Everybody else is wrong

This week on boagworld we slag off sliders, call css smelly and look at cartoons about mental models.

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Paul Boag:
This week on Boagworld, we slag off sliders, call CSS smelly and look at cartoons about mental models.

Paul Boag:
Damn didn’t that introduction make us sound high-class, high-brow.

Marcus Lillington:
I’m not going to slag off sliders anyway, so no.

Paul Boag:
Well the author, if you don’t slag off sliders then you’re going to slag off the author then.

Marcus Lillington:
No I’m not.

Paul Boag:
Well, anyway, we’re not getting onto that yet.

Marcus Lillington:
No, that’s far too early.

Paul Boag:
But I think that was a really classy – we need to up our game, Marcus.

Marcus Lillington:
Do we?

Paul Boag:
Right. Because week one of this season has been described on Twitter as a slow start.

Marcus Lillington:
I saw some nice comments.

Paul Boag:
There were some nice comments as well. But one guy described it as a slow start.

Marcus Lillington:
One guy? And you care about this, do you?

Paul Boag:
I care about every single one of our three listeners.

Marcus Lillington:
And week two was the one we did over the phone.

Paul Boag:
Week two, we did over the phone.

Marcus Lillington:
So, are we allowed that one then?

Paul Boag:
Well, again, I think most people wouldn’t have got past the first quarter of an hour, which is a shame because the laginess went away after the first quarter of an hour.

Marcus Lillington:
There wasn’t any lag.

Paul Boag:
There was some lag. There was laginess at the beginning. I have listened to it back, there was laginess.

Marcus Lillington:
Sounded all right, though.

Paul Boag:
Sounded great, yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
Amazingly.

Paul Boag:
I think we ought to do that again. I think there were a lot of advantages to it. Number one…

Marcus Lillington:
You don’t have to get out of bed.

Paul Boag:
I don’t have to get out of bed. Number two…

Marcus Lillington:
Is there another advantage?

Paul Boag:
No, there are several more. Number two is that Leigh could join us, we could do a three-way conversation.

Marcus Lillington:
Although Leigh joining us usually just means us giggling a lot.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, but that adds to the quality of the show, I feel. I feel that giggling is why people listen to us.

Marcus Lillington:
Well, yes, I agree with that but it’s even better when he is here.

Paul Boag:
Yes I know but – yeah, he is not always here.

Marcus Lillington:
We can get people on the show.

Paul Boag:
And reason three is I don’t have to look at you.

Marcus Lillington:
That goes both ways, Paul.

Paul Boag:
Yes. There we go, all in all I think that –

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, what was he even – slagging me off yesterday, unnecessarily.

Paul Boag:
You were interfering, right.

Marcus Lillington:
I had been requested to interfere, there is a difference there.

Paul Boag:
Just no, no, no, no.

Marcus Lillington:
No, not no.

Paul Boag:
You were there to rubberstamp is what you were but you didn’t know your place.

Marcus Lillington:
No, no, no, no.

Paul Boag:
So, dear listener, you can make the judgment on this. We were doing a piece of work for Nestle. Yes, so I was writing a report on Nestle. And it was Marcus’s client, isn’t it? You’re the account manager.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, I have got a relationship with the people over there.

Paul Boag:
But you didn’t want to actually do any work.

Marcus Lillington:
No, no, well it’s not my job to do work, I’m far too important. No, I was doing lots of other work.

Paul Boag:
You were up somewhere.

Marcus Lillington:
I was in Scotland.

Paul Boag:
Scottish, I’ve got to go to Scotland soon.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Very exciting. You’ve got to go to the heart, you’ve got to go to the metropolis. I went to Inverness which was craggy.

Paul Boag:
I love Inverness. It’s so pretty, that whole West Coast. Anyway, so…

Marcus Lillington:
Basically what he is going to say is he doesn’t like people criticizing his work.

Paul Boag:
No, because my work is always right. I get it right. I get it right. And there was Chris criticizing me and then you waded in criticizing me and I was right.

Marcus Lillington:
If there is any potential clients out there, we check our work at Headscape, we go over it and we discuss things.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, which was fine. There were three of us discussing it; we didn’t need you wading in. And your feedback was things like can we have a pretty picture in there please. And then, we added the pretty picture, you said, well, every section now needs a pretty picture, so that’s not even…

Marcus Lillington:
You don’t even read my comments.

Paul Boag:
That’s the –

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t actually – every section needs a pretty picture, is that what I said, Paul?

Paul Boag:
Yeah, pretty much.

Marcus Lillington:
I think you need to go back and read what I said.

Paul Boag:
You said something about that if one section is going to have them they all ought to have them.

Marcus Lillington:
No, that isn’t what I said.

Paul Boag:
You said that on the phone.

Marcus Lillington:
No, that isn’t what I said.

Paul Boag:
Yes you did. You did too.

Marcus Lillington:
Paul can’t cope with criticism.

Paul Boag:
What did you say then?

Marcus Lillington:
This is what this is all about.

Paul Boag:
What did you say then?

Marcus Lillington:
I said that –

Paul Boag:
The pretty pictures wasn’t even my thing, I was sticking up for Chris, poor Chris who slaved away on that document. And all you did is rip it apart.

Marcus Lillington:
I didn’t rip it apart. Oh dear, dear, dear.

Paul Boag:
Any opportunity to bicker.

Marcus Lillington:
All I said was that I think we ought to – I thought we ought to have – and it was a minor point, I made that at the start, so this is only a minor point but it might be nice if we could have a, because we’re doing a competitive review, to have screenshots from each of the competitors.

Paul Boag:
Oh, I misunderstood you then.

Marcus Lillington:
But no, that’s not – interfering, go away, Marcus. I don’t know what I’m talking about obviously.

Paul Boag:
We love you deeply but the fact that you’d shirked all responsibility for the project and then came over – you were like America and the Second World War, right. We did all the hard work and you sat on the outside and then steamed in at the end and took all the credit.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
That’s how it works.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s right, Paul. That’s exactly how it was. It was the fact that I got a slagging off on Twitter, that’s what I’m thinking what.

Paul Boag:
I was in that kind of mood, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Marcus. Nobody takes me seriously on Twitter anyway, it’s fine.

Marcus Lillington:
On Twitter.

Paul Boag:
Or talking of Twitter mind, Andy Budd, we’ve got to talk about Andy Budd.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh yeah.

Paul Boag:
Link in the show notes to – am I allowed to say this word?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, of course you are.

Paul Boag:
Agency Wank, isn’t it called?

Marcus Lillington:
Agencywank.com.

Paul Boag:
Andy Budd posted this on Twitter yesterday and me and Marcus were both left, well, I was almost in tears at points of it. It’s a Tumblr blog that outlines all the absolutely ridiculous things that marketing and advertising agencies sell on their websites. You’re trying to bring it up.

Marcus Lillington:
I’m going to find it, hang on.

Paul Boag:
Because some of it is just so sidesplittingly funny but also wasn’t there one or two that you read and thought we’ve been a bit close to saying things like that in the past? It does make you think about how you write actually. It’s a good thing actually.

Marcus Lillington:
What was the one we used to have at Avatar but the agency we used to work for yonks ago which I think we might have been guilty of coming up with?

Paul Boag:
Yeah, no, I….

Marcus Lillington:
Something about the future tomorrow or some crap like that.

Paul Boag:
It really makes you – I mean, it’s huge fun to read. But it also…

Marcus Lillington:
To us the unicorn symbolizes the never-ending quest for digital mastery.

Paul Boag:
I mean, that’s got to be tongue and cheek, surely?

Marcus Lillington:
Well, quite a few of these I did think hang on a minute, maybe they’re actually taking the piss, in which case it’s genius.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Yes, this is a good one; meet our senior people, all of whom report to the big boss named idea. Oh, shoot me now. That is just so terrible.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, some of them are just boring.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, some are not very good.

Marcus Lillington:
Make friends, not ads. See I think Adrenaline is quite a good name for an agency but there you go. Anyway, yeah, this is great.

Paul Boag:
Just check them out. So, it’s agencywank.tumblr.com.

Marcus Lillington:
We’re drummers, singers and boarders, burners, competitive barbequers, we’re listeners, thinkers, cross-disciplined, everyone is a strategist. Oh well, I think I want to work with you, you nutters.

Paul Boag:
Actually there is one like that I do like; people aren’t stupid, ad agencies are, as proved by this website, so there we go.

Marcus Lillington:
Over a decade of giving brands a kick in the pants. It’s just hilarious, some other one I actually referenced on the tweet I sent out, we are not really an agency, we’re a cult.

Paul Boag:
I mean, that’s just – that’s just a…

Marcus Lillington:
Bizarre.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, no, it’s just trying to scare people away.

Marcus Lillington:
We have over 170 people in our creative department, in fact we have approximately 170 people in our agency, go figure. And the fact that they had to put approximately in there as well, it just makes it even crapper.

Paul Boag:
Yes I know, it kind of undermines it, doesn’t it. But there is a valuable lesson here which is that it is so easy to fall into that writing, terrible marketing copy that is totally unconvincing. And actually to some extent that goes back to the work I’ve been doing with Nestle or we’ve been doing with Nestle this week because we had a big discussion, didn’t we, about transparency and open language and all of that kind of stuff. So, it is an interesting area, but anyway, this has nothing to do with the show. So, let’s actually talk about one of our articles of the week.

Mental Models

Mental model cartoon
Don’t mistake this cartoon for frivolous fun. It delves deep into the world of mental models asking what users really need.

So, I thought we’d start off Marcus with something designed specifically for you, right, because I know –

Marcus Lillington:
The tech bit, you always start with the tech bit.

Paul Boag:
No, no I’m not actually. No, completely the opposite. I know that you struggle reading long articles.

Marcus Lillington:
Long sentences.

Paul Boag:
Long sentences. So this week we’ve gone for a cartoon for you. Have you seen this cartoon.

Marcus Lillington:
Code Smells.

Paul Boag:
No, not Code Smells. Mental Models.

Marcus Lillington:
No, no, Mental Models.

Paul Boag:
It’s just a big cartoon which I think is great, this is the kind of level we’ve never reached on the podcast that we do cartoons, but it is quite a cool cartoon so that’s okay.

Marcus Lillington:
This is too long for me to read.

Paul Boag:
Is it?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. Wrap it up for me, Paul, what’s it about? Well, I could read it but then it would be a very quiet podcast.

Paul Boag:
Well, it’s about Mental Models. It’s suggested by Angel Colberg, which is just such a cool name, I love that name. Okay, the basic principle is this, that we put a lot of effort into testing our sites with real users or at least we know we should do that. I admit it that we don’t probably all do it as much as we should.

We know that we should take time to understand our users and we know that we need to take time to understand users’ workflows of how they kind of move through stuff. But we tend to do that kind of after we’ve already established what we want to do, if that makes sense.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
We want to achieve this, how are we going to make it usable for them. But sometimes I think we almost need to take a step back further and we need to go, okay, well what makes our users tick and what do they actually need to achieve their goal rather than what is it we want to communicate with them.

Marcus Lillington:
User requirements, if you like.

Paul Boag:
Yes, kind of that.

Marcus Lillington:
Which we do.

Paul Boag:
But also their way of thinking about things as well. So, for example, I mean, the example they use in this is that – they’re talking about making an app, right. And it’s a health and fitness app, okay. And most health and fitness apps normally let you count calories and count exercise. But actually in the real world, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The app is great for tracking data but doesn’t kind of address the more complex motivations that drive a user’s behavior. For example, he knows when he’s going around the supermarket he should buy himself a healthy snack but through his head runs all the reasons why he deserves a treat.

And the app doesn’t help with those more complex issues because you’ve been – the creators of the app have been thinking about the functionality rather than the kind of mental models of a user. So, the whole thing basically outlines this kind of methodology whereby you can match kind of the issues around, so in this case losing weight, whether it be, I don’t know, why you eat and/or why you don’t do exercise and those kinds of things and then matching them with things that you can actually do in your app to help and making sure those tie up together.

And it’s really, it’s quite a nice little way of thinking about it. I think there is also a difference between what somebody says that they need and require in a usability session and what actually they need in reality. So, it’s a really interesting – why it’s a cartoon I’m not quite sure. I don’t think it necessarily needed to be a cartoon although it’s very pretty. But it is a really interesting article essentially on mental models and mental mapping.

