Minimalism is the New Black

Brand minimalism, especially when it comes to logo design, is popping up everywhere lately. First there was news of Starbucks stripping coffee from its logo and re-touching the mermaid. Now, Target has followed suit and remains only a bullseye. Refreshing the brand image is a true test, however. People go to get “Starbucks”…they don’t go to get “coffee.” It also allows for expansion beyond just coffee products, which works since consumers have built a relationship with the brand and not just the product. Read the rest of this entry »

Blending the Digital and Real Worlds

JWT, one of the largest and well known advertising agencies in the world, released its yearly “100 Things to Watch”  list for 2011. If you haven’t been keeping up, the first few slides of the presentation will show you just how spot-on this group is with trend forecasts and you’ll know it’s worth a look. Click on the link above to view the full slideshow.

Something that stood out to me as an overall trend was a return to human face-to-face interaction. This is appearing in two slightly different ways, however, and they may not blend well. It also begs the question of what happened in 2010 that made some people start backing away from the digital world in such a deliberate way. Not only is it mentioned here on slide #25, but “Digital Downtime” is catching on in many countries. There are alternative cafes and restaurants opening in Germany, for example, where you’re not allowed to be “plugged in.” Seemingly on the opposite end of the spectrum Read the rest of this entry »

Landlines Passé?

Although she has seen and interacted with it, my grandmother just thinks my cell phone is my landline, convinced I’m not home when I don’t answer.

A recent report on phone use by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that; “in a first for any age group, more than half of Americans age 25-29 live in households with cell phones but no traditional landline telephones.” My older sister, 28, hasn’t had a landline since moving on her own 6 years ago. A foreign concept to me at the time, I have since seen this becoming a norm among peers. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Comments | Filed under: People, Tech, Thoughts

Advertising in 2010 – What’s Next?

Social media advertising really took off in 2010, along with a slew of other interactive advertising and commerce platforms. Here are a few other things we saw gaining popularity:

  • Location based promotions, games, and advertising
    • Check-ins with Foursquare, Facebook (Check-in at Times Square on New Years!), Gowalla, etc.
    • Google Maps and Places being branded and detailed (they’re calling local small businesses to get their online advertising, too)
  • Group buying deals

Mobile App Privacy: You Have More Phone Contacts Than You Think

With the percentage of Smartphone users growing by the day (and not to mention with the holidays), this article from the Wall Street Journal is a very interesting read!

Your Apps Are Watching You

Takeaways:

-over 50% transmitted the phone’s unique device ID to other companies without users’ awareness or consent

-nearly 50% sent the location

-around 5% sent age, gender, and personal details

-Of the 101 apps tested, the paid apps generally sent less data to outsiders

-Some developers feel pressure to release more data about people. Max Binshtok, creator of the DailyHoroscope Android app, says ad-network executives encouraged him to transmit users’ locations

“In the world of mobile, there is no anonymity,” says Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group. A cellphone is “always with us. It’s always on.” Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments | Filed under: Tech, Thoughts

Dell Seriously Watching Conversations: The Rise of Social Media Command Centers

Dell is at the top of the game when it comes to innovative customer service. The company already takes its social media efforts seriously by trying to satisfy a global customer base in soon to be 11 different languages. Now Dell has created a “Social Media Listening Center” that will monitor all conversations of Dell with plans of internalizing the observations. Dell’s main goal is to make sure even the smallest of voices are heard. It wants to take notes on even the smallest of issues in case they should flourish later.

Gatorade was the first to debut a “Social Media Command Center” earlier this year, naming it the “Gatorade Mission Control Center.” Not only is the information accessed in this centralized location, but employees also have access at their individual workstations. The main goal for Gatorade is to be the most involved company- the most participatory brand with its consumers. The company believes this approach will provide more access to what Gatorade has access to, like athletes and scientists, as well as providing a way to keep an eye on the issues facing the brand.

Personally I was surprised to see Gatorade as the first company to do this! Any thoughts on which company will be next?

A Trophy from Brantwood Children’s Home

LWT recently launched a revamped website for Brantwood Children’s Home as part of CreateAthon 2010. The site was given a look and feel to reflect the true nature of Brantwood- warmth and happiness. Brantwood is home to children ages 10-21 who are “at-risk.” The stories from the children who have lived here are truly incredible. I recommend taking a look at the new site and getting to know the organization! brantwoodchildrenshome.org

To show their deep appreciation, Brantwood had a trophy made for LWT. The children holding hands in a circle is very representative of the Children’s Home. We’re very glad we had the opportunity to work on this project and thankful for amazing places in the community like Brantwood!

