An expert shares his insights
Photo courtesy Jason Levine
Jason Levine is the Creative Director of Ramp Technology Group and a professor of interactive design and information architecture at the University of Washington.
For more than 15 years, Jason has guided companies and organizations in user experience design and brand solutions for interactive media. For three years, Jason was Creative Director in London, overseeing five brands for Virgin’s Travel Group.
He’s worked with dozens of clients including Virgin, Vodafone, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Premera Blue Cross, ABC television, All Recipes, the State of Washington, General Motors, and Match.com. Jason attended the School of Arts at California State University Northridge and has won industry awards for his designs.
What are the essential elements to a great website?
There are four fundamental pillars to a good website or any interactive product. You need to think of brand. You need to think of content. You need to think about engagement. And you need to think about being user-centric. When you think about being user-centric, you’ll be thinking about how to optimize the experience to make it simple and functional.
Miss any one of those four things and it can take you down. I see this all the time where you’ll have bad labeling or there’s a convoluted process to do something. Sometimes, there’s a lack of purpose, so the user will wonder why they are there.
Ian Lurie, CEO of Portent
When I heard Ian Lurie say that everything you want to know about internet marketing can be learned by watching the TV show “Duck Dynasty”, I knew I had to meet him.
Lurie was the guest speaker at the University of Washington Web Council, an informal group of IT professionals at the UW who meet monthly to share technical advice. Often, a guest speaker graces the program. The speakers I’d heard to date had been interesting and their content was a value-add to my mornings at Web Council. None, however, had been as quirkily interesting as Lurie.
Refreshingly devoid of jargon, Lurie’s talk – “Weird, Useful, Significant: Internet Marketing in 2013” – focuses on retaining clients by creating captivating content, buoying it with excellent service, and making sure that it is significant in the ecosystem in which those clients live.
Our talk about Lurie’s take on internet marketing and the sea changes he’s seen in that sphere since the mid-nineties also took us into well past Duck Dynasty to some serious advice about succeeding in the internet marketing world. We started with his own path to the business.
The child of university professors, Lurie grew up in a home where computers were ubiquitous. He didn’t consider them anything extraordinary and when the moment to choose a college major arrived, he picked history – one of his passions. That liberal arts road led him to a law degree, but he practiced only briefly. Law wasn’t a passion. He’d always loved to write, and he also enjoyed data. Two years at a marketing firm gave him the confidence to start his own firm, and in 1995 he did that with Portent, an internet marketing firm nested high in the Smith Tower, overlooking the streets Lurie plied as a bicycle messenger during his early days in Seattle.
After weeks of Timmy the mascot taunting us – SIC is here. You’ve been waiting for it, and now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get dirty with digital. Here are our top five tips to get the most from your Social Interactive Conference experience this year at #SIC2013.
See below* for a BONUS SIXTH TIP from #SicShingy
Follow the hashtag #SIC2013 on your favorite social feed.
Subscribe to the #SIC2013 speakers twitter list.
New this year: each panel has its own hashtag. Make sure to use the right one for your panel.
Gretchen Krampf of Process Experts
Photo by Carolyn Higgins
“Immersive.” That’s my one-word description of the StoryDome experience.
The 13-by-25-foot inflatable dome is a portable theater with a curved, 360-degree screen. It fits about 25 people, completely surrounding all of them with the story. To say they are watching a film doesn’t really cover it; they are experiencing it.
“It really taps into awe and wonder,” said Gretchen Krampf, President of Process Experts and a board member of New Stories, a nonprofit organization that’s developing the StoryDome project. Although the dome was in use at another festival, she used images to show it to the audience of about 100 filmmakers and industry professionals at the Seattle Interactive Documentary Summit on Thursday.
You may have seen the dome at Seattle Center last year during the celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World’s Fair. Visitors got a chance to see Earth Portal, a 30-minute tour of the universe. iPads with NASA apps were available to those who wanted a second screen, Krampf said.
A creative team produces films specifically for the dome. People at the conference got a look at a film called “Where Many Voices Meet,” exploring the Puyallup Watershed.
Communities and organizations around the country can rent the portable theater for their own projects. Krampf said she hopes the theater will be used in classrooms, planetariums and science programs.
If you are interested in working with the StoryDome or learning more about it, visit www.newstories.org.