And I think going through this exercise will be a great way of discovering where your site or your application kind of falls short, where it’s not addressing users’ needs. And this isn’t something that we do at Headscape I don’t think, not in this kind of way, and I think it might be something that is interesting to do. I don’t know if you’ve seen the kind of the tower effect in the cartoon.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, just looking at that, I guess what we’re saying here is there is another step to user requirements. It’s not just what they want to achieve, it’s – there is a bit more kind of why they want to achieve that. And because, and knowing – and if you think about why, then that might change what you’re presenting. And you’re right. Yeah, we just kind of list stuff. They need to do this, this, this and this, and we’re going to prioritize that. But actually there could be other things in there.

Paul Boag:
Or things that stop them doing it that at first glance are nothing to do with the website. The classic example that always goes through my head is a mum with a couple of small children. She’s trying to do her Tesco shopping online, but she’s got kids under her feet and somebody spills a drink and she has to go off and clear that up. And then that disrupts her from making her purchase on Tesco, so how can we help that? Well we can do things like make sure it remembers where she’s got to and all of that kind of stuff, and a session doesn’t time out. And she can perhaps even pause stuff or – I don’t know. But you get the idea, it’s those extra things that go on around the task that can sometimes make the task more complicated or more challenging than it would first appear.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, I kind of think we would have thought of that maybe.

Paul Boag:
Well, we have thought of that because that’s a real example from a site that we’ve worked on, not Tesco but –

Marcus Lillington:
But it’s just taking another step down, yeah, it’s not necessarily user requirements; it’s user thoughts and feelings.

Paul Boag:
User context, almost. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Paul Boag:
So check this out. There will obviously be a link in the show notes to it. It comes from Smashing Magazine.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s by Indi Young and Brad Colbow.

Paul Boag:
Yes, so it is. And I think it’s really interesting. I have to say as well, I quite like – although I said I don’t know why this isn’t an article, I actually quite like this way of communicating information. It’s just – using this kind of cartoony format, just a little bit more engaging, a little bit different. I’m into this at the moment; this is my thing at the minute, of alternative ways of conveying information other than blocks of text. So, I’ve been doing – posted this week about online video, and about how video is being used increasingly on the web, and I’m starting to explore some of those kinds of areas as well, so things like infographics and cartoons and stuff like that, all really interesting. I’m into it at the moment. But anyway, that’s beside the point. So, let’s plunge on to the techy stuff.

Code smells in CSS

Code smells in CSS
Code smells in CSS establishes some best practice for the way we should write CSS.

So, I’ve dragged Dan into this, because I’ve concluded that Marcus is going to be useless for this section. Hello, Dan.

Dan Sheerman:
Hello.

Paul Boag:
We’re talking about CSS code, so I figured you ought to be in the room as you’re the only one that codes CSS on any kind of daily basis. Okay, I thought you were going to say something profound there, like yes, I do and this is the incredible philosophy I have for coding CSS.

Dan Sheerman:
Well, I can take – make a view if you want. That’s my normal default.

Paul Boag:
That’s fine. All right, so we’re looking at a post called Code Smells in CSS. And this is in answer to – it’s a post – first of all, no, let’s get it right, let’s do it properly. It is a code – a post that has been suggested by Peter Wilson. Thank you very much, Peter. I do love it when people suggest stuff because then I don’t have to do any work, so please carry on. And it’s by a guy called Harry Roberts, who apparently is some great developer that I have to confess I’ve never heard of. You’ve heard of him, haven’t you?

Dan Sheerman:
I have, yeah.

Paul Boag:
Does he do the whole of CSS Wizardry, is that his or did he just write an article for it?

Dan Sheerman:
No, no, no, I believe that’s his, that’s his site.

Paul Boag:
All right, okay.

Dan Sheerman:
And he uses csswizardry on Twitter.

Paul Boag:
Okay, cool. Because he, yes, this site keeps cropping up so – but it’s embarrassing that I’ve never heard of him. He speaks as well. See, that’s really embarrassing…

Dan Sheerman:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen him speak. I have read a couple of his articles.

Paul Boag:
Harry, I’m really sorry, mate. Don’t take offence, I’m just ignorant. Right, so he’s written an article called Code Smells in CSS and it’s essentially a kind of list of things that he thinks are an indication of poor CSS behavior, right. Now, the reason I’ve got you in, Dan, is because I looked through this list and I confess…

Dan Sheerman:
You went through one of my CSS files and spotted all of them?

Paul Boag:
No, no, no, I realized that quite a few of these things I myself do, right, so I wanted to know how guilty and bad I should feel as a human being. So, I thought you would be a good guy to get in. He does say himself that he breaks some of these rules, which is –

Dan Sheerman:
There is no hard and fast rules.

Paul Boag:
Well they’re not rules, he doesn’t even call them rules and that’s really unfair on him. Yeah, it’s kind of what he considers best practice or worst practice actually. Right, first one, see immediately I fail, right. First one on this is undoing styles, any CSS that unsets styles apart from a reset should start ringing alarm bells right away. The very nature of CSS is that things will cascade and inherit from other things. So, he gives an example of having to remove borders or remove paddings from elements. But my immediate reaction to this is, well that means that you are going to have to be really specific on everything and the way where all of your calls are going to have to be really specific for like an individual element somewhere else. It’s quite – I undo stuff quite a lot, am I wrong in undoing stuff quite a lot?

Dan Sheerman:
I suppose it depends. I think the experience that I’ve had with this generally would be where you’re trying to write cleaner HTML or cleaner CSS. I suppose it comes down to whether you want to put generally more object oriented CSS I would guess would have a lot less of unsetting styles because it would be very, very inherent of classes in the markup. I guess ideally, yeah, you don’t really want to be every rule that you’re introducing is an extra thing to process, so.

Paul Boag:
You’re right, that’s a really good point, because I try and keep my – my HTML really clean, use a minimum number of classes and IDs. And that’s probably why I have to undo stuff more often.

Dan Sheerman:
And people tend to be I think a lot of developers are going back to not necessarily going back to but having more classes, to be able to…

Paul Boag:
You see I’m just one step behind is what we’re saying…Yes I know, that sounds about right. Okay let’s go on, magic numbers, right, when you have and again I have this, where you have a value in there just because it works, which I don’t really get, so he gives an example of an absolute position thing with a top of 37 pixels, which is a kind of really abstract number, because it just so happens that it’s 37 pixels tall. What’s the problem with that?

Dan Sheerman:
Does it offer what you should be doing instead. I guess it would mean that – I guess it means that you’re trying to fix something because that would generally be where you would sort of see that, you’d see position relative minus three pixels because something is three pixels at alignment and you sort of hacked it into place perhaps.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s saying you should use percentages.

Paul Boag:
No, it’s not saying that.

Dan Sheerman:
No, that would be the general sort of response if don’t use pixels. Wrist slap.

Paul Boag:
He says, never ever use numbers just because they work. Well, I don’t get this one.

Marcus Lillington:
In this situation we would be far better off replacing top 37 pixels with top 100%. Top colon 100%.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, in this specific example, yeah, yeah, okay. I’ve got mixed feelings…

Dan Sheerman:
Generally makes sense I suppose?

Paul Boag:
Yeah, but it’s parts of this article feel worded quite strongly, avoid magic numbers like the plague.

Dan Sheerman:
It’s the nature of blog articles, isn’t it?

Marcus Lillington:
I was going to say.

Dan Sheerman:
I don’t think I’ve ever read a blog article that isn’t worded quite strongly.

Paul Boag:
Yes, that’s true. Qualified selectors, qualified selectors are ones like ul.nav, right.

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Or a.button or whatever. Basically selectors that needlessly pre… and see now, this is like – oh I see he is saying why you could just put .nav, .button, .header, yes. No, no, I can accept that one, I would agree with that one. Yeah, I’ll skip that one. Hard code or absolute values, this is very similar to the magic numbers, I’ll skip that one. Brute forcing is where you start to do weird kind of things with to force a layout to work, where you probably need to step back and kind of look at the underlying issue, I guess that’s okay.

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
I mean, I do a lot of these things.

Dan Sheerman:
In IE stylesheets I would but not normally you don’t really need. You want to diagnose the issue rather than trying to…

Paul Boag:
Yes, because otherwise you end up with issues upon issues upon issues, you fix one thing and it creates another problem.

Marcus Lillington:
I read, just a slightly connected tangent, I read and I can’t remember who it was – one developer that I follow on Twitter basically said, if he could choose a browser to dump today, it would be Safari.

Dan Sheerman:
That was – I think that was Remy the other day, he said he wanted to dump mobile Safari and he wanted to…

Marcus Lillington:
And I just thought, I wonder why that is?

Paul Boag:
Yeah, I didn’t really quite understand what he was thinking.

Dan Sheerman:
My guess is he uses Firefox as a primary browser, because me and Ed always have this argument, he uses, he develops in Firefox and I develop in WebKit. And we always shout at the other browser, it’s the same as the IE problem if you’re not developing in the browser, you know, you’re going to be building.

Marcus Lillington:
There was an implication that Safari is going backwards? Is it?

Paul Boag:
No I don’t think so.

Dan Sheerman:
I think it’s not catching, it won’t catch up, I don’t think it’s on an auto update path like Chrome and Firefox are, IE. have an issue with Firefox, I think Firefox is slightly lesser than WebKit is. I use Safari as my primary browser browser and Chrome as a development browser more and more.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
I use Safari but then I sort of thought – I might – should I be using a more modern browser because I don’t know about the…

Paul Boag:
Dan’s right, it’s personal taste. It’s whatever you use on a daily basis, I think you hate anything other than that. It’s like content management systems, isn’t it. Everybody has got a very strong position on which is the best content management system?

Marcus Lillington:
Well, they’re all pretty poor.

Paul Boag:
I guess if you’re concerned about the update path of Safari, you can just go on WebKit nightly builds and have a – you can build every night.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, you do get the impression Apple isn’t as committed to Safari as Chrome and Firefox. As Google is committed to Chrome and Mozilla to Firefox.

Dan Sheerman:
Well, I guess, it’s just because it’s a standard built in browser, as IE is to Windows.

Paul Boag:
Anyway, another one was dangerous selectors – totally agree with this, really broad selectors like div, I think there is a balance there. I do occasionally use broad selectors.

Dan Sheerman:
I think I tend to use broad selectors instead of a reset, I have to qualify that because that’s going to sound really dangerous if we just leave that as a soundbite. But – I will attempt to basically do a print style sheet, or a branding style sheet beforehand so, I mean, I wouldn’t use anything like div but doing list styles, paragraph styles would all be broad selectors but I would agree with that in general I suppose.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. And then obviously, don’t use important other than for what important is really used for.

Dan Sheerman:
Overriding in line styles or JavaScript styles.

Paul Boag:
Exactly. You sound like you’ve said that one or two times before, it just flowed off the tongue. Now, this is one right, this is one that confuses me, IDs, there’s this big thing about – you must not use IDs you use classes instead. But sometimes and the reasons for this being is that an ID can never be used more than once in a page. Classes can exist only once but they can be used millions of times, IDs can often have – they’re so much more specific than class are. But there are times when IDs seem to have their place for me.

Dan Sheerman:
If you know you’re only ever going to be using it once in the page, header and footer I think, I wouldn’t use an ID for content area anymore and we’re getting the main element in HTML5 hopefully coming soon anyway, so that’s going to basically eliminate ID content. Yeah, if you’re only going to use it ever once in a page, maybe – but…

Paul Boag:
I mean, there’s also things like – I quite like IDs because it enables you to say share a link on Twitter that will jump someone to a specific part of a page.

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah, but you shouldn’t then be using that ID for styling, you should be using ID for…

Paul Boag:
Sure. No, that’s fair, yeah, this is an article about…

Dan Sheerman:
Use IDs for anchor links, use it for JavaScript referencing because it’s quicker to get to.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, yeah, okay, fair enough, this is an article about CSS isn’t it. Oh he actually – he says it: use IDs for HTML for fragment identification and J query hooks.

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Okay, fair enough. I won’t bother with all of them, but yeah interesting article – you’re right, Mike, any blog post sometimes comes across as very black and white as I learned from my SEO article, this is some good best practice. But you can break these things I think sometimes. You can’t take any of this as absolutes can you.

