design patterns

#163 Design systems with Jina Anne

Jina Anne joins us to talk design systems. Jina has for a number of years worked as the lead designer with the Lightning Design System at Salesforce and has been working with style guides since 2004. We dive right in and ask what a design system. How do you make sure people stick to the design system? How flexible or rigid should it be?

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#51 James & Per & Brad go future friendly

We’re joined in Episode 51 by mobile web strategist and front-end designer Brad Frost. Brad’s blog posts have featured in a number of UX Podcast link shows, and he’s a bit of an ideological soul-mate of James and Per.

We talk about breaking down silos, standing up and doing things “right”, the importance of consistency, the usefulness of frameworks and style guides – and, of course, Future Friendly.

(Listening time: 45 minutes)


Brad Frost


Per: Hello and welcome to UX Podcast episode 51. You’re listening to me Per Axbom.

James: And me James Royal-Lawson.

Per: It is 51, isn’t it?

James: I reckon so. It says 51 on my notes here.

Per: Excellent.

James: I know it’s going to be difficult for you because you’re jetlagged.

Per: I am extremely jetlagged and I’ve had like an excellent vacation. But I had the worst ending to it with the travels back to Sweden and I must say it took us almost 40 hours to get from Detroit to Stockholm.

James: I was following your adventures on Facebook. It didn’t look fun.

Per: Yeah, it was insane. First, the flight was delayed hour after hour after hour and then finally then it was actually cancelled and the whole family had to sleep on the airport floor and spend the whole day at the airport again and then leave again in the afternoon.

James: But I’m so impressed that your luggage arrived.

Per: I am too actually, because we were rebooked on different flights all over all the time but our luggage actually made it at the same time as us to Sweden, so that was really good.

James: Impressive. One thing though Per.

Per: Yeah.

James: You got to be careful. What you need to try and do is not let this be your holiday story.

Per: Very true actually because this actually hooks into what we were talking about last week with these psychology theories that we’re all into these days with the peak-end theory. I was actually thinking about that. So this was the end of the thing and that was the peak of the thing almost. Unusually that’s what basically – mostly remember from it and that’s what you can begin talking about.

James: Yeah, it’s top of mind. It’s the most recent memory. It’s the most recent adventure during your holiday. So someone asks you how your holiday was, you say it was fantastic but you might be going home. Exactly what you did when I asked you how it was.

Per: Yeah, exactly but that’s also the fun part to talk about sort of.

James: Yeah. Hold on. That must be episode 52 or something. This is episode 51 and in this episode we’re going to be talking to Brad Frost.

Per: Yes, we are. Excellent.

James: Yeah.

Per: And we have Brad also on the last show. We talked about one of his articles.

James: Yeah, we talked about his articles.

Per: And then we had some contact with him on Twitter and you thought it was a good idea to interview him. I thought as well and he thought as well.

James: Well, let’s ring him then.

View the full transcript

Per: All right. Let’s go for it.

James: Yeah.


Brad: Hello.

Per: Hello Brad.

James: Hello there.

Brad: Hey, how are you?

Per: Hey. We’re fine.

Brad: Can you hear me alright?

Per: I hear you great.

James: I can hear you Brad. Yeah, I can hear you Brad.

Brad: Perfect. I just got a new sort of like recording set up for music and so I’m using that and this is like my first time playing around with it.

James: Oh, that’s really nice of you. Are you going to give us a song as well Brad?


Per: Excellent. I’m actually cooped up in my bedroom because the kids are outside playing Xbox in the living room and that would be too loud.

Brad: Nice.

James: I’m actually in my office which is in the house in the garden. My kids are cooped up in the cellar, playing Skylanders.

Brad: Nice. My kid or should I say my dog is outside and I’m actually – if you want to hold on just like a couple of seconds, I forgot I left him out there. So I got to bring him back in. Hang on one second.

James: Sure.


Per: So waiting for Brad to get his dog.

Brad: All right. I’m back.

Per: That’s OK.

Brad: My dog Ziggy, I love him but whenever I’m at my computer, so he will come up and just sort of claw at me and he’s like hey, you shouldn’t be on your computer right now. You need to be paying attention to me. So I’m like oh, maybe you need to go outside.

Per: Oh, wow.

James: Brad, I got a friend who does a podcast and he has Basset Hounds and they really love being in and around when he’s doing his podcast.

Per: Oh, wow.

Brad: Yeah.

James: And drooly.

Brad: Yeah.

Per: So excellent that you wanted to be on the show.

Brad: Yeah.

Per: We don’t know yet what we will be talking about. We had some ideas of talking about future friendliness. But let’s, I mean you’re based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Brad: Yeah.

Per: And I had to check sort of. That’s like 250 miles west of New York or four hundred kilometres.

Brad: Yes.

Per: Yeah.

Brad: So it would basically take you around six, six and a half hours or something to drive home, maybe between five and half and six and a half hours to drive west, pretty much straight west.

Per: Right.

Brad: From New York, which I did a lot because actually up until last year, I was living in New York City.

Per: Oh, OK.

Brad: Yeah. So I was there for five years and actually Pittsburgh is home and so I’m sort of moving back home, which I’m really happy with that decision.

Per: So based on the quick research we’ve done about you, we think alike very much. Both James and I follow your blog and I think we’ve – I mean last time wasn’t the first time we talked about one of your posts.

So given that we’re very similar, I was trying to think about a subject for us to talk about and I was looking through the front page of your website and very similar subjects but the one that caught my mind or caught my eye rather was the future friendly as one of your services where you actually say something about offering future friendliness. I‘m going to try and bring it up here actually because I had it before.

“In order to deal with tomorrow’s diversity, we must acknowledge and embrace unpredictability as well as think and behave in a future friendly way.”

Just embracing unpredictability and behaving in a future friendly way, that seems like kind of a hard thing to do and I think that’s something we all come across. How long have you been doing UX work or do you even call yourself a UX designer?

Brad: Yeah, actually I do even though I’m technically a developer. I actually sort of get into these little battles with people about stuff like that just because I get really annoyed whenever people try to silo our disciplines into these very neat, tidy buckets.

James: Yeah.

Brad: So the UX designer is technically historically like an information architect or somebody like that. The agency I worked at, they called them interaction designers but they were basically just making PDFs all day. They were making wireframes in InDesign, like that. That’s not really interaction and then you have visual designer is like oh, you’re just the people that are colouring the lines and oh, developers. You’re just these techy blah. I especially hate the developer role or title because really it’s just we “creative” people will be over here doing all this fancy thinking and stuff and you’re just going to be the little monkey that actually hooks it all up and makes it work and stuff.

