Stefan Sagmeister is one of the more important graphic designers of our time. This past weekend he won a Grammy for Best Boxed or Limited Edition Package. Surprisingly -- or actually, maybe not surprisingly at all -- his firm's website is extremely usable. Many designers'/artists' websites provide a less than satisfying experience (brilliant though their work is). Not Sagmeister's. Its big chunky buttons and clear navigation couldn't be easier to use (except, perhaps, if it didn't use Flash so unnecessarily, which oddly crashed my copy of Firefox) -- despite the way they appear in different places and even at different angles on the portfolio pages.
The buttons are, of course, self-consciously/ironically designed to be really, really, really button-y, but the joke doesn't compromise usability. Usable doesn't have to be boring or dumb.