Dan Sheerman:
I think yeah, the problem with front end development is there is no – I’m going to get slaughtered for saying this now, but I don’t think there are any really hard and fast rules, everything is sort of an issue of semantics and how different people read stuff. I mean, yeah, there is better practices than others.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Dan Sheerman:
But at the end of the day if you have a specific reason for using an ID on an element for some discernible reason that’s incredibly important to you at the time, then exception to every rule.

Paul Boag:
You always get this weird thing when you launch a new site, well, Macmillan’s – was it Macmillan’s or Butterfly that I tweeted about and instantly people go through the code and start saying, why have you done this, why have you done that?

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah, I think we launched Macmillan English. And I tweeted and then ran a page test, page speed test on it because it was our new…

Paul Boag:
Oh right.

Dan Sheerman:
Our newest responsive design and I realized that they hadn’t even slightly compressed any of the images, so they were putting out images that were like 500 pixels wide, when they were sort of displaying at 17 pixels of tiny little catalog images and the homepage was something like a meg and a half, cringe – and I was like oh god I’m going to have to remove that tweet. But yeah…

Paul Boag:
It’s funny how people pick through stuff and like to – I guess there is a mixture of – they want to understand why you’ve done what you’ve done potentially to learn from it. But sometimes it does come a bit.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s a very kind view of the world, Paul.

Paul Boag:
I’m a very kind person and everybody appreciates that – it’s just you I’m not kind to.

Dan Sheerman:
I think people like picking holes in things.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, that’s right. Yes, talking of images and compression of images and stuff, I came across another article.

Dan Sheerman:
You did.

Paul Boag:
What did you think of – I need to explain to the listeners about that.

Dan Sheerman:
I thought it was basically what I was trying to say in my blog article but it didn’t really come across all that well.

Paul Boag:
No, the principle was – is that basically, so to keep file size down right, what you do is instead of saving out a JPEG at 70% you can save it out with basically a shit-load of compression, compress the crap out of it. And then, but save it bigger size and then resize it within the browser by setting the CSS properties, that wasn’t what you were saying.

Dan Sheerman:
Which is, well it kind of what I was saying, because the mobile operators, well, I’ve now found out that apparently international operators are far more lax with this than UK – UK operators seem very concentrated on conserving their bandwidth and compress images. I think it’s all of the networks in the UK.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Dan Sheerman:
I know that O2, 3, Vodafone, T-Mobile, not sure about Orange – I’m guessing they do because it’s the one I don’t know about. But yeah, they will compress the crap out of the JPEGs and most other file formats I believe.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Dan Sheerman:
And so you can load in, say a desktop sized image and resize it….

Paul Boag:
But what was quite interesting about this article is it was saying basically you can over-compress an image because and have it bigger and then scale it down and it would look like it hasn’t been compressed very much, that was slightly different to what you were saying in your article, which by the way, link in the show notes to Dan’s article.

Dan Sheerman:
I would be interested in seeing because I meant to test this, you kind of dragged me up here quite quickly, unexpectedly.

Paul Boag:
Sorry.

Dan Sheerman:
I was just about to actually go through this and try and see how this works on an actual cellular data connection whether the networks will then compress the 0% JPEG, again and it will actually look awful, but don’t know, I would be interested just to test that.

Paul Boag:
There is another blog post coming, Dan.

Dan Sheerman:
I did quite a bit of testing on mine on UK networks and international networks apparently don’t do that so.

Paul Boag:
Well, boo sucks to international networks, I say, they can get stuffed, we don’t care about foreigners, not on this show.

Dan Sheerman:
Well we do.

Paul Boag:
No, I don’t because I make sweeping generalizations. All right, that’s a bit on code smells in CSS. Do you want to carry on, on the show and discuss why sliders suck, does that appeal to you or are you off?

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah, why not.

Paul Boag:
All right, let’s move on to looking at why sliders suck.

Sliders Suck

Sliders almost always suck
This is a really interesting article that I recommend reading, but almost entirely disagree with!

Paul Boag:
So, this article, I have selected and I wish to make it very clear because I disagree with it, right.

Marcus Lillington:
Well, this is a perfect example of what we’re saying about all blog…

Dan Sheerman:
Strong opinions.

Paul Boag:
Yes, sliders suck. So, this has been suggested by Brian, oh god, why do they have – by the author.

Marcus Lillington:
Cruksgard

Paul Boag:
Cruksgard, see that’s just a silly name and I disagree with you, Brian, you’re wrong.

Marcus Lillington:
He does to be fair. He has sliders suck and then underneath, he says sliders almost always suck. But I don’t agree with that either.

Paul Boag:
But I disagree with that as well.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Right, so, let’s this is why Brian thinks sliders suck: speed. I do potentially agree with this one depending on how they are implemented. For example, if they’re implemented like I have implemented them in the past then, yes, it’s a massive issue. But in theory you can do a synchronous JavaScript loading in of images so that you only load in as you go along.

Marcus Lillington:
Even if you can’t though – it doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Even if something just – it’s quick therefore it’s good, or rather the other way around. It’s slow therefore it’s bad.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Not necessarily true.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I mean, if you want to avoid loading large images, but yeah…

Marcus Lillington:
Of course you do. But it’s not a reason not to have a carousel that slides up.

Paul Boag:
To say that they always suck.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, exactly.

Dan Sheerman:
I think they almost always have large images in because whenever I’ve seen carousels used, it’s because marketing teams like to put massive images and lots and lots of lots of content on the home page causing a massive page load time.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Dan Sheerman:
So, I would say possibly maybe on to something.

Paul Boag:
Because I use a carousel on the Headscape website on the portfolio page. And what I do with that in order to – it’s still a fairly big, I so need to optimize that page, don’t go and look at it, no link in the show notes. But the way I’ve kind of coped with that is that I load the first image and the second image and then when someone hits the next button then it loads the third.

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah, which is not a bad idea.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, which just – which helps with the performance a little bit, it still sucks.

Marcus Lillington:
But that’s what annoys me about this – not – talk properly, Marcus. Look, reading this article and then looking at some of the comments are what annoys me about this article. There is this kind of like well let’s slag marketing off because they don’t know what they’re talking about. And it’s just like yawn.

Dan Sheerman:
You mean, like I did – I didn’t just do it whatsoever…

Marcus Lillington:
I believe you did, Dan. It’s just like well, marketing are stupid, well, maybe once or twice they are but this again is just like – that’s like marketing saying, IT are stupid or developers are stupid…

Dan Sheerman:
Developers are stupid.

Marcus Lillington:
My point.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, let’s carry on through the list and see – disagree with some more things. Sliders are not for action, right, when I hear clients express that they want sliders, they usually want it for the wrong reason. Sliders in my opinion are only valuable for display purposes and not good for action taking. Think about how you use the web. Do you load a webpage and watch the slider scroll all the way through every item and wait for it to click on the thing that you like the best, I hope not, no, of course you don’t. And so, basically saying it doesn’t encourage action but that depends on, (a) whether actually the first item is the one that you want people to click on anyway and the other stuff is just optional extras and (b) – or (b) whether you’ve got them – whether the slider is set up to randomly load a first page.

Dan Sheerman:
Well, that comes back to something that I keep saying, which is tool for the job. People are using sliders for the wrong purpose.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, and that’s what I’m saying there is an assumption here that people…

Dan Sheerman:
People are using them for display as opposed to a nice interactive element that you can actually use for good.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
And I disagree with the premise that people won’t sit and watch it. It depends on the site.

Paul Boag:
And it depends on the audience.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. We’ve got one…

Dan Sheerman:
I’m not so sure about that. I think there is a large sort of conception in most users’ brains that if they see something that looks like a banner, it’s probably advertising and the – it might not…

Paul Boag:
But it doesn’t – a slider doesn’t need to look like a banner.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, but that is – that is the reason why I do think they possibly suck, is that people are not seeing them anymore.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. But then…

Dan Sheerman:
They are auto blanking. They’re thinking that’s advertising, that’s something that the site wants to promote.

Marcus Lillington:
We’ve got one – the one I’m thinking of in my head now is that Blue Cross – link in the show notes, bluecross.org.uk – that is …

Paul Boag:
You don’t get to say ‘link in the show notes’.

Marcus Lillington:
I just did. I just didn’t say it properly, I said link in…

Paul Boag:
Well, I’m not going to link that one. No, carry on.

Marcus Lillington:
Anyway, that carousel, slider, or whatever you want to call it, I think does encourage you to want to watch the next one. I mean it’s got little versions of the next and the previous one. But it’s – they are points of interest and yes of course there are huge calls to action on that page to donate or to adopt. But it’s kind of like a – it’s almost like a news slider of campaign-y stuff that people who are interested in the kind of thing that Blue Cross do, I think do want to look at and will wait for.

Dan Sheerman:
I tell you what on that, an awesome, awesome, awesome completely off topic slider that I have seen is Grand Theft Auto 5, gtav.net. It’s got sort of…

Paul Boag:
Link in the show notes.

Dan Sheerman:
I’m sorry, link in the show notes. Completely off topic but –

Marcus Lillington:
He said link in the show notes.

Paul Boag:
I said it first.

Dan Sheerman:
I said link in the show notes, yeah.

Paul Boag:
Grand theft, what’s it?

Dan Sheerman:
gtav.net, I think. It’s one of the Grand Theft Auto V. But it has got sort of parallax-y sliders, which are shiny and I get distracted by shiny things, so I actually sit there and watch it go round.

Paul Boag:
See, I think –

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, there is an assumption here that people don’t want to be…

Dan Sheerman:
I think if it’s – if it’s –

Marcus Lillington:
… distracted by – by shiny things. You do.

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah – no, no, no but that’s especially shiny.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, all right.

Paul Boag:
See I – also the other –

Dan Sheerman:
It’s differently shiny.

Paul Boag:
The – I mean I’m sitting here on the edf.org website, which is another one we’ve done, so link in the show notes for that. And that’s got slider on as well and I’m looking at what’s here, right. And it’s got four tabs that are moving through fairly fast. There is a big picture with a single – basically a single title and a tiny little bit of text underneath.

Marcus Lillington:
And you can read all the text and…

Paul Boag:
You can read all the tabs on all of them and it goes clean energy benefits, creating habitats and jobs, smart profitable fishing, and bottom line boost. Now that actually – okay it might not encourage me to click or take action but what that has done is instantly given me a really good understanding of what these guys do.

Marcus Lillington:
Exactly.

Dan Sheerman:
So to me that’s the opposite, something like that is so boring, that I will use that as a fallback. If I can’t find anything else interesting on the page, I will then go …

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
Which is fine. So you give them – you give some – Paul likes that, you don’t like that. You have two different ways of navigating.

Paul Boag:
See and the other thing I look at is – you know a lot of these reasons against a slider, you could equally say about a video. You know videos are slow. Videos are not for action. Videos aren’t very good for mobile. Videos are a distraction. Yet we know that they have a really high conversion rate. People do look at these things. And also sliders are not good for mobile, I mean, what was the website – was it Butterfly? What’s the one recently that has got this beautiful way that the slider has been converted for mobile device and is really quite a great experience? No, it wasn’t Butterfly?

Dan Sheerman:
If you say Macmillan I’m going to be so flattered.

Paul Boag:
I think it was Macmillan actually.

Dan Sheerman:
macmillanenglish.com?

Paul Boag:
macmillanenglish.com, let me just check.

Marcus Lillington:
Anyway I will talk about the – I actually quote –

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
…I tweeted about this when this article came out.

Paul Boag:
See the – sorry, yes so macmillanenglish.com is great. The slider on that site is – compresses down to mobile really well. And it means that on a single top level screen, without scrolling, you can flip through…

Marcus Lillington:
Exactly.

Paul Boag:
… all of the – and…

Marcus Lillington:
If anything it’s better on mobile.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Because you get this nice summary for the entire what they do and what they offer in one handy little on screen no scrolling environment.

Marcus Lillington:
Bottom line here is badly designed sliders suck.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
But well-designed ones don’t.

Paul Boag:
Yes. Also ah – right?

Dan Sheerman:
Ah.

Paul Boag:
Another of his reasons – sorry Harry, don’t take – is it Harry, I’ve forgotten…

Marcus Lillington:
No.