Device Fingerprints Are The New Cookies

There’s undoubtedly a lot of controversy over internet privacy- especially when it comes to advertising. I came across an article today from the Wall Street Journal Online that sheds an interesting light on the advancements being made in online data capturing and just how these companies plan to use the data. Companies are now racing toward something called “Fingerprinting” to replace cookies. A quote from the article explains, “In short, fingerprinting is largely invisible, tough to fend off and semi-permanent.” Therefore, companies will be able to avoid the problems associated with cookies being blocked and deleted. The overall hopes of most companies seem to be detailed profiles of individuals combining everything from online browsing to offline data like property deeds. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments | Filed under: Tech, Thoughts

Hot Trend in 2010: Social Shopping

You may have noticed that many of the new popular technological developments are revolving around shopping. With the holiday season right around the corner, some of these new resources should come in very handy! An article series highlighting the Top Trends of 2010 in web technology began with a look at social shopping. A few examples of the main developments listed in the article include:

  • Groupon: offers discounted items to large groups who go in on the buying together.
  • Woot: offers deeply discounted items until a time limit or inventory level runs out.
  • Location Check-ins: many locations offer incentives for checking in while on the premises
  • Facebook Shopping: offers suggestions through linking your Amazon account and considering your interests and friend’s interests listed on Facebook.
  • Bar Code Scanning: apps allow users to scan bar codes and find the best prices

Read the rest of this entry »

Can Do Good: CAN-STRUCTURE 2010

“LWT turned the concept and production of Can-structure into a brand with a clear and succinct message. There is no doubt that the events notoriety throughout the River Region and now in Madison County, is due to the amazing graphic design, tagline and copy that make up the marketing collateral. Also, the fact the LWT designed the Can-structure brand at no cost is a testament to their commitment to Social Design and charitable giving.”

Andrea Jean

Director of Marketing

Find out more about the project and where you can see the structures: Can-Structure 2010

Veterans Find Social Media is a Natural Move

5 Reasons social media is a good fit for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs:

  1. Ability to put names and faces to the VA, which will create responsibility and make it more personal
  2. Cheap and easy way for organizations, such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American, to reach its vast number of members
  3. Brings all generations and all veterans together
  4. Provides a communication channel for those who are disabled, deployed, or just busy
  5. The VA wants to reach the new generation, so what better way is there than social media?

These points were gathered from How Social Media Is Making Veteran Service Organizations Better. As we saw with politics, social media has a place in any and every organization. This article does a great job of explaining why and how social media is being used for Veteran Affairs.

Don’t forget to thank a veteran today!

What do the front page of the Wall Street Journal, Young Boozer and LWT have in common?

Responding to client Young Boozer’s request to play up his unique name in his candidacy for Treasurer of the state of Alabama, we at LWT decided to set up a YouTube channel where we could upload a series of videos we shot for him: YouTube.com/yboozer.

It’s likely that Elizabeth Williamson, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, found this channel during a search for candidates with “unique names.” She led the Wall Street Journal story, landing on the front page last Wednesday, with Young Boozer’s tale of his “funny name.”

Search engines can’t index videos, so we spent extra effort optimizing the meta data associated with each video.  One of the tens of thousands of views was most likely by the writer for the WSJ. 12 of the first 64 words of this article are a direct quote from our video: Young Boozer – Funny Name, Serious Leadership.

As you read from the previous entry and have doubtlessly heard, social media played an interesting role in the mid-term elections. It was seen that in over 70% of the time, candidates with more Facebook friends won the election. So, it definitely seems LWT’s Young Boozer social media efforts were part of a much larger trend toward integrating new tools in the political landscape.

On a final note, Congratulations Young Boozer, our new Alabama State Treasurer!

*Collaboratively written by David Allred and Danielle Zeigler.

Did you get your “I Voted” Badge?

Voting has taken over social media networks across the board today. Facebook has a prominently placed “Today is Election Day” box posted at the top of user pages, touting an already 8 million+ “people on Facebook voted.” Foursquare is giving out “I Voted” badges for those who check in at polls, and so far the number is over 20,000. Twitter isn’t left out of the action, either. Prominent media outlets are using Twitter to post breaking news and updates on the elections.