So that has been the story of my career has been trying to fight against that sort of developer only as this person that you call into a meeting to just say, “Yes, this is feasible. No, this isn’t feasible. Yes, this is feasible. No, this isn’t feasible,” and like seriously that’s how it works.

James: And I know. I’ve had a very similar time as well. I spent most of my time crossing these bridges and trying to make these silos talk to each other and we actually started the entire podcast just over two years ago and after been at UX Lx and hearing everyone there, just all these UXs complaining about how theirs is the perfect silo and how all the other silos don’t understand them and they just need to listen to – start listening to them.

We thought, my god, with all these silos just sitting there thinking they’re perfect, we’ve got to start crossing them over and really blowing them and …

Brad: Yeah, it’s ridiculous. It’s totally ridiculous but yeah, I consider myself a UX designer even though I’m the person doing like HTML and stuff and CSS. But I’m creating an experience or I’m creating something that a user will experience, right? I’m creating something that someone will interact with and enjoy and whatever and what I’m doing is actually constructing that. So I do think that there is pretty much anyone involved in a project and can call themselves a UX designer.

Per: I like that actually. I mean as long as you’re concerned about what the use of things and what the …

Brad: Well, that’s exactly it. I mean even project managers and stuff and again like I see that a lot or everyone tries so hard to put up these walls and it’s like, “You know what? We should all just be thinking of this.”

Per: You should be thinking about the end product, not what role you’re playing.

Brad: Precisely, precisely.

James: I think there’s also this degree of honesty that we spend – I know a lot of people in different roles spend far too much time not really being honest about what they’re doing and what they’re producing and just getting on with doing it because life is easier if you just produce that code or you do those wireframes or just deliver that document.

Brad: Yeah.

James: And standing up and doing something about it. Now that’s a difficult path to take.

Brad: It is and I like that joke around about how I feel like my career path has basically been a salmon swimming upstream a waterfall process. It’s really difficult to do but basically especially with a lot of sort of like responsive work and just getting people to care about that, it first began with the people earlier in the process in the assembly line.

So the visual designers have to convince them and then go on to convince the information architects and then eventually convince the project managers and stuff and then eventually sitting in front of the clients and stuff.

So it has been a long, hard battle and stuff but yeah, it’s something that we need to do is just convince everyone and help everyone stay on track and I can’t even count the amount of time where I’ve just had stuff thrown over the fence to me, stuff that – like here, you just build this. I’m like this is a terrible idea.

And them I’m like wow, you’re really mean Brad and it’s like no. I mean seriously, how did they get this far? It is because it’s because people want to do their job and nothing more. They don’t want to rock the boat and stuff like that in order to do really good work. I do think that you need to challenge people and you need to really – again like break out of your own discipline in order to work with people that they’re just – it’s not very fun if you’re just sort of sitting in your middle bucket that’s for sure.

James: I quite often, well, half-joke about the fact that every project, every deliverable almost is more of an education project. You have to educate more than deliver.

Brad: Yes.

James: I mean I half-joke about it because it is like that. Every time I stand up and present something or explain something I’m delivering to a client, it’s mostly passing on knowledge rather than implementing a solution because it doesn’t really work unless they’ve really understood why and what you’re doing.

Brad: Absolutely. I mean I would say that that sort of sums up where I’ve been going with my career. It has been moving more into this, “Well, how do I make it really easy to get this point across?” or “How do I make it easy to bundle up all these resources under one roof?” or “How do I demonstrate these patterns in a way that people are going to get them or something?”

It is. It’s all about education because the context of the specific project is going to change but part of where I was at, at the agency I was working for which is R/GA, I was there in New York for a long while, and part of what made my role great was that I wasn’t stuck on one project. I sort of floated between a bunch of them and as a result, I was able to sort of see the common problems, the common sort of road blocks or the common sort of misunderstanding or whatever that people have run into.

What that did was sort of provided me this very bird’s eye perspective of what people are struggling with and as a result, I was able to sort of make resources and make decisions and stuff that extended beyond the scope of just a single project. It wasn’t like I’m just solving the problem that’s right in front of my face. You’re just like, “OK. Well what’s really going on here? What’s the big misconception here?”

So it has been really nice to have that perspective and that has definitely influenced the kind of stuff that I work on.

Per: I think the three of us have had the same type of experience that we have to educate the client all the time and we’re finding new ways to do that and I’m using a lot of sketches and visual presentations nowadays to do exactly the same thing. But it would be nicer if I didn’t have to spend all that time explaining why I’m doing this stuff because often the problem, the basic problem is that the client doesn’t even have an answer to the simple question of why are we doing this.

Brad: Yeah, exactly.

Per: So we have to go back and educate them about their own business, not only about our own work that we do for them, and that’s what’s really surprising to me.

James: Yeah, be business consultants to help them alter their internal organizations first before you can actually produce something.

Brad: No, absolutely. I think that you especially run into that stuff with these – with big brands or something or people that are well, it’s 2013 and so now we have a chunk of money in. So we’re going to redesign our site again and it’s that question of “why” doesn’t get asked often enough.

But yeah, I mean I think there are lots of tools and stuff that we can do to – and just even images. For example, I made an image or a series of three images that I’ve used in a lot of my presentations but I ended up throwing it up on my blog because this for me has saved me so many words and has convinced people and sort of got the point across better than any sort of speech could give. But it’s basically just three images and it says, “This is not the web,” with a picture just like a desktop, old trusty desktop.

Per: Oh, yeah. I’ve seen those pictures.

Brad: Yeah, and it’s like this is the web and it’s like smart phones, dumb phones, ereaders, tablets, like all sorts of stuff and then it’s like this will be the web with like a bunch of question marks and stuff. The whole idea again is that just showing those three images in quick succession is like – it’s like OK, I get it. I get why we’re even in this room talking about why we need to address this or why we’re even talking about responsive design or why we’re talking about what’s next. It’s because things have changed and I get that perceived.

So yeah, just doing like little stuff like that, just like producing a quick series of little images and stuff have gone a long way for me.

James: I think one of the big issues that we’ve got in the entire branch, I mean OK, we’re three guys now talking that have understood. We’re members of the chosen few that understand about performance, responsive design or like “carousels don’t work” or whatever subject one will think about.

But yet, as we’ve just said, lots of places are doing this wrong or their organizations can’t cope with it or they can’t see the forest because of the trees. One of the reasons I think is because it’s so easy to do web stuff and there’s so many businesses out there that their entire product is doing stuff easy without all the care, the attention, the management to detail that we know delivers.

How can we come over that? How can we bridge those two worlds? The quick solution to the company that buys that quick solution and then those of us who know that doesn’t really cut it.

