Boagworld Show S07E02

Web & Digital Advice

Digital and web advice from Headscape and the addled brain of Paul Boag... tell me more

Paul Boag Posted by: Paul Boag On Friday, 20th September, 2013

Responsive accreditation

This week on the Boagworld Podcast we ask whether it is time for web design to have a professional body and whether all websites should be responsive.

Season 7:
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Paul Boag:
This week on the Boagworld podcast we ask whether it’s time for the web design industry to have a professional body. And we also ask whether all websites should be responsive.

Hello and welcome to boagworld.com, the podcast for all those involved in designing, developing and running websites on a daily basis. My name is Paul Boag and joining me as always today is Marcus, I don’t really care who you are. Today…

Marcus Lillington:
Paul is in a bit of a grump.

Paul Boag:
Well, this is one of those pivotal moments, isn’t it? Well not pivotal. Pivotal – the whole of the universe revolves around this moment. That’s completely the wrong word. It’s like, do we pretend to be happy when we’re both a little bit grumpy, it has to be said.

Marcus Lillington:
My inner sunshine it never goes away, Paul.

Paul Boag:
Mine bloody does.

Marcus Lillington:
Or it takes a lot more than …

Paul Boag:
I have to say that is true. I’ve never seen you really particularly down.

Marcus Lillington:
No.

Paul Boag:
You’re amazing.

Marcus Lillington:
I got – I am amazing.

Paul Boag:
Sorry, I didn’t mean – oh god I’m giving you a compliment. What an earth’s happening? See, I’m not right.

Marcus Lillington:
I’m very good at …

Paul Boag:
Hiding it. Deep down inside you’re crying.

Marcus Lillington:
Actually I’m crying all the time. No, I’m very good at seeing the wood for the trees and being able to go, ‘Well actually things aren’t that bad, are they?’ Because they really aren’t.

Paul Boag:
Do you know this morning, so I woke up this morning and I got an email immediately that depressed me and that one email has ruined my day. And yet all the way in the car coming here as I drove here, I was like, no – I actually went through and listed all the good things in my life and it wasn’t good and all the rest of that …

Marcus Lillington:
You’re rubbish then – I’m amazing, you’re rubbish.

Paul Boag:
I’m flipping am. One negative thing …

Marcus Lillington:
One of the good things in your life is …

Paul Boag:
You?

Marcus Lillington:
… the person that that email came from.

Paul Boag:
Oh, absolutely.

Marcus Lillington:
There is a really cool thing there.

Paul Boag:
Yes. Yeah, I’m not saying that. Absolutely and it’s like there are – yes. It wasn’t even that big a deal, an email, but just one little thing can set you off if you’re not in the right mood, I did have a shit night’s sleep, mind, as I always do.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s what I’m – I don’t know what going – coming over me, I’m like – every night, 10 o’clock, I think I need to go to bed now. When my kids were little, I would stay up till one in the morning every night, because that was my time.

Paul Boag:
Your special time, you said this before. We have heard it over phone, but …

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, but the new six listeners we have, they haven’t heard it. So from now on we can’t, everything has to be original? I can’t use any old anecdotes? Mind you, that is what old people do.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s – bloke down the pub. When I was a boy …

Paul Boag:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, we’ve reached that age, haven’t we, really. I did an interview yesterday on some other podcast, that’s name escapes me, which is really embarrassing. And I rambled on for an hour, over an hour, hour and 20 minutes, basically just doing exactly that. ‘When I was lad,’ it was all start ‘When I worked with Mozilla’ or not Mozilla, Mosaic, and ‘Things in the old days was so much better’ and all this, I must have sounded so old.

Marcus Lillington:
Mark who is the guy down the pub, bless him. I mean I think he does have a phone. It’s certainly not smart.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
But he wouldn’t know what a podcast is, he always says, ‘Years ago,’ because he was a thatcher.

Paul Boag:
Oh, awesome!

Marcus Lillington:
Thatching stories, it’s just great. But he does repeat himself endlessly.

Paul Boag:
So perhaps we need to start all our podcast from now on, ‘Years ago…’ That’d be awesome.

Marcus Lillington:
But I am worried.

Paul Boag:
Are you?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
What are you worried about?

Marcus Lillington:
I’m worried …

Paul Boag:
My mental wellbeing? Bit late for that, isn’t it?

Marcus Lillington:
That’s a kind of constant sort of underneath. Yes, yes, I do worry about your mental well-being, and that’s not what I meant, no. What I’m slightly worried about today is that my new MacBook Air is leaning against my front door as we speak.

