The Portent Blog

Portent Placeholder Design & Development

21 May, 2009

4 Truly Awful Banners, And What We Can Learn From Them

By Ian Lurie

First, I apologize. If you are the person who designed any of these, I know full well you created something great. Then your client came and said “It needs more text” or “I need to explain the entire history of my company in a 730 x 90 space”. And your dream project was ruined. I… Read More

Portent Placeholder Design & Development

30 Mar, 2009

For Design, Focus Groups Suck

By Ian Lurie

Don’t take my word for it. Jakob Nielsen said it best in 2001. Of course you can try a focus group. Do your design. Then put 10 strangers in a small box, give them free candy, point 10 cameras at them and start firing questions. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure there’s a painfully… Read More

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Portent Placeholder Design & Development

26 Feb, 2009

The Golden Rule of Graphic Design

By Portent Staff

  The Magic Number If you have ever had any interest in the art of graphic design, chances are you have heard of the golden ratio. Throughout history, artists, mathematicians and musicians alike have studied this peculiar number. Some say that it is the most aesthetically pleasing of all proportions, while others contend that this… Read More

Design & Development

4 Feb, 2009

4 Cheats For Faster Web Site Rollouts

By Ian Lurie

I’m lazy. It’s a good property in a geek. So I try to avoid repetitive work. But in my line of work you end up launching lots of sites, most of which don’t have to win design awards. They just have to be super-easy to use. Here are a few tools that, whether you’re just… Read More

Portent Placeholder Design & Development

31 Oct, 2008

Quick Photoshop Tip: Make your product images shine.

By Portent Staff

When designing a website for a business, it’s easy to overlook the little things. A lot of time is spent on design, layout, and development. Other, less glamorous things like image file size and product images are often overlooked. Attention to the little details in a website can make all the difference in the world… Read More

Design & Development

25 Sep, 2008

Create Better Slide Presentations: slide:ology

By Ian Lurie

At conferences, three things are a constant: Lack of healthy food. Overabundance of alcohol. Really godawful Powerpoint or other slide presentations. I’ve spent a long time huddled alone in the dark, thinking I was the only one who hated seeing 25 bullets on a slide, individual animated letters and various other forms of visual vomit… Read More

Portent Placeholder Design & Development

18 Aug, 2008

Does Web 2.0 still look good? Did it ever?

By Portent Staff

Web 2.0 was sighted at a local party last evening. Many who attended expressed that he was ‘Not as cool as we remembered.’   Recently I was poking around a few design blogs and noticed something interesting. It seems like the trends and styles that were so popular only a year ago are starting to… Read More

Portent Placeholder Design & Development

3 Aug, 2008

A Firefox Quirk You May Not Be Aware Of

By Portent Staff

When I was making some updates to the Portent Blog, I came across a strange problem. Whenever I highlighted the text with my cursor, I would get no visual feedback showing me what I had highlighted. I’ve actually run across this on a couple of other sites, which is why I thought I should share… Read More

Portent Placeholder Design & Development

18 Jul, 2008

How to Design Your Site Like It’s 1999

By Portent Staff

The internet today is filled with tutorials on how to design your web site ‘web 2.0’ style. I thought it would be fun to teach you some of the horrible design trends from the past. So I invite you to return to a simpler time, a time when people still listened to TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’… Read More

Portent Placeholder Design & Development

16 Jul, 2008

7 Ways to Lower Your Home Page Bounce Rate

By Ian Lurie

If you take the time to build a web site, you’d like most folks to stay on it for a while. Visitors who show up and leave 3 seconds later aren’t generally helpful. You want to lower your bounce rate. Here are a few tips for doing just that. What’s Bounce Rate, Anyway? Bounce rate… Read More

Design & Development

10 Jun, 2008

Conversation Marketing: Now Standards Compliant

By Ian Lurie

Finally. With a lot of help from my staff, I’ve got a blog that’s W3C standards compliant: I know you’re saying “So?” right now. But I have to get my little victories where I can. My CSS would be compliant, too, except for the stupid hacks we have to make for Internet Explorer. Bill, Bill… Read More

Design & Development

3 Jun, 2008

15 Blog Designs That Inspire Me

By Ian Lurie

In internet marketing, you have to design something, eventually. When I’m stuck I do what any good creative does: Steal. Here are 15 blogs from which I regularly steal get ideas. A List Apart A List Apart is an old favorite of mine. The design is one of the best examples of a 3-column layout… Read More

Design & Development

30 Apr, 2008

Stock Photos Don’t Have To Suck

By Ian Lurie

Stock photos don’t kill campaigns. Campaigns using stock photos kill campaigns. I just found a very smart (and funny) article about stock photos on Information Rain. Chris’s point: Most stock photography is just awful. But fear not! You can use stock photos without looking ridiculous. Here are a few tips: Choose Photos With a Purpose… Read More

Portent Placeholder Design & Development

25 Apr, 2008

Create Rusty Metal Text in Photoshop: Tutorial

By Portent Staff

Recently I was looking for a way to make some cool rusted metal text in Photoshop, and after searching through a few metal text tutorials on Google I decided that all of them were garbage. So I messed around for a while and created my own.

Portent Placeholder Design & Development

7 Apr, 2008

Actionscript 3 Particles Tutorial

By Portent Staff

  Today I’m going to show you how to do something a little more fun than usual. We’re going to be making a simple particle system in Flash CS3. Subscribe to my RSS feed on Veoh  Actionscript 3 Particles Tutorial Part One Actionscript 3 Particles Tutorial Part Two