Per: I’ve actually had clients who – well, mostly in the past, mostly in the late 90s, they always had a relative or a niece or a nephew who could do this stuff and my nephew could do this website or whatever. But I’ve actually come across that later on as well when doing campaigns that hire like a student to do some Flash stuff or something like that because it’s much cheaper. As long as you don’t know why you’re doing it, you don’t even care what it costs. You just know they need a Flash presentation.

Brad: Sure, yeah. I think that what you’re talking about is something that’s extremely, extremely important and I see it more and more which is like how do we bridge that world of plug and play, turnkey solutions, the things that all these companies like to sell so much. How do we make tools? How do we make methodologies and stuff like that, that takes a lot of the hard work out of it but still don’t get in the way of you doing really good work properly?

I see a lot of I guess the things that I’m working on now. I’m working on this Pattern Lab thing which is trying to do that, which basically it’s – what it is, is it’s not like a solution. It’s not here’s your website and you could skin it however you want and here’s like all these different components so you could combine them however you want.

The idea is this is more like a framework for like stitching together your own interface. But what I’m really cognizant about in making this tool is not to influence how you want to create your own site.

So all the HTML, all the CSS, all the JavaScript, all the stuff that your website is made of, you still have full control over it. There’s like no dependencies. You could write code as crappy or as great as you want but really all this thing is doing, all my framework is doing, is making it easy for you to sort of stitch together this interface and stitch together, create your own like pattern library and stuff like that. But I see that also with tools like – have you guys seen like Jetstrap?

Per: Well, is that the tool that’s based on Bootstrap but you pull things in? It’s like a site builder but based on Bootstrap, right?

Brad: Right, precisely and so that’s what I like about that is that it’s this very easy, very drag and drop. You double click on the text and you could change the buttons and you could change the size and you could reorder things and stuff but you’re actually manipulating like real HTML ultimately, right?

So it’s very realistic and as far as like getting a quick prototype up and running to show someone here’s what we’re thinking or whatever, like that’s a great idea and what it does is it – so it doesn’t dumb down what’s ultimately being created. You’re not like creating like a drawing of a website. You are actually creating – you’re manipulating an actual website but they have provided this UI for you to sort of quickly and easily drag things on to the screen and reorder them and stuff like that.

So that I think that that’s the kind of thing that I’m getting excited about where it’s like how do we make it easier for people to construct web experiences, to do their wireframes, to do their Java a lot better without having to go through all the tedium of like manual code and every time I want it on another list, I’m going to have to write all that stuff from scratch.

I do like the idea of like giving people like a better starting point but still give people the flexibility and the power to like get under the hood and really do things the way that they want to do them.

Per: I’m really loving Bootstrap these days. I’m using Bootstrap a lot for prototypes and I’m realizing how much – bringing it closer to something that looks like the end product makes it so much easier to communicate both with developers and with the clients, so I’m all for that.

But then there’s always the next step of actually building the site as well and making it optimized and streamlined and whatever and sometimes there are so much belief in that what is the prototype is something that you can just take and just modify a bit and that will be the final product. That’s what I sort of am seeing is the danger in the projects that I’m participating in right now is they don’t see how far we have left because there’s a lot to go and ways to go after that as well.

Brad: Yeah. It’s like wow, it looks like we’re done. Yeah, no, not really. But yeah, and I think that is certainly again something that requires education where it’s – listen, we’re showing you this prototype and stuff like that. Yes, it is working. Yes, we’re showing active states. Yes, we’re able to click from page to page and stuff and that’s so, so much better and more effective than printing out a 90-page PDF of like here’s what your website is going to be with all the annotations that are just so verbose, it’s amazing.

So yeah, like that definitely gets us a lot closer and stuff but then ultimately yes, you have to build the thing for real. But I will take a prototype and an explanation over intentionally dumbing down things on paper just so that whenever we build the thing, we are only building it once, right?

James: And after all this, we’ve got the next phase which is websites need to be run. They have to be taken and lived with after you’ve done a new design, a new skin to it all or bumped it into a new tool.

Brad: Yeah.

James: And that’s often where they start to fall down and fall down rapidly.

Brad: Right.

James: And maybe the frameworks will help us take a little step beyond that as well by standardizing or reusing a lot more. Maybe it will make it slightly easier to maintain sites and keep them running and tweak them instead of rebuilding them.

Brad: Right. Well, so, this is where something where it’s one thing to talk about frameworks as a prototyping tool and stuff and I’m all for that. I do shy away from it for like production builds and stuff just because some of the clients I’ve worked with in the past. Like Nike isn’t going to make like a Bootstrap site for like your site.

You know what I mean? But Dave Rupert had this great post talking about responsive deliverables and he worked on and he was talking about how we need tiny Bootstraps for every client. So the idea is no longer here are your page templates and I’m going to run away and see you next year or whatever.

The idea is that we now need to deliver these full-on component libraries and commented code and here’s how you use this stuff. Here it is in context and all this and I totally love that idea of yeah, we have to live with these websites and the clients have to live with the websites. The organizations have to live with them and what better way than to actually instead of just throwing them over some final code or whatever, let’s actually deliver them this full-on system that’s nice and extendable.

They could take it, run with it and maintain it and pass it off to different people and everyone will be brought up to speed instead of just this like sort of like black box like OK, here’s your home page. Here’s your contact page. Here’s your check out page like whatever.

We need to get a lot more sophisticated than that. That’s why again the tools that I’m working on now are trying to sort of venture into those waters.

James: I think that’s great and also then we come back into the whole honesty thing again and that organizations themselves need to be honest about whether they can deal with these frameworks and systems and so on that we’re presenting to them. It’s too easy for them to say, “Yeah, yeah, just bring it on. We will do that,” and then they can’t actually cope internally with using it and getting on with it.

Brad: Yeah, yeah.

James: So it would be better for them to say, no, hold on. I think this has stepped too far. So dumb down or go back a step and you’re like OK, well in that case we will do this because we think this is more achievable for you right now and because this is good groundwork that we’re laying. Maybe in a year, we can revisit this a bit and we can take the next step when you’ve matured a bit more organizationally and then we can do the rest.

Brad: Yeah. A post I just posted yesterday was sort of introducing this concept, just to – because a lot of people, again education, they don’t understand that. They don’t just need another design that they need this – to think of things as more like a systematic sort of approach. So I just wrote something called interface inventory and the whole idea is like basically the steps you take to create an interface inventory. So you take whatever your client site is and then just start screenshotting the crap out of it and sort of clumping them into like different buckets and stuff.

So it’s like here’s our button styles and here’s our form styles and here’s our breadcrumbs and here’s our tabs and here’s our accordions and whatever. But basically, you’re deconstructing the interface, the existing interface into like a keynote like presentation or something.

The whole idea is to sort of show a lot of like the inconsistencies that arrive whenever like we just treat things as like pages or whatever or have 17 agencies working on the website or just seven different teams and stuff. It’s staggering like how quickly everything could fall out of whack and I use my bank as an example which is just all over the place. I screenshotted a bunch of their buttons and they have like 100,000 different button styles that are all similar but no two are the same.

James: I think it’s great. It’s a great example of that picture on the blog post.

Brad: Right, right.

James: Makes me laugh but then some people are going to go, “What’s the problem?”

Brad: Right. I think that anybody would – and you would acknowledge that as a problem. But the thing is, is that like you were saying is like from an organizational standpoint. Like this is the kind of stuff that you could put in front of them and say, “Here’s where we’re at.” You could look at this picture of 100 different button styles and realize that yeah, we probably should do something about this. We should probably have some guidelines. We should probably think of things in a more systematic way.

So again, really like something – a tool like this, like a technique like this is more or less just to educate, just to get people on the same page, to convince them that like yeah, we just don’t want to go down yet another redesign path again for no good reason other than you have a little money to spend.

Per: I like that because it sounds like it’s an activity that anyone could get started with quite soon. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time but it’s really enlightening for the whole organization about what’s going on.

But also you would want to create something that perhaps not only the people within the organization could use but that other suppliers could use because that’s a problem I sometimes run into that when I’m hired by a large organization, I don’t get the tools that allow me to access the CSS files and stuff so I can’t create the – I can go visually and look at the stuff and they probably mean like that and I can create something similar but I don’t get the tool set that will help me to actually do it exactly the way they want to or the way they should want to.

Brad: Right.

Per: That’s what you’re really getting to when you’re providing this tool I think.

Brad: Yeah, and I’m working on some other stuff that’s trying to address that too, just because again I’ve worked with a lot of brands. I’ve worked with a lot of different agencies, a lot of different third party vendors, a lot of different – but even just internally, people come and go and they take the knowledge with them. They know where the latest files are and stuff like that. It’s amazing how much of an ordeal it is just to even get like a PSD or just to get a style guide or just to get – it’s like locked up in like final underscore version two, underscore for print, underscore for printer, underscore version two dot PDF and it’s like oh yeah, it’s in page 14 of that. Everybody knows that.

It’s just it’s amazing like how disorganized these organizations could be and so I think that in order to do really sound work, web work and stuff especially, with these organizations that are just so big, you need those guidelines. You need those starter PSDs. You need those component libraries in order for you to know what you’re working with, how things should be done, but also to get an idea of like where you might be able to like bend rules.

I see a lot of this like systematic design and style guides and stuff like that not as like here’s exactly how you do things all the time. But rather as like a good baseline of like here’s where we’re at. We do have some flexibility hopefully to like do some really innovative things and stuff. You shouldn’t only be limited to what we have in our style guide or a pattern library or whatever and just arrange them in a certain way. That’s not terribly fun.

But at the same time like just know the difference between making something intentionally different versus totally unintentionally different. I think it’s a really important point to get across.

James: I think it’s – you can’t start too soon or too small with this. I mean even if you’re a small organization. One thing I’ve done over the years with small clients who maybe just want to work a site with a standard template, I make sure – I encourage and educate them about keeping track of their little style guide even if they don’t have an official style guide or brand guidelines. I mean most of them have some kind of logo or there’s a font they use generally or there’s some type of colours that they’ve chosen.

So I make sure I kind of get them to write up somewhere. That’s a hex code for your colour. This is roughly what we do with the logo and how much space we’re going to use and help them understand that when you open that Twitter account, maybe you’re not doing it now but you’re going to open it up. Then choose this colour as the background colour or get used to picking that colour so you get some consistency because the amount of these small clients, they – you see quite a lot that they will have like 5000 shades of red …

Brad: Oh, definitely.

James: It’s red and they don’t really understand how you – be consistent, so small and large. It’s never wasted time to kind of have a central place where you keep the details to help you be consistent.

Brad: Yeah.

Per: Isn’t this also gentlemen actually a nice segue into future friendliness, that this is actually the baseline for making it future friendly? Have something in place – yeah, you don’t want to really spend time on all this. I mean the amount of time you spend and actually trying to find those documents but the version 2 underscore 3.6. That’s time that could be spent doing so much more things that would be better for the user experience.

But it’s actually having the baseline of something that is a guide. Then regardless of technology in the future, you would go back to the guide, and see how that fits and how you could actually develop that with the future technology that is existent whenever.

Brad: Right, exactly. I think that this is – a lot of the stuff reflects the fact that you can’t control the technology landscape. You just can’t.

Per: Yeah.

Brad: And nobody knows where it’s going to go and then so really the basic question is like, “Well, what can you control?” Well, you can control your own stuff and so this is what we’re doing. We’re trying to make it easier for people to control their own stuff, to have a better idea of what the organization is, what it does, who they’re trying to reach because those things aren’t going to change hopefully. I mean like your audience and stuff might over time but like – but today, it’s iOS apps. Today’s it’s Android apps. Today it’s a standard website and really who knows what sort of stuff we’re going to be making just a couple of years from now.

But having that inventory, having that strong sense of like this is our red and this is our tone of voice, I’m sure you guys have seen like voice and tone by MailChimp.

Per: Yeah.

Brad: Yeah. Just having that sort of stuff today just absolutely prepares you for whatever is in store.

Per: I think that’s really important to stress touching upon there. Like it’s not only style but it’s also like microcopy, the little – how you stay say stuff, how the error messages should be presented.

Brad: But even just – again, like what is our company. What does it stand for? What are our values? What are our things? It’s like it is. It’s amazing how many people don’t have that stuff in place. It’s crazy.

James: But I’ve said to a few clients recently, well, every single webpage needs to have a goal and they go, “What? Every one?” Yeah, because why is it there? But that’s just too difficult. Yeah, no, it’s not easy.

Per: How else can we measure? Well, we measure whatever how many people visit the site. Yeah.

James: Well, I think it’s probably time for us to wrap us, isn’t it Per?

Per: I think so. There is one question I have for Brad and that has to do with his avatar because I was really curious about it. Is there a story behind the space helmet?

Brad: Yeah.

Per: Because I know that Luke Wroblewski has a space helmet. So I guess is there a meme going on here that I don’t know about?

Brad: Yeah. So a few of us got together outside of Nashville around the Breaking Development Conference. This is now almost a two years ago I think but it was basically a bunch of people that all care about the web and sort of where things are going and all these different mobile devices and stuff like that.