Paul Boag:
Now I’m calculating whether I can get home to your house before you do, because I am much in envy of your new computer.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. I’m going to get it out and it’s going to look just like this one.

Paul Boag:
Yes it will do. It will exactly.

Marcus Lillington:
Exactly the same as this one and yes okay, it’s got more power …

Paul Boag:
And it will have a light up keyboard.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, that will be quite nice.

Paul Boag:
Which will be nice.

Marcus Lillington:
But that’s it really.

Paul Boag:
I don’t know why.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s it. It’s exactly the same.

Paul Boag:
But they’re only – what, it’s going to be about twice as fast, did we work out we did a bench …

Marcus Lillington:
More than twice.

Paul Boag:
… yeah, more than twice. We did a benchmark on it, didn’t we?

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t know what the points stand for, but this one is a 3,005 points and the new one is 7,200 odd.

Paul Boag:
Yes, brilliant. Lovely.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
I’m sure that’s amazing.

Marcus Lillington:
It means that it won’t go into super-fan mode, particularly when doing this sort of audio recording stuff.

Paul Boag:
Yes, absolutely.

Marcus Lillington:
But yes, someone’s nicked it, so…

Paul Boag:
Which is a shame really, for you.

Marcus Lillington:
They said Thursday and today is Wednesday. Shouldn’t start getting into what day it is.

Paul Boag:
They probably won’t leave it, will they? They will redeliver it.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, they will redeliver it when I’m not there.

Paul Boag:
So next Tuesday which will be the Tuesday just gone when this comes out I think, no, even later.

Marcus Lillington:
This is why I was worried about saying days.

Paul Boag:
No, just complete …

Marcus Lillington:
The one we recorded last week when was that coming …

Paul Boag:
That’s coming out next Friday. So this is …

Marcus Lillington:
What?

Paul Boag:
… two weeks away. So whatever I was going to say there is totally irrelevant. I was going to say Apple is going to tell me a load of things I have to buy, because they’re doing an announcement.

Marcus Lillington:
All right. What’s the new stuff coming out? New iPhone probably?

Paul Boag:
Two new iPhones.

Marcus Lillington:
Really?

Paul Boag:
Yes, an iPhone 5S and then an iPhone 5C, which is – the S is the normal upgrade that they do and then the 5C is going to be a plasticy cheap one.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh I don’t want that.

Paul Boag:
The kind of thing that Steve Jobs would never have approved of.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, quite right too. Sullying Apple’s name.

Paul Boag:
Exactly.

Marcus Lillington:
5C, C stands for crap.

Paul Boag:
It is interesting, isn’t it? Because the one thing that Jobs was always very good at – in fact was famous for when he returned to Apple after being in the wilderness, because he is messiah, so he had a wilderness experience where he only set up Pixar, you know, real wilderness times. When he came back the first thing he did was take the product line which was massively complicated and he basically created a quadrant with on one side pro and consumer and on the other side laptop and desktop and that was it. They produced four items. One pro laptop, one pro desktop, consumer and that was it. So it always …

Marcus Lillington:
They still do. Well, they’ve got two different types of laptop.

Paul Boag:
Yes, it has got more and more complicated and especially since he’s gone, you’re beginning to see product creep and a bigger range of products and it complicates the choice, you get choice paralysis, that kind of thing.

Marcus Lillington:
But they came out with a MacBook Air when he was there, right?

Paul Boag:
That is true. But that was quite – yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
But is that – That’s the consumer laptop, isn’t it? Yes, of course it is.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Consumer laptop and the MacBook Pro is the …

Paul Boag:
Because the MacBook went away essentially.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, the cheapy little MacBook.

Paul Boag:
Although I loved my little MacBook. It was great, great computer. So I don’t know whether they’re doing the right thing. But there is also rumors that – of course we’ve now got Mac Mini – sorry an iPad Mini as well as an iPad.

Marcus Lillington:
I love that.

Paul Boag:
The iPad Mini is lovely and there’s no point pointing to it, Marcus. It’s an audio podcast.

Marcus Lillington:
We love that.

Paul Boag:
That there.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, so years ago when there was only one type of iPad I didn’t have one, because I thought they were big and clunky and useless.

Paul Boag:
But the rumor is that this one might get retina on Tuesday. But of course by the time people are listening to this they’ll know about that.