People spend more time on social networks than any other sites, so the hope is that this will be a call-to-action. Younger people are less likely to vote, so bringing politics into digital media has great potential to reach the majority of these non-voters. Also, just as social media has transformed customer service, it may also make people feel more empowered and like they really do have a say. Today’s experiments, being socially inclined, should make it easy to figure out the impact.

Word-of-mouth is also largely important when it comes to voting. Not only will you hear your family and friends talk about voting, but now you’re reminded every time you log into Facebook and see who has already voted in that large blue box (along with the long string of status updates). Does this make you more inclined to get over to the polls?

Let us know if and how social media was part of your voting experience!

Buzzwords You Never Want to Hear Again

We’re all familiar with the little phrases and words that catch on each year, and subsequently, we all grow to hate some of them. I spent some time searching online, and it seems the most hated business buzzwords for 2010 are:

  • Rightsizing
  • 2.0
  • Best-of-Breed
  • Anything starting with Tw (as in Twitter related)
  • Value-Add
  • Offline (as in, “Let’s take this meeting offline”)
  • Circle back
  • At the end of the day
  • Footprint (impact)
  • Transparent
  • Bandwidth (referring to people or resources)

These are the recurring words I found posted on “worst buzzwords” lists across the web. My personal least favorite is “value-added” on anything.

Which business/marketing buzzwords of 2010 do you dislike the most?

2 Comments | Filed under: Thoughts

Working Pro Bono: Part Three

Part Three: Using Social Media for Causes

In honor of LWT’s 9th annual CreateAthon event, I’ll be covering a three part series on working for causes.

Social media is the new avenue for social good, and consumers expect more. A writer from Mashable reports that “93% of the top U.S. charities have a Facebook page, 87% have a Twitter profile, and 65% have a blog.” With 500 million+ users on Facebook alone, this is a big deal.

It also levels the playing field a bit for those non-profits who can’t afford to compete with marketing. A study done by emarketer reports that moms and millenials want to see more cause marketing in general. The study found, Read the rest of this entry »

Working Pro Bono: Part Two

Part Two: CreateAthon 2010 Coverage

In honor of LWT’s 9th annual CreateAthon event, I’ll be covering a three part series on working for causes.

CreateAthon 2010 at LWT began last Thursday with a kick-off meeting, filled with talkative and excited employees. We welcomed APT into our conference room and individual team meetings to cover what the groups were working on. The projects included a large variety of advertising and marketing efforts, such as: website development, strategic marketing plans, video, print and web design, branding, copywriting, photography, and much more. The night was full of laughter, creativity, and invaluable employee bonding.

Very brief notes on LWT’s CreateAthon activities: Read the rest of this entry »

Maintaining The Gap’s Brand Loyalty

Early this week The Gap launched a new logo- and was met with a huge backlash from fans on all social networks. With more than 2,000 comments supporting the old logo and a spoof Twitter account with thousands of followers, The Gap definitely got the message.

Ta da! People do care. The entire fiasco and public passion brought mass attention to the brand. Buzz, buzz, buzz! Not a week later, good old reliable blue box and tall skinny font is back. The Gap responded on its Facebook page by saying,

“Ok. We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback. We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers. So instead of crowd sourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.”

Could the logo redo and reinstatement be a metaphor for the Gap customers’ attitudes? Sales were down prior to the retool. Maybe new marketing is in order, but this turn of events tells us the blue box is not the problem.

Why such a strong reaction to the change? Is there comfort in the familiar? Or does the general (non design) public recognize bland brand when they see it?

We want to know what you think!

Collaboratively developed by Camille Leonard and Danielle Zeigler.

Working Pro Bono: Part One

Part One: Agencies Giving Back to the Community

In honor of LWT’s 9th annual CreateAthon event, I’ll be covering a three part series on working for causes.

Almost all agencies do pro bono work or help charities in some way at one point or another. It’s about giving a voice to those groups who can’t afford to compete in the advertising jungle. Students, such as those at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, are also giving hundreds of hours of work to local organizations (Read more…). Most non-profits simply don’t have the resources to create a high-quality, in-depth ad campaign, and it’s very unlikely that they have a regular volunteer with the skill and experience necessary to grab attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Trailer: Family Meeting by Miles Demott

“The Camber family, one of the oldest and most respected families in a city known for old and respected families, is about to sell Plantation Trust, the bank that cemented their fortune and made their name a household word. Although their lives seem to have been lived in full public view, this intensely private family is rife with secrets and scandals that potentially derail the sale and redefine the family itself as they meet each other again for the first time.

