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We hold these truths to be self-evident

Readers from America might recognise the title of this muse. The Declaration of Independence prefaces the Statement of Human Rights with the phrase: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident'.

Hmmm, bit of a leap - Declaration of Independence to Internet marketing, so why is it here?

Well ... the phrase reflects my philosophy on website design. To me, much of what a website should be is blindingly obvious - that is, self-evident. Web pages should download quickly, for example. Or that surfers don't like having to download software in order to use a site. Or that the website should have the objective of meeting the needs of the user, not the designer.

Sadly for the industry [but gladly for some practitioners, consultants and academics who get paid to put them right] many cannot, or will not - see the blindingly obvious. Instead they recognize only what they perceive as the obvious.

Unfortunately for them - and the publishers of any websites they are involved in - they should be looking at what the user [read, customer] thinks is obvious.

But then if you've read any of my other stuff, you will already have realized that 'we hold these truths to be self-evident' is not a million miles from 'when you are inside the bottle, you can't read the label'.

How to cite this article:
Charlesworth, A. (2008). We hold these truths to be self-evident. Retrieved [insert date] from

This page was first published around 2008.
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