Marcus Lillington:
They’ll know anyway. But it will be interesting, they will be able to – people will be able to make comparisons. But I do – I’m due a new phone very soon.

Paul Boag:
Oh, that would be good.

Marcus Lillington:
5S for me. I’m not having a 5-Crap.

Paul Boag:
No, I would be tempted to wait because otherwise you’re always going to be – wait till next year and get the 6.

Marcus Lillington:
Why?

Paul Boag:
Because it will have brainscan.

Marcus Lillington:
It will, it will fit in my head.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
I will just go and it will be in my head.

Paul Boag:
Well apparently, I mean from what I’m seeing for the rumors, the only thing new with the 5S is slightly fast processor and finger print reader.

Marcus Lillington:
Well, I’m never going to use that.

Paul Boag:
Exactly.

Marcus Lillington:
All right. What’s going to happen with the 6 then apart from brain-plugging.

Paul Boag:
It will be in your brain, that’s all you need to know.

Marcus Lillington:
I can’t wait. That will be April next year, no.

Paul Boag:
I’ve decided I’ve got a problem in regards to gadgets. It’s like, I just bought – this is a huge tangent – I just bought a new set of Boss headphones.

Marcus Lillington:
Can I have your old ones?

Paul Boag:
No, my wife has already dibbsied them. So I had these noise canceling headphones, they were really, really nice weren’t they, and they were brilliant when you go traveling.

Marcus Lillington:
Every time I go traveling I think, ‘I don’t travel enough,’ every time.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s like, well, if you made that decision 10 years ago, Marcus.

Paul Boag:
But my problem with them, I mean they were great, but the problem with them is that when you’re traveling they’re pretty big. So Boss have now produced in ear noise canceling ones that are incredible, they’re better than the over-ear ones.

Marcus Lillington:
But I don’t like putting them in my ear. I mean I do wear earphones in my ears, but I just feel that they are kind of like – I’m doing actions again, they kind of feel like something stuck in your ear. Whereas my current headphones that I’m wearing are big, proper round-your-head ones, which are just so much more comfortable.

Paul Boag:
No, I prefer the in-ears.

Marcus Lillington:
From an audio point of view as well.

Paul Boag:
Yes, well, I don’t know whether that’s the case actually with these ones, the noise canceling is phenomenal on them and they’re the Boss QuietComfort20i, which is the iPhone version.

Marcus Lillington:
And also I think you would have paid stupid amount of money for a little tiny thing.

Paul Boag:
₤259.

Marcus Lillington:
There you go. I think it’s the same price for the big ones.

Paul Boag:
I know. But I get hot ears with the big ones, because they cover your whole ears.

Marcus Lillington:
Hot ears is better than ear ache though.

Paul Boag:
I don’t get ear ache, see, but anyway this is all a tangent, my point was, I was getting really excited. Getting these headphones, getting this headphones, and I got them and it’s like five minutes later it’s like, ‘I’ve had those now.’ What’s next?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. You will never be satisfied.

Paul Boag:
I need a gadget hit.

Marcus Lillington:
You will never be satisfied.

Paul Boag:
No, I know.

Marcus Lillington:
Your gadgets need to be more expensive to get the same hit.

Paul Boag:
To get the same hit.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes. More and more and it won’t last as long.

Paul Boag:
It’s like crack cocaine. No. It’s not as good. Life is…

Marcus Lillington:
69p apps used to work but nothing anymore from that.

Paul Boag:
I think I’m increasingly coming to the conclusion that my life is done.

Marcus Lillington:
Or you need to do something else.

Paul Boag:
Like start this podcast maybe.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s a really good idea.

Paul Boag:
This is the longest boringest introduction I think we have ever done.

Should web designers be accredited?

Share your thoughts

Right, so we haven’t discussed who is doing agreed and who is doing disagreed this week. So I’ll tell you the subject and you can decide whether you agree or disagree.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Paul Boag:
All right?

Marcus Lillington:
No doubt, I will be on the fence, but …

Paul Boag:
Yeah, but you’ve got to pick a side, haven’t you?

Marcus Lillington:
All right, come on then.

Paul Boag:
Right. Here we go. This house proposes – have you got all your notes up by the way? Have you got all of this in front of you, because you’ll need it to be able to reference other people’s stuff, what other people have said. Because last time, in the last show we did, it was just your opinion, me, me, me the whole time.

Marcus Lillington:
It will be the same this time. I will try not to do. Go on then, read it out and I will decide.

Paul Boag:
This house proposