one way to get around the site.
• From start to completion, the project took about a month—over the course of several months—in between client work.
• The site contains 33 projects and several "intermissions" that are important to the flow of the site and reflect Higson's artistic views about the potential and power of design.
• The ability to view work in an expansive canvas enables visitors to encounter and experience the work in a somewhat unorthodox manner.
Comments by Nessim Higson:
What compelled this redesign of your site? "I've redesigned and released the various iterations as a way to stay current with changing trends. I usually treat each new release as a way to showcase new work as well. The latest version of my site was a direct response to the consistent standardization happening on every portfolio site these days—on one hand exciting and on the other vanilla and bland in that the true voice of one's work begins to feel commonplace merely by the container that holds it. My opinion would likely cause heated debate and discussion, but I believe the containers that hold our work are an extension of the work itself."
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? "Probably the most challenging aspect we encountered during the build was the creation of the canvases. The aspect of pushing and pulling the medium, experimentation, is constantly appealing so each one was a unique design in and of itself. The last iteration of the site (in the 2007 Interactive Annual) investigated aspects of interaction and how people experience work, this one breaks barriers by not creating them and transforms the delivery platform."
What was the response to the site? "The audience for my site is varied; the obvious, immediate target is the creative community, but my intention was to cause discussion within other parts of society. One of my goals when creating the site was to challenge people and their perception of what the Web is and how content should be experienced. The response was exactly what I envisioned—mixed, which I think is great."