So we all got together to discuss these things in this house and the result of that sort of little retreat was the future-friendly manifesto which is online now, which is …

James: All right. All the names. All the undersigns.

Brad: Yeah, yeah. So what ended up happening, the story of the helmet is that at this house, it just happened to be this astronaut helmet there.

James: Just happened to be?!

Brad: Yeah, I know. It’s just it’s pretty – yeah, it’s pretty fortuitous there but yeah, so that sort of became the de facto sort of like icon for the whole thing which was pretty appropriate because we ended up calling it Future Friendly. So yes, so that’s why Luke and Jeremy Keith and a few others had their space helmet avatars.

We actually just created a United Pixelworkers future-friendly helmet t-shirt and all the proceeds are going to to helping them back up the internet.

Per: Nice. I had no idea about this.

Brad: Yeah.

James: That’s something we have to buy Per.

Per: Yeah.

Brad: Yeah, but yeah, so that’s the story behind it and I really like it. I like having my professional headshot be a – picture of me in a helmet.

James: I think most of us got a little astronaut somewhere inside us.

Brad: Oh, yeah, absolutely. But that’s what I do. I love that about being future friendly is that it is something that I think a lot of people can just understand whenever I explain it to clients or I can explain it to other people. They’re like oh yeah, that makes sense. Expect that things are going to change and make things as friendly for whatever is coming down the pipes. Like that makes perfect sense. I do. I love that. It’s pretty accessible.

Per: Excellent.

James: Excellent.

Per: Excellent note to end on as well.

Brad: Cool. Yeah. Well, thanks for having me.

Per: Oh, thank you for giving us your time.

Brad: Yeah, it’s no problem.

James: I think we could have you on every week.

Per: Yes. I think so as well.

Brad: Well, feel free to give me a call in a couple of weeks. I will be happy to do it.

Per: Great. What time is it over there?

Brad: It is 11:11 on July 11. Wow, I just looked it up in my computer.

Per: Oh, wow.

Brad: It’s like ultimate wish making stuff right there.

James: A binary end.

Brad: Yeah.

Per: OK. Then have a good lunch and we will let you know when we post the show.

Brad: OK. All right. Sounds like a plan.

Per: Yeah.

James: Thanks very much Brad.

Per: Thank you.

Brad: All right. Hey, thanks a lot guys. Take care.

Per: You too.

James: Take care.

Brad: Bye-bye.


Per: Excellent. I think that was great talking to Brad and that was so funny about the story about the helmets because I sort of wanted to start off talking about future friendliness. We talked about so much other stuff and then all of a sudden, the helmets had something to do with future friendliness which was really quite funny.

James: We had a half hour intro to what you wanted to talk about.

Per: Yes. I think so.

James: I think we did quite alright there and not turning into a love-fest because what we realized is that Brad is on the same track as us.

Per: Yeah.

James: He has got a lot of same ideas, understanding and hopes and dreams about what we can do in this wonderful world of web and digital. He sits a little bit more on the developer side than us.

Per: Yeah.

James: Which is an excellent insight.

Per: Exactly.

James: Additional insight.

Per: And a concept of anyone calling themselves a UX designer. I like that actually. That’s what has happened. I mean there are a few of us who call ourselves a UX designer that actually have any sort of formal education.

James: We touched up on the whole title of UX, didn’t we a few episodes ago? That’s one of the things we basically came to conclusion on that. It doesn’t really exist, does it? We’re all doing UX to a degree. We’re just doing other things under the umbrella of UX. When it boils down to it, we all just need to get along.

Per: I think so.

James: To quote Jack Nicholson from …

Per: From what movie?

James: Why can’t we all just get along?

Per: OK. So the next challenge is for us to record the next episode while you’re away on vacation.

James: Yeah, I think I’m going to be out of the country next time.

Per: Yeah.

James: We been assured we’ve got internet so we will – well, hopefully that will work.

Per: It usually does in some way.

James: It’s all sticky-tape and string anyway. We’ll work it out.

Per: Yes. OK. I think I heard your kids shouting in the background.

James: I think they’re still on the property. I can still hear them so they’re not too far away. Well, I’m going to go and salvage them from whatever mischief they’re getting up to while I’m recording this with you.

Per: OK. Excellent. To our listeners, remember to keep moving.

James: And see you on the other side.

Hide the transcript

#50 James & Per begin with words

Separated by a hundred million square kilometres of Atlantic Ocean, James and Per bring you a link show featuring three articles we’ve found during our digital travels.

We start, as the article itself prescribes, by discussing content, words in particular. We then dovetail into Atomic Design and using chemistry as a conceptual metaphor for web design. Finally we look at persuasion profiling and how the psychology of persuasion could be used in our work with websites.

(Listening time: 32 minutes)



Per: Hello and welcome to episode 50 of UX Podcast. You’re listening to me, Per Axbom.

 James: And me, James Royal-Lawson. Fifty episodes!

 Per: Fifty episodes.

 James: Fifty.

 Per: Yes.

 James: Oh, 50 episodes.

View the full transcript

 Per: And to celebrate, I’m in the country of 50 states. In our efforts to actually produce this show during the summer as well and we find ourselves in different locations. So I’m set …

 James: Really different locations.

 Per: Really different locations. I just woke up actually. I’m up north in Michigan in a town called Charlevoix or Charlevoix if you speak French but Charlevoix in American English, in a quaint little hotel and I just sent my family to breakfast. I’ve been vacationing now for a week and a half up here. So I’ve been having fun. It has been really, really hot. It has been like 30 degrees Celsius, in the 80s if you’re speaking Fahrenheit and been having a good time and then James reminded me via Facebook we have to record the show and here we are.

James: I’ve kind of grabbed you now. You must be a week and a half into your holiday. Your brain must be like jelly because your body starts relaxing right now in hot temperatures, taking it easy and not working and things. So it’s going to be a real struggle getting anything useful out of you today.

Per: Do you think?

James: We will see.

Per: There’s no difference from my voice. But you haven’t left from vacation yet, have you?

James: No, I’m really busy today. I’ve got a deadline in two and a bit hours. Yeah. So I’ve been frantically producing a document. I’m actually trying to design a model for measuring usability. We can actually do a whole podcast about that. Oo, now there’s an idea.

Per: Excellent.

James: I mean model for measuring usability in a very limited number of hours based on stuff that already exists.

Per: Yeah, designing the model. Then actually using the model and writing up the report.

James: Frankly, I’m not – this particular model, I’m not using it and writing it up.

Per: Oh, OK.

James: Someone else will have the joy of doing that.

Per: Oh, excellent.

James: But as for me, it’s nearly 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I’ve been at this now for – actually I’ve been at this for like seven hours. Might as well just …

Per: You’re probably actually – I went to bed quite late so you were probably waking up when I went to bed.