Paul Boag:
No that was the other article wasn’t it? Don’t take this personally, but you’re wrong.

Marcus Lillington:
Brian.

Paul Boag:
Brian, you suggested this so we’re talking about it, but don’t be offended that I disagree with you. And, by the way you’re more than welcome to tell me what an idiot I am in the comments. So, his fourth reason, right, is what fold. The fold is dead. Keep content above the fold is the primary reason I hear of people wanting sliders. That is never why we implement a slider.

Marcus Lillington:
No.

Paul Boag:
And also, I’m sorry, but there is a point where you start scrolling. Yes, the fold is dead in a kind of theoretical sense that we don’t know where the fold is, but there is a reality that there is a point where you start scrolling and you know, you don’t know where that is, it ranges from different devices. And we know that not all users do scroll to the bottom and that your primary and most important content does need to be kept higher on the page.

Dan Sheerman:
However, do be very careful that it doesn’t look like the slider is the only thing on your website if there is content below it…

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
Because I had that one.

Dan Sheerman:
… because I had a really, really bad example of this the other day.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Dan Sheerman:
I was sitting there just sort of clicking through a site and…

Marcus Lillington:
We’ve had it and I’m really struggling to remember which site it is.

Dan Sheerman:
It was a really bad one the other day.

Marcus Lillington:
It was absolutely perfectly framed…

Dan Sheerman:
And I was just sitting there, what the hell – where the hell is the content on this – I think it’s been made worse by Mac OS hiding scroll bars automatically.

Paul Boag:
Yes. Yeah, absolutely.

Marcus Lillington:
But going back to the EDF site, the – one of the ways we got round that because that has got such a big carousel/slider or whatever you want to call it…

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah. Vertical media queries.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes … is – yeah, vertical media query…

Paul Boag:
Link in the show notes to Ed’s article on vertical media queries.

Marcus Lillington:
… which makes it two thirds width instead of full width, which is just great.

Dan Sheerman:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
And then finally it’s saying they are distractions, right. Quote, “don’t even get me started on all the distractions I see in sliders. You’ve seen them in commercial – huge drop shadows.” This is just bad implementation of sliders, is my opinion.

Dan Sheerman:
They are supposed to be distracting in a way.

Paul Boag:
They’re supposed to grab your attention, absolutely yeah. But – okay, but things like crazy transitions that sometimes you get on them, that are really disgusting and over the top.

Dan Sheerman:
Don’t send him the link to gtav.net then.

Paul Boag:
Okay. And then he goes on to say well, here is a few reasons why we’re still using sliders. Apparently this is why we’re still using sliders, because it’s an easy way out in design.

Marcus Lillington:
What does that mean?

Paul Boag:
In other words it’s a lazy – if a client wants a load of content high on the page you just shove in a slider.

Dan Sheerman:
Hide it away.

Paul Boag:
There is an element of truth in that.

Marcus Lillington:
There is an element of truth in that, but that doesn’t mean – so what, something like we – we do a lot of work with universities for example and they do have a lot of content…

Paul Boag:
A lot of content for lots of different audiences.

Marcus Lillington:
… and it’s all different audiences that – you know that does – there is reason to include the vast majority of it on a home page. So, you have to kind of work out ways of just avoiding this endless list of stuff and sometimes this is a good way of presenting content – lots of content.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
Not always.

Dan Sheerman:
The BBC do it very well. That is technically a massive slider.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. Exactly.

Paul Boag:
It’s true. Clients ask for them, is the other reason, which is also true. But the third one, ooh, it moves. That people only do it because it’s interactive.

Marcus Lillington:
Quite a lot of the sliders we built don’t slide.

Paul Boag:
No. Not unless you interact with them.

Marcus Lillington:
You have to – you have to click on them…

Paul Boag:
Yeah, yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
… then they slide.

Paul Boag:
But then this is where it further annoys me. Sorry, I’m just a bit – I feel really sorry for the poor guy that suggested this article, because I have really laid into and …

Dan Sheerman:
We need to wrap this in rant tags, don’t we?

Paul Boag:
Yeah, we do. Appropriate places for sliders; showcasing product photos, multiple images of the same thing, right. Showcasing a gallery of images of portfolio. So same idea, multiple images of the same content, in other words, they are all portfolio items. Or stuff where you just want to display where you’re looking at the slider is the end goal not as an avenue to get to the end goal. In other words not a call to action.

Marcus Lillington:
Well, we’ve covered, haven’t we?

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
We don’t agree?

Paul Boag:
No, I don’t agree. So what were the comments then? Because you obviously read some of the comments. I didn’t.

Marcus Lillington:
The comments are, it’s marketing are all idiots, basically.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
And there is a kind of web designer/developer view of the world. Well, you wrote a book about it.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Client Centric Web Design, please buy it.

Marcus Lillington:
Exactly. And it’s that …

Paul Boag:
Don’t laugh at me. People want my quality books.

Dan Sheerman:
Buy my book.

Paul Boag:
Buy my book please?

Marcus Lillington:
But yeah, it’s that attitude.

Paul Boag:
I don’t think people love me if they don’t buy my book. It damages – every time – every time a minute goes by without someone buying my book, I shed a tear.

Dan Sheerman:
I’ve got a free copy of your book.

Marcus Lillington:
Free copy? That means you definitely don’t – yeah.

Paul Boag:
How did you get a free copy of my book? Did I give it to you?

Dan Sheerman:
You gave me one. Yeah, you’ve got boxes and boxes and boxes of them you can’t get rid of.

Paul Boag:
Oh that’s the – that’s the website owner’s book. Also I’ve got boxes of Smashing Magazine books that I’ve never got rid of.

Dan Sheerman:
I had two of those as well.

Paul Boag:
Have you? All right, well there you go. Okay. So there we go, that is why sliders suck. We didn’t really give you much of a chance to join in that conversation did we? Because I was too busy ranting.

Dan Sheerman:
That’s all right.

Paul Boag:
Right. Come on then, let’s hear Marcus’ amazing, incredible, inspiring article of the week; the highlight of the show, which everybody waits for.

Marcus Lillington:
Dead right.

Computer games keep the elderly active


An interesting segment on BBC news that really drives home the point that you cannot make assumptions about your audience.

