Design & Development

QA is Like being a Priest in World of Warcraft

by Portent Staff 20 Feb, 2008

(A quick note: If you don’t know World of Warcraft, skip about 4 paragraphs down. If you do know it, it’s thoroughly worth reading and pertinent. We at Portent love to geek out now and then.) My best friend and her boyfriend recently started playing World of Warcraft, so I’ve reactivated my account after a… Read More

New icon blue glass, isolated on white background Design & Development

A New Look for Portent Interactive

by Ian Lurie 19 Feb, 2008

We just launched a new look for my company, Portent Interactive. I lost the battle to keep my picture the hell off the site. I did win the typographical battle though, so we opted for a larger typeface. We’ve also added a (gasp) blog where the Portent team can dwell on everything from design to… Read More

Design & Development

When In Web Design Doubt, Simplify: Aldebaran Web Design Review

by Ian Lurie 24 Jan, 2008

Jill bravely volunteered her site for a review and six recommendations. In internet marketing, like any other form of marketing, the simplest message that communicates, wins. The poster with one compelling sentence will do better than one with a so-so photograph. The web site that attempts to do the least wins, too. The Aldebaran… Read More

Design & Development

Get Your Site Reviewed For Free (Only Cost: Public Humiliation)

by Ian Lurie 15 Jan, 2008

Hey! I’m not doing this any more. Click this link for my nifty new video site reviews. Once, a long time ago, I contacted Alan Weiss of Summit Consulting. I asked him if I could review his site on my blog. He replied: NO. YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION. In all caps, just like that.… Read More

Design & Development

Amazon Flunks Usability 101? Say it ain’t so…

by Ian Lurie 17 Dec, 2007

Amazon needs to read GrokDotCom a little more. When creating links, use the words that call for action – the trigger words. Amazon failed to do that here: If you’re going to sign in, which words would you click? ‘Personalized recommendations’? Or ‘sign in’? Personally, I’d click ‘sign in’. But Amazon linked from ‘personalized recommendations’.… Read More

Design & Development

Friday Book Review: MarketingSherpa Landing Page Handbook

by Ian Lurie 7 Dec, 2007

I’m an old fart when it comes to landing pages. I started working with them way back in 2000 or so (gasp). So I can be a bit hard to impress.
MarketingSherpa’s Landing Page Handbook managed, though. It’s absolutely crammed with useful tips, factoids, research and best practices.

Design & Development

Wii Want to Buy. Target Doesn’t Care?

by Ian Lurie 4 Dec, 2007

Have you tried to buy a Wii lately? Target stores apparently doesn’t want you to. Ever. I visited a few major retailers’ sites, found by searching for ‘Nintendo Wii’ on Google: To me, the Target ad means ‘buy a Wii from us’. So I clicked on the ad, and got this page: No console. Lots… Read More

suggestion box small Design & Development

Feedback About the New Look, Please

by Ian Lurie 1 Nov, 2007

As you can see, we’ve just redesigned the Conversation Marketing blog. While the feedback I’ve received has been mostly positive, I also noticed that pageviews have dropped a bit in the last week. So, if you have a moment, please post a comment with your thoughts/likes/dislikes about the new design. I appreciate your feedback.

Design & Development

Great Version of ‘Captcha’

by Ian Lurie 27 Oct, 2007

I regard ‘captcha’ – those crazy letters and numbers you have to type in before submitting a form – as a necessary evil. But it’s definitely evil:


I mean really, is that a ‘w’? Or a ‘u’ and a ‘v’? It’s a usability nightmare.

Design & Development

Key to a Great Web Site: Fire the Committee

by Ian Lurie 11 Oct, 2007

Sage words from Seth Godin: “Fire the committee. No great website in history has been conceived of by more than three people. Not one. This is a dealbreaker.” Web design by community never works. The 2-3 times I’ve seen it tried, design stretched out for months, my designers started developing nervous twitches, and the final… Read More