James: Probably. So my brain is probably nearly as much jelly-like as yours but for a completely different reason.

Per: Oh, wow.

James: Anyhow, yeah, so today though we’ve got a link show.

Per: Yeah, to make it a bit easier on ourselves.

James: Yeah, not subjecting a third person to this time zone mayhem. The link shows means for those who don’t know is when we take –well, in this case, three articles that we found during our digital travels and talk about them a little bit.

Per: Yeah. And I think the theme of today is sort of going back to basics. I love it.

James: Oh, yeah. I like the way that these three articles interconnect and interplay. It’s quite a nice little threesome. Did I just say that?

Per: Yes, you did just say that. Oh my god.


Per: Anyway, I really love you found this – the first one we’re talking about. It’s called Words and it’s one of the best things I’ve read in a long while I must say. It’s just words basically on a webpage and it’s beautiful. It makes me cry almost.

James: It’s actually excellent. It’s sort of what you engage, just HTML with text on it. Only it has got the title “this is a webpage” and I mean I could – it’s almost like you want to read this one out. It’s one of those kinds of ones. But the gist of it is that this webpage, it’s just words. You’re reading them when you visit it and the most powerful tool on the web is still just words. I think what brings a smile to you. here and make sure you really think about this a lot is the bit where it says – he says, “I remember teaching my daughter to code HTML when she was eight. The first thing she wrote was a story about a squirrel,” which he has actually linked to the story.

She wasn’t writing HTML. She was sharing something with the world. She couldn’t believe that she could just write a story on the home computer and then publish it for the world to see. She didn’t care about HTML. She cared about sharing her stories.

Per: And the next line is actually one of my favourites also, “You are still reading,” and it’s down in the middle of the text.

James: Yeah.

Per: Yeah, it really does make a read and it has no fancy design and has no columns. It has nothing, no graphics.

James: No images.

Per: So yeah, it’s …

James: No distractions. It’s wonderful. It’s taking the essence of what the page is about and it’s sticking to it and it’s keeping you entertained, engaged, and on topic.

Per: Yeah. We’ve talked about those before about one-column layouts because you and me both like one-column layouts and this is like even more proof that yeah, that’s what we’re going for here because we just want everyone to just focus on the words, on the text. My one complaint with something like this and what it’s trying to prove may be that what really made the web like go mainstream is sort of graphics and the ability to help people understand stuff.

James: Do you reckon …

Per: I’m thinking the first graphics web browser Mosaic is what – well, made people – well, it was a real eye-opener I guess.

James: Wasn’t it bandwidth?

Per: No, no. Listen to that. We should play that like modem thing when it takes like 15 seconds.

James: But that’s fun. We have fun with it anyway. Without the bandwidth, we wouldn’t be able to do some of these designy, flashy things.


Per: … it all dovetails into one another, I think.

James: Yeah, you’re right. It does. But thinking back when we first started using the webinar in the 90s, back in ’94 on the first time I opened up a web browser and started searching for stuff, it was text. You searched for things in text and you went link to link. You hopped from link to link to find stuff often and they were text links, hyperlinks and you went to another text-based page. Occasionally you’d have a little crappy picture and so on because back in the 90s, there weren’t so many digital cameras. There wasn’t so many ways of getting content, digital imagery onto the web. It was all crappy icons if anything.

Per: Actually you sort of swore when you saw a picture because it took so long to download. You only saw the top part of the picture and then five minutes later you saw the whole picture.

James: You cursed the people who didn’t save their gifs interlaced.

Per: Yeah, exactly.

James: Oh, how the world was simple.

Per: Oh my god. Now we’re an old man again. OK.

James: Now we’re talking about responsive images and everything. The essence of this though is we don’t have to make things overcomplicated. Content is possibly – we talked about content being king or not. Context is king is what I like to say but the two interrelate.

Per: That’s another thing that actually I don’t like with this article is it has no date.

James: No.

Per: It has it in the text but not like you can find it when was it written. You have to read sort of into the text, didn’t know that it was written on June 20th.

James: Yeah.

Per: And it already has like 15 different translations as well. I love that.

James: I agree with you about the date, but you’re picking a little fault there and I do like the fact that it has inspired people to create their own language translations of the post. I also like the fact that he did a next step call to action as such on the end of the article. You can find it where to follow him, what’s his name, and then it says, “I’m writing a book. I’m building on building and launching things on the web,” and have the link to it there. The guy who wrote it by the way, is Justin Jackson.

Per: Right.

James: I will link to his Twitter page from the show notes. But content, I mean is it – you got to start with words and yeah, you do need to start with words, I think.

Per: I totally agree.

James: Or at least start with thinking about what you’re going to say and what you’re going to achieve.

Per: This is all back to the lorem ipsum or “lorem shitsum” as I call it, the fact that we always hire these agencies and they have placeholders for content which is often lorem ipsum content and we don’t really think about what we’re going to put into the content before we actually then – well, it’s too far gone. The graphics doesn’t fit with the content and so on.

James: It’s belittling your content.

Per: Yeah.

James: It’s from this first moment. It’s making the content less important than the template, the design and so on.

Per: Right, so the main point is actually making this that – start with the content. Make sure that you know what you’re going to say and then if you can find some way to support that probably with anything else, then do that. But if you can’t find anything to support it, then just stay with the content and text on a page because that’s what people want and that’s what people came for.

James: Yeah. And how many times have both me and you been involved in projects where you’ve had to – well, ruin a headline on a page or boxes on them because there’s not enough space for it in the design or you’ve had to take away paragraphs from text because it doesn’t fit.

Per: Oh, and the menus …

James: You’ve had to merge menu items or create submenus because there’s only space for, I don’t know, five menu items across the top.

Per: Yeah, exactly. We don’t care what people have to say. We care if it fits into this space over here.

James: Yeah, we prioritize designing something and we pay for the design. Then we’ve got to cram all our stuff into it. It is a topsy-turvy way of going about stuff really.

Per: Let’s move on.

James: Let’s move on.


Per: To Brad Frost.

James: That we like.

Per: Yes, we do.

James: Well, that I like. Sorry, I’m just saying things for both of us like we’re tweedledum and tweedledee.…


Per: Name of his post, Atomic Design, and you found this one as well James. I hadn’t actually seen it because I’m on vacation and …

James: You’re still reading stuff.

Per: Yeah, I am actually. He starts off with a quote there, “We’re not designing pages. We’re designing systems of components.” The article sort of goes into setting up different parts of a webpage, sort of like a periodic table of the elements with small components being the atoms and larger components being molecules and organisms and so on. I kind of like this the first time I read it. I kind of liked it.