Paul Boag:
Right Marcus, so you’re going to entertain us and amuse us and educate us all in one go with your amazing article.

Marcus Lillington:
As usual, yes.

Paul Boag:
You picked.

Marcus Lillington:
Another very serious article – well I suppose it is actually quite serious. There is a serious side to this really, really not me just mucking about.

Paul Boag:
This is a BBC news story as I remember, isn’t it?

Marcus Lillington:
It is a BBC – because that’s the place I always start when I’m looking for something and I thought actually this is quite …

Paul Boag:
So if you’re looking for a sex toy to liven up your sex life at home you go to the BBC website, do you?

Marcus Lillington:
I can honestly say never have done that actually, Paul. Tell me all about the normal process for…

Paul Boag:
You going to lovehoney.com…

Marcus Lillington:
Indeed, where Matt works.

Paul Boag:
Where Matt works.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Free publicity.

Marcus Lillington:
Now this is about – this is a story in the technology section of the BBC news site that is entitled ‘Computer games keep me mentally active.’

Paul Boag:
Now this sounds like quite an important thing for you as you age, Marcus.

Marcus Lillington:
Exactly. It’s another reason why I selected it, I thought well if this – it’s basically telling me that I need to play more games to keep myself mentally active and the – it’s worth watching the video because it has frankly got this lovely old dear and…

Paul Boag:
Well let’s plug her in…

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
…we could play her because it’s the audio that’s the main thing isn’t it?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. Yeah.

Paul Boag:
I’m just trying to bring up the video, keep – explain the principle.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay. Anyway, it’s basically – it’s exactly that – it’s this lovely old woman who – and she is proper old, not old like I’m old. Playing…

Paul Boag:
She’s like in her 90s, isn’t she? Or 80s.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. Playing what looks like Grand Theft Auto or something like that and saying how good it is to keep – so she’s – it keeps her in – see I’ve lost it completely, I can’t talk, I obviously need to play more Grand Theft Auto.

Paul Boag:
Let’s play the video.

Dan Sheerman:
I just want to meet this lady.

Paul Boag:
Shall we play the video?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Are you – is – we’re ready? All right.

[Video]

Paul Boag:
What I love about this is she is like playing – you know, she’s not just playing crossword, Sudoku or something, she’s playing…

Dan Sheerman:
No that’s GTA IV.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
She is playing GTA IV. And she is quite a terrible old lady driver, isn’t she? I really love popping a cap in.

Dan Sheerman:
Kidnapping that next prostitute really gets me. Yeah.

Paul Boag:
PS3 eh? But it’s her TV, right? You can’t see this in it. She’s got like a 63-inch enormous TV. In fact I think they mention that at the end, it’s because she is going blind. So she has got this ridiculously large TV. I’ve stopped the video I got bored with it.

Marcus Lillington:
But anyway lovely old lady playing Grand Theft Auto, that’s well worth including in the show.

Paul Boag:
Absolutely. Is there a serious point we could draw out of this?

Marcus Lillington:
Well, yeah. That you should – you should do…

Dan Sheerman:
Play more GTA; we need a PS3 in the office.

Paul Boag:
Do we really?

Marcus Lillington:
Well, I think just playing games is important; of any sort.

Paul Boag:
I will tell you what, this – just to vaguely try and get a reasonable point out of this. It’s not to make assumptions about your audience.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s another one that I hadn’t thought of actually, yes, very good.

Paul Boag:
Because I’ve got to say …

Marcus Lillington:
Well, yeah, quite.

Paul Boag:
… the elderly is a good point – a good example of this, because obviously with the work that we did with Wiltshire Farm Foods – in fact a lot of our clients are old biddies, but it has to be said, when you actually meet these people, your immediate assumption is they’re going to be crap with technology. But actually they’re not. They think they are and they lack confidence, but they really are much more with it than you think they are and capable of doing a lot more stuff. So, yeah, I think not making assumptions about your audience, that’s our takeaway point for today.

Marcus Lillington:
Marvelous. And I have got a little joke.

Paul Boag:
You’ve got a little joke to wrap us up with.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, this is quite funny bearing in mind I was having a big rant earlier about people just going about marketing departments.

Paul Boag:
You’re about to slag off a marketing department?

Marcus Lillington:
No this is the IT support technician joke.

Paul Boag:
Oh right.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay?

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
So, an IT support technician goes to a firing range. He shoots 10 bullets at the target, 50 meters away. The supervisors check the target and see that there is not even a single hit. They shout to him that he missed completely. The technician tells them to recheck and gets the same answer. The technician then aims the gun at his finger and shoots blasting it off. He shouts back, it’s working this end, the problem must be at yours.

Dan Sheerman:
We should have used that excuse when we went shooting at Christmas.

Paul Boag:
Well, I didn’t need to because I was actually quite good.

Marcus Lillington:
I won.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, well that was because…

Marcus Lillington:
No I didn’t, Barry did. I finished second.

Dan Sheerman:
That must mean – no you didn’t.

Paul Boag:
He did.

Marcus Lillington:
I did?

Dan Sheerman:
Did we all come joint third then, the rest of us.

Paul Boag:
No I came third.

Marcus Lillington:
Paul was quite good.

Paul Boag:
I was – well I was – I was –

Marcus Lillington:
For something that involved coordination, he was quite good at. It’s amazing.

Paul Boag:
Shut up. Stranger things have happened. Well I have grown up in the country, I mean it’s probably – it’s probably in my genes somewhere…

Marcus Lillington:
That’s true. Exactly.

Paul Boag:
… maybe it’s an intrinsic thing that…

Dan Sheerman:
It’s flying across the sky. Bang. I don’t like strangers, what’s that? Bang.

Paul Boag:
Right. Okay, so that wraps up the show for this week. It was brilliant and I’m sure you agree that it was one of the best shows that you’ve ever listened to.

Marcus Lillington:
Ever. Ever, ever.

Paul Boag:
So, go along to iTunes and rate us and say how great we are because we always like that. But most of all go to boagworld.com/season/5 and suggest lots of yummy articles for us to review and discuss on the show and hopefully the way that I’ve completely massacred the slider article, will put you off of recommending your own articles but instead recommend somebody else’s. All right. Thank you very much for listening guys and talk to you again next week. Bye.

Headscape

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