Apr 18, 2012


Things I like about Pottermore:

  • The art is lovely
  • Attention to detail in the art and animation is fantastic: the car wiper starts when the mouse passes over it, cat tails swing, candles blow out and light when clicked on, the sausage sizzles when clicked on. Really good. My favourite is the scene inside Hogwarts Express: the animation shows the carriage bouncing on the tracks! (but it made the fans on my laptop go crazy)

  • The two layer idea is very clever. Allows for a lot more exploring and story telling, such as in the 4th chapter (I think) in the moment with flying letters where going into the second layer shows you the door nailed shut.
  • The eyes in the wand selection questions is so pretty~~

  • The wand selection quiz is much much better than the random ones you find on the internet and it's much better than I expected. I got Ash with Dragon core, 12 and a half inches, unyielding. I like it!
  • Ditto for the Sorting Hat. Good questions and really well drawn cards. I got sorted into Ravenclaw! I'm with you Helena! I don't really get the Wizard's Duel game though *shrugs* I'll figure it out. I realised after going back and forth a few times that the questions I got were different very time I went back. I got back the question I first had after the third refresh. That's fairly impressive.

Things that annoy me about Pottermore:

  • No real choice of usernames: they give you a list that you can choose from, and there wasn't even a convient refresh button that I could see. And the names sound like they came from a magic themed name generator (you know the ones where you can tell they have a list of words that fit the theme and they choose two at random and put it together? That's exactly what the Pottermore naming system looks like to me) with some ridiculously large number attached to the end. The choices are fairly ... I'll just say not as good as I had hoped (there are gems like MahoganyMidnight, UnicornWil, RoseWild etc.) Those could not have sounded more "My Immortal" style bad fanfic Mary Sue to the extreme if they tried. The lack of choice actually put me off enough that I abandoned the registration at that screen. It was only when Helena said that she'd add me that I went back and continued it and actually got an account. So it's all thanks to Helena, first for reminding me that the website existed so I went on it and encouraging me (though she hadn't realised it) to actually sign on. The option to give your friends a nickname is good because it helps me not lose track of my real life friends in that page.
  • So much clicking around blindly hoping it triggers something, incredibly annoying
  • Opening an account in Gringotts: how was I supposed to know that I'm supposed to dragged the key into the lock when all the controls before then was triggered solely by clicking and using the arrow keys?
  • Our pet will be our avatar? Again, very limited choice, no option to upload our own avatar.
  • Potions is glitchy and fairly hard to control, problems I ran into: you can not see the wand at first glance, or the second, or the third. It's a pale line that's easily mistaken with the other pale lines on the table (the porcupine spikes) and it almost completely obscured by the bags of ingredients. The mortar is hard to use, and I keep picking up the crushed ingredients instead. Turns out you have to click on the pestel (the bat shaped thing) to crush, missing and clicking on the mortar will only pick up the ingredients. The thing is, the pestel bounces, so it moves every time I click on it.
  • Not a lot of interaction possible between users, no chat, only comments and games.
Looking back, the complaints I have about the lack of choice can go both ways. It's annoying to have no control, but at the same time I understand that by not letting users have so much choice they can give a far more uniform and controlled experience. I can imagine all manners of weird and may-be-inappropriate usernames (I think the original purpose of that was to keep young children anonymous? Presumably they may be young enough to think that their real names are a good idea). It will be pretty cool to see all the avatars as strictly Harry Potter themed, which I'm sure wouldn't have been the case if user uploaded avatars were allowed. In the end it comes down to young children may use this and all else falls to second place behind ensuring their online safety.

Looking at the house points, I was thinking, wouldn't the house with the most students be at an unfair advantage? From that I extrapolated to the book, wouldn't that be the same for the real Hogwarts (for a given value of "real")


  1. Haha, with the mortar and pestle, I ALWAYS CLICK ON THE BOWL, NOT THE STICK THAT SMASHES IT UP.

    Your disadvantages were nicely outlined, pretty much what i would say. Oh, and the moments are '3 layered' not two, just in case you didn't know.

    I didn't like the carriage one, it was so annoying coz it kept moving. :\

    1. I'll try just clicking on the bowl next time.

      You're right with the moments being 3 layered, of course, I just arrow key up until I get everything.

      I actually liked the carriage one because it was moving :o I can see how it could be annoying.