Cast with iron-fisted patriarchs, tight-lipped matriarchs, South American drug lords, and recently defrocked Baptist preachers, this bold debut novel explores the family behind the curtain, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, working the levers and buttons feverishly to maintain images and expectations they neither completely understand nor even begin to share as they span the generations, demonstrating that in both Charleston and the Camber family, surprises await behind the carefully-constructed facades.” -FamilyMeetingNovel.com

Carrie Armstrong Banks: Kudos to Miles DeMott on his first novel! As a test reader for this project, I can tell you it’s fast-paced, sarcastic, witty, tragic, humorous and unexpected – all with a Southern slant. If you’re looking to spend a weekend with a good book, order your copy now so you’ll have something to look forward to come mid-October!

Here are some behind-the-scenes shots, taken by Elmore Demott, for the book trailer produced by LWT! Click images to see larger versions, and check out more photos at http://www.facebook.com/familymeeting!

Behind-The-Scenes: Lately at LWT

Here’s a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at a variety of projects LWT has been working on the past few weeks:

Pecans 3

Pecans 2

Stephen, Shannon, and Mary Catherine worked on a photoshoot for a client.

stephen CAT

Stephen and Laura worked on a photoshoot for a CreateAthon client.

All tied up

LWT shot for Miles DeMott’s Family Meeting book trailer.

In The Alley

In The Alley

Around The Capital Building

LWT worked diligently on the commercial spot for the branding of the City of Montgomery campaign.

Click any of the above photos to view our Flickr page, complete with TONS of behind-the-scene photos, finished products, and much more!

The City of Montgomery – The Capital of Dreams

The City of Montgomery branding campaign officially launched yesterday. It was a huge undertaking but the members of LWT could not be more proud of the unveiling. Montgomery is looking forward to a bright future!

Here’s what some LWTers had to say:

“Looking forward! Where else in the world could be as central to modern US history as our city— and why should we rest on our laurels! I am so proud of our history but now is the time to reach for the stars! And we will.” -Camille

“…a city that is providing me an opportunity to follow MY dreams and looking toward the future.. I have lived in a city before and after a downtown revitalization .. i can tell you this is for sure a step in the right direction to bringing a city to life… props to Camille and the team for pulling off a HUGE victory for the city! PS YES MGM IS FULL OF STARS AND DREAMERS!” –Karla



City of Montgomery – Dreams Start Here from LWT Connect on Vimeo.

Here are some responses we’ve received after posting the commercial and photos on our Facebook Page:

Michelle Muse Condon: This is great, David and everybody at LWT. Makes you think about the things that you really do love about Montgomery.

Janet Bernardi Waldo: GOOSEBUMPS!

Leslie Nelson Dutton: I saw some banners go up on Dexter that look sooooo good! Great job guys! You are making Montgomery a better place :)


Retail Success
Start Your Dream
Start Something Fun
Click any of the above photos to view all of the City Branding photos on our Flickr!

Here’s my personal take: I relocated from southern Pennsylvania to Montgomery only 3 months ago, and I’ve already been exposed to so many great things in this city. Attending Rally in the Alley opened my eyes to all of the volunteering opportunities and a city full of passionate people willing to help; attending the last Biscuit’s baseball game allowed me to witness all the different groups of people coming together to enjoy a sporting event; meeting Young Boozer gave me a perspective on one man’s hope for the future of the treasury; during an MFA luncheon I learned about plans for revitalization of Cypress Pond Park downtown; and so much more. I’ve truly never seen a city so alive and excited for improvement in every single aspect.

The Dreaded Hunt: 72+ Resources for Job Searching with Social Media

With unemployment rates still hovering around 9.5% in the US, people are having to get creative with job searching. Social media is an often over-looked resource. It’s no longer what you know, or even just who you know, but a large blending of the two…mixed with a large dose of personal branding.  It’s not as difficult as it seems, though. Start by building your online profiles at sites like Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter. Pay attention to detail and make them consistent. Let your personality shine through the typeface.

Don’t choose online networking in place of face-to-face time, however. It’s still a good idea to pound the pavement and speak with people inside the companies. Get your face out there. A tidy and detailed online persona is vital, but it can’t replace personal interaction. Utilizing social media just makes the whole process a little easier.