James: Yeah.

Per: Having just read the Words article, I was wondering where are the words because I couldn’t find them. I don’t know where they were.

James: Exactly. I love this too, just the periodic table and the analogy with – yeah, like you said, chemistry and physics and the atoms, molecules, organisms, templates, pages being the building blocks of what we’re doing there. It looks wonderful and gives you one of those satisfying feelings when you read this and look at this.

Yeah. No this makes sense. You take the smallest component possible of the web, of HTML, and group these together in various different stages and ways to build a solution or a system or a site.

Per: Yeah.

James: So it’s a nice model and a nice way of working.

Per: It’s a way of thinking about – making sure to think about the small details and the small components as well as the big picture because sometimes we forget about the small components, I think.

James: Yes, and creating consistency.

Per: Yeah.

James: I had a flashback in reading it to gosh it’s another old man comment.. Some of the digital style guides that I was part of producing maybe 10 years or more ago.

Per: Yeah, exactly.

James: I mean I used to love producing those. At least back then we were building style guides built on the back of brand manuals. I chose a few that were – were down to this kind of atomic level you could say of – the molecular level where there was – we create examples of oh this is how – a right hand menu object should …


Per: I’ve done exactly the same and I think we called it design patterns. Well, based Yahoo who the made their design pattern library available a long time ago. So the design patterns became one of these buzzwords as well and that’s how I sold it into some companies that I put together and exactly as you were saying, I had an example. This is what a search box should look like. This is what a Submit button should look like. So those were the tiny components of the page and then it had this is what a table should look like which was a bit bigger and then perhaps this is what we use the right hand column for which was even bigger than part of the template.

James: We know that – well, consistency is an essential part of good usability or the user experience and this kind of atomic thinking helps maintain consistency, I think.

Per: Yeah, I agree.

James: But at the same time, exactly on the back of the Words article, this is – it’s not obvious from Brad’s article about the importance of words or micro content.

Per: Yeah, exactly.

James: I mean when you read it, I mean it’s clear that the words are reasonably important when you start getting into producing, what, molecules, as he calls them. The molecule here, an example would be – he announced that he has got a search group so you’ve got your field, your button and the heading above that collection and to be together, those three – three atoms I guess produce a molecule. See I’m hoofing – I’m kind of just winging this.

Per: Yeah. I know you are but I’m sort of interpreting it in the same way. I was thinking that’s almost too big of a molecule but whatever. The word in the button is search. That would be the atom and the whole button would be the molecule. You can interpret it however you want as long as you adhere to the principles of actually having smaller components build on bigger ones and staying consistent.

James: What you’re saying there is – well, in the atomic level, those three components, the label, the input and the button also have a textual atomic component.

Per: Yeah.

James: It’s like antimatter.

Per: We’re getting into physics now. I have no idea what I’m talking about.

James: I hope no one who understands physics it listening…

Per: Yeah.

James: We would get shot to death. But if you look at the end, there was also another – it gets really satisfying when you get into the templates and pages and we’re getting closer – worryingly close to lorem ipsum stuff towards the end of the article. But there’s a pattern lab and some of the comments, a good example of these patterns labs where they built collections of code snippets, ready-made code snippets that are built up into these – well, atomic groupings and we’re calling them pages and templates and so on which means you’re a step closer to putting in real content before you’ve gone too far.

So I think it is an excellent way of going forward so that you can at the same time bring in content that is real and real situations, real scenarios and actually produce something that’s going to work.

Per: Yeah. I like how he ends it as well with some further reading and how he actually realizes that this is something that he thought about a lot. Then he starts to search. After he wrote the article, he started to search and realized, “Well, other people have been thinking like this as well.” That’s like finding confirmation on that thinking in the right way and you’re on the right path and I sort of like that way of working actually and sharing the stuff that you found that really fits into the same type of thinking, the same line of thinking. Yeah.

James: Yeah. It was one of the further readings there. It was Responsive Deliverables by Dave Rupert. He talks about the idea of constructing tiny bootstraps for every client. I like that quote as well.

Per: Yeah.

James: But for those who don’t know what bootstraps are, bootstraps are these – kind of like development platforms, ready-made tweakable platforms for HTML that you can quickly create sites or prototypes and so on.

Per: Yeah, I’m a big fan of particularly the one that actually is called Bootstrap.

James: Yeah.

Per: I’ve been using it a lot over the past year.

James: And they’re good. So …

Per: Again, moving on I think actually. I need to go to breakfast.

James: It’s the hunger taking over.

Per: Yeah.


Per: The last one is something I wanted to include because I think it’s one of these buzzwords that are going to make the rounds over the next few months and perhaps it will make it into mainstream, perhaps not. But I already found there’s a conference that has been going on for six years around this. So maybe it’s not that new but again like – sort of like the – when we started talking about customer journey paths and stuff like that. All of that suddenly became the new thing in UX but it has been in use for well, 15 years at least, if you talk service design.

So this is something that’s really interesting and well, in UX, in the UX arena we really like to grab stuff from other areas as well and this is – persuasion profiling is really about psychology and …

James: That’s the first time you mention that, you need to explain a little bit Per about what we’re talking about.

Per: We’re talking about the article that this guy Michael Straker who wrote the blog post, he attended a virtual seminar or a webinar and it’s about persuasion profiling. It’s the subject of the seminar and persuasion or rather the psychology of persuasion which we’re really talking about can be subdivided into like popularized themes like authority. We tend to listen to authority figures and what they say.

So that’s one persuasion technique. It would show someone, an authority figure, telling you to do something and perhaps you would make people do that and we tend to do stuff that other people like us do and we commit to something. If we are given something, then we find a need to reciprocate and do something back and that’s one way to persuade people to do something as well. So there are various different techniques.

James: Social proof is one of the ones we’ve heard an awful lot of talk about in recent years where you follow – we show that other people have done something and then people just follow suit.

Per: Yeah. When you talk about persuasive technology, it’s really about designing to influence people’s attitudes and support positive behaviour change and you could argue a lot about the positive behaviour change because sometimes you just want to convert and that’s what this article is really about.

It’s conversion optimization, i.e. getting people to buy or do whatever you want them to do online and could persuasion profile help in that and persuasion profiling, building on these building blocks of persuasion and within the psychology, is finding out what your particular user groups or target groups or users or personas. This could even be – serve as a really good complement to personas, finding out which one of these persuasion techniques is the one that works the best for your particular target group and work with that.

The article really made me think about this is one way of finding out what you would A-B test perhaps. Different messages and content based on these different persuasion techniques and test different ones and make sure you’re using the one that works best over the whole site because you’re finding out what really works for your particular target group or your users.

James: Yeah. I think the article actually goes on to talk – well, it talks about each visitor more than …

Per: Yeah, and I’m not sure I really like that.

James: That was one of my worries on reading it, was that I know that it’s the optimist’s dream or the marketer’s dream that you have data on every individual visitor and you know what they’ve done and what they’re going to do and you can work on it. Yeah. But unfortunately, that causes lots of problems when it comes to integrity and privacy and so on in many countries and all kinds of laws that stop you from doing some of these kinds of suggestions.

One suggestion here was to build a persuasion profile for each visitor. We must follow the person around for a while …

Per: I didn’t really get what he means with that.

James: Well, it means tracking the individual on the website.

Per: Yeah. So you put cookies on the site and make sure if that person comes back, then you would use the same persuasion messages again.

James: Yeah, exactly. So you want to be careful though that you’re not tracking them in a personally identifiable way.

Per: Right. And we know this doesn’t work because we have so many different devices that we have logged on with and so on.

James: But because it does work when you’re an Amazon or Facebook or something. Then people are, or with an app. You’re logged in from …

Per: Oh, yeah.


James: In a logged-in environment, then profiling becomes a lot easier because you’ve got a database of stuff and you’ve already accepted terms and conditions that allow them to do this kind of profiling and going back to the last episode when we talked about terms and conditions and privacy. This is exactly the kind of thing that’s in there in these terms and conditions. So they want to be able to use your behaviour and data to analyze, to tweak and to sell you things.

Per: Yeah.

James: But for a website that has not got a log-in product or log-in side, then it gets more difficult and then down to an individual and you may be shouldn‘t but you can fall back to personas and try and group people and classify them and maybe you make use of variables and tagging in your analytics system to keep track of these and see what’s happening.

Per: Yeah. One of the reasons I actually wanted to include this article is because there has been a lot of discussions about the usefulness of personas in the UX community over the last year or so and people are adding this stuff. People have dogs and they have this type of job and it’s – well, you’re sort of trying to create empathy for a user and making – helping people who are developing the site whether they are UX designers or developers, whatever. Understand the needs and behaviours of that particular individual and then people are constantly asking, “Well, why did you include that specific bit of information?” I don’t know how to use that to actually make a design decision.

But the more we can include about it that actually helps us make design decisions, the better, and I think persuasion profiling is attaching to that something that we can actually show people, show even executives down to developers and show that we’re doing this because we’ve realized that people are persuaded in this particular way as long as we can get the right data out there.

James: You can’t go for too many persuasion techniques…

Per: Oh, yeah, exactly.


Per: Yeah.

James: the same time – that ties in what we know about and talk about, that you can’t have too many goals on a webpage.

Per: And you can’t design for everyone.

James: On a product. You can’t expect everyone is going to do every single goal on your page all the time and this is an extension of that. So a question there is, “Do you have a single goal for a webpage or do you have a single persuasion technique for a webpage but potentially multiple goals?” for example. So it’s an interesting aspect and maybe you could even create personas based on persuasion techniques.

Per: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking, that you can actually use a persona, have a persuasion technique for that particular persona and make sure that – then you would understand that this is the reason they’re taking this design decision. We’re using that authority figure or we’re not using the authority figure because that person doesn’t respond to it.

James: Sometimes the – a secondary aspect would be the target group as such. You could build the base the personas first and foremost on persuasion technique, like social proof and then split that up into target groups within it.

Per: Yeah.

James: Oh god, sounds expensive Per.

Per: Well, you make assumptions. I think it’s always you have to make some assumptions and then you keep testing. You never like lock down the document, even a persona. I don’t think you should lock it down.

James: No.

Per: You need to be always discussing it, have it on the wall, and have all of the persuasion techniques on the wall. I mean this is good stuff for people to know about and talk about and have a meeting and think about. Well, if we talk about it this way, is that a good way of persuading people? Maybe not. We have all these other techniques that are available as well. If you have that on the wall as well, I love this – because it’s like the pop culture of persuasion profiling.


James: I think one way I would like to tie up all three of these articles is just reflect on the challenge of running a web presence and especially one that’s of a reasonable size because if you think of these three things we just discussed, words, the content, design or development of design, using the actual purchase and the way they’re going to fit into and then profiling, the underlying work to work out what the way users want and the way we want and how do we get them from there to here. You scale all of these three to a large site with thousands of pages and tens of thousands of visitors.

Per: Yeah.

James: That’s difficult, keeping track of all this and pulling it all together.

Per: It is, yeah. It’s a big job.

James: These are three highly interconnected – you used the expression “dovetailed” areas and if you don’t weave them in correctly, then it’s not going to work. It’s going to be suboptimal. There would be a compromise or a cost.

Per: And I’m going to have to say that whichever way you start, you have to start with the words anyway or the main message you want to get across.

James: You got to have a goal.

Per: Yeah. That’s always nice to end with. You have to have a goal.

James: It is and with that, you’ve got a very specific goal and that’s to eat breakfast.

Per: Yes. Yes, I do. I haven’t found the menu online so I’m going to go down and check.

James: Is that what you’ve been doing? While we’ve been talking, you’ve been searching for the menu. Focus, Per. Focus.

Per: I’m coming home in like another week and a half and it’s time to record again. Where will you be at?

James: Oh look, there’s have a quick look, it’s Thursday the 27th of June for anyone that’s still listening and still interested. Yeah. That means we’d be recording around about the 11th, 10th, 11th of July, episode 51. I’m here in Stockholm.

Per: Oh, wow.

James: And you’re over there. I think I will be here in Stockholm. Yeah, I might actually be at my summerhouse. We will see.

Per: We will see. That will be interesting.

James: It’s the one after that I think I’m in Spain.

Per: Yeah.

James: The police, they usually come out with reminders this time of year. Don’t tell everyone when and where you’re going to be on holiday. I just realized we’re sat here doing a podcast discussing to everyone.

Per: I stopped listening to the police actually.

James: I thought you were going to say you stopped listening to me …

Per: I haven’t heard yet of any example. Maybe our listeners have where somebody has posted that away on Facebook and then apparently burglars go into your house because they read your Facebook account, I don’t know, or Foursquare even.

James: On Twitter or Instagram.

Per: There are so many to choose from anyway. Everybody posts where they are.

James: Yeah. Anyway, on that note …

Per: I no longer have anything valuable anyway. OK.

James: It went last time …

Per: Should anyone be listening. Yeah, exactly. I already have that, my house burgled. OK. I guess we’re finishing off and I’m going to breakfast and you keep working on your deadline James. Ha Ha.

James: I will. Thank you.

Per: People, remember to keep moving.

James: And see you on the other side.

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