Here are over 72 resources/tips/ideas for job searching with Social Media:

Facebook Places vs. Foursqaure: A Battle of Incentives & Convenience?

Ever since the debut of Facebook Places a few weeks back, the big question has been whether it could squish the gaining popularity of Foursquare. As of today, my research points to more people favoring Foursqaure, but there are a lot of things to consider when examining both options. Following are some points for both sides:

  • Consumer incentives are higher for Foursqaure. There are badges, mayorships, coupons, and tips.
  • There are already 500 million+ users on Facebook.
  • Business incentives may be higher for Facebook because of the number of users. Facebook places can be merged with a company fan page to display check-ins.
  • Foursqaure can be automatically linked to your Twitter and Facebook, so you can reach everyone you want to reach (…all those people already on Facebook).
  • Facebook Places includes maps and directions.
  • Friends can be tagged in Facebook Places. Be careful, though, because some people strongly prefer to have control over sharing where they are.

Here’s an article that breaks down the pros and cons of each: Facebook Places vs. Foursquare (On a Boat)

Some people suggest both could live on harmoniously, offering different services for different markets. It’s also important to remember that both are fairly new concepts. So, it seems time will tell.

Which do you prefer and why?

Through Stephen’s Lens: Commercial Shoot

Most of last week was spent with a handful of LWTers at any given time attending video shoots all over Montgomery for an upcoming commercial. The weather cooperated wonderfully, and all the hard work will be worth it when the commercial debuts. Asit comes closer and closer to being complete, it has numerous employees moved nearly to tears and every employee has chills.

A local restaurant was kind enough to allow Stephen to shoot inside, focusing on one table and the view through the window. After the shoot, he focused on providing the restaurant with some culinary photos. Below are some behind-the-scene looks from last Friday.

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes photos once the commercial airs!

Just Ask Twitter

Stumped on a question? Need a little help? Apparently all you need to do is ask the world of Twitter! Following is a personal example from LWT depicting how Twitter can be an important resource.

A client’s site, Chophouse Vintage Year, is featured on the Content Management System site, Perch, in which it was built. (View the feature here!)

Perch is a tiny CMS made for tiny sites. We chose to use this platform for Chophouse because it is simple to implement and use. It is a new (year or two old) CMS and I have been following their development and improvements for some time. They tweeted about needing example sites for specific business types to feature. I nominated, for lack of a better word, Chophouse and the rest is history.”  -Ben Shoults

This is a perfect example of social media use within businesses and how convenient and resourceful it can really be. Someone at Perch was able to simply type a request and receive relevant help immediately, rather than spending time searching. It also helps to promote the company’s website, and in turn, the agency who developed the site. Twitter facilitates connectivity and sharing in “real time,” so everyone from a personal-user to a business-user can benefit. As we can see, Twitter is not only catching on as a new customer service medium, but B-to-B as well!

Ways To Build A Loyal Audience To Your Website Part 2

While evaluating website analytics, the key indicators to examine are website visits, page views and the length of time spent on each page of your website. Why? The goal of any website should not only be to attract new visitors to your site, but also to retain previous visitors. But, how? Below is Part 2 of a 2 part series giving you ideas that can help you to create a loyal audience to your website.

6 ) Develop your site in a CMS
The most important aspect of using a CMS to develop your website is the dynamic nature the site will undertake. Not only will the software make for easier construction, but it also makes it easier to update. Keeping your content fresh is vital in today’s fast paced media environment. You also don’t need to be extremely tech savvy to use a CMS. This means you won’t need an ongoing maintenance budget as it can be maintained by staff. The CMS will be used as a kind of template or shell for your development. This will make it easier to change site-wide designs, such as a new logo which appears on every page. The system tools make it effortless to update and maintain, but the fact that it can be accessed anywhere and stores your information in a database makes it extremely convenient. Another huge advantage Read the rest of this entry »

The New Twitter

Yesterday Twitter began rolling out it’s new site preview to selected news outlets and big names, and it seems to be quite an improvement! The roll-out will take a few weeks to reach every Twitter account, and there will be a period in which you can switch from the classic version to the new “preview”.

(Skip to 1:10 for the action shots)

What’s Changing:

  • Two Panes: one for the old stream, and the other for viewing the details on a tweet. This will take up most of the screen, and it remains to be seen how this will impact custom themes & backgrounds for Twitter profile pages. You can be sure we’ll be keeping an eye on this in the coming weeks.
  • Dynamic Content: videos and Images are automatically displayed (from a dozen different sources, sure to grow over time). This means that in the future; posting videos and images will likely have a stronger impact on your followers, since the time-to-view for these pieces of content will be reduced for those who use the website to view their stream.
  • Related Content: additional related replies and geodata will be shown in the details pane.
  • Infinite Scrolling: scroll down and new tweets are loaded automatically (don’t have to click to load more).
  • Mini Profiles: clicking a username will give you a mini-profile without leaving the page.

What’s the Same?

Nothing under the hood is changed, this is all “body work”. Twitter will still be Twitter, still 140 characters, etc.

Their goal with this overhaul seems to be to improve the general user experience of their website, so that it more closely resembles the many third-party applications for posting/viewing your personal feed. Each feature is both a time-saver with a strong convenience factor. As a result, the new Twitter will keep users on-site a lot more, since all the dynamic content will be pulled in for them. It may be just the thing that opens the doors to a future in on-site advertising, securing a long future life for Twitter.

2 Comments | Filed under: Tech

Through Stephen’s Lens: Television Spot

Work for a new television spot began early this week when Camille, Lani and Stephen arrived in Old Cloverdale before sunrise to set up the shot.

Shooting at twilight gives you only a few moments of perfect contrast between the sky and man-made light and it looks like they got the shot just in time.

The crew will be working on this spot until the evening of Monday, September 20th and we’ll be posting some more behind the scenes photos and video as the week progresses.

New Faces at LWT

The LWT family is continuing to grow. To help us move forward in our efforts to meet demands and expand our services to clients, we brought aboard the following members:

Sherri Schmidt, Receptionist. Sherri is our gatekeeper; the welcoming face you’ll see as you walk in the door and the friendly voice you’ll hear when you call our office. Befriending her is a good idea! Sherri’s passions lay within in her ability to make a mean coffee as well as finding ways to make her life all aquatic. When she’s not at the LWT front desk, your best bet is to check a nearby body of water–be it her pool or the closest beach.

Brandon Johnston, Programmer. Brandon won the 2009 Best Beard Championship, but don’t ask him about it–he isn’t inclined to share too many details of his former pursuits. Instead, he has decided to take a break from the spotlight and pursue his real passion- programming. Graphic design has always been on his radar as a career path, but recently he has decided to expand his horizons and delve into web and interactive development.

Danielle Zeigler, Content Coordinator. Last, but not least, there is me. I recently traded Gettysburg, PA for the heart of the south. My interests include hard music, psychological thrillers, and habitually collecting all things cute–specifically kittens. LWT is always seeking out ways to continue to reach out to you, the endearing and devoted audience. That’s where I come in. When I’m not busy tracking down kittens for the next adorable “aww” moment to photograph, I will be opening up the doors to the backstage of LWT, sharing with you: recent works; behind the scenes footage; tips and advice on marketing; and upcoming events and details of all things LWT.

To get the full insider’s scoop on these fine folks, head over to our site: http://lwtconnect.com/people.aspx

Collaboratively developed by: Danielle Zeigler, Shawn Tritz, and Ben Shoults.

3 Comments | Filed under: People

The Best Browser Testing Environment

It’s one of the least known, least liked and yet most vital tasks that we web developers do on a daily basis. Browser Testing! Sadly, many developers out there do little to ensure that their design shines across all web browsers. Here at LWT we try our best to bring top-notch design and functionality to the full spectrum of popular browsers.

Virtualbox seamless mode FTW. Opera thrown in for kicks n' giggles.

Welcoming Ralph to our team:
After much torment, our old browser testing machine has died, may it rest in pieces. We just put together a new machine, lovingly named “Ralph”. This PC isn’t quite a hot-rod, but it’s been assembled for this particular job.

  • We started with an off the shelf bare-bone unit, and bulked it up with tons of ram.
  • Patched Windows 7 so that we can all remote-desktop into it at once (hurrah concurrent sessions!). We can share the browser-testing environment between PC and Mac users alike.
  • Installed Virtualbox, and created two Windows XP virtual machines (one for IE6 and one for IE7). Each of these has the bare minimum of upgrades so that the testing environment is as authentic as possible.
  • Installed all the other modern browsers in the Windows 7 host environment for good measure. IE9 included, but not shown above.
  • And lastly, Installed the developer tools for each browser (including each IE version).

Read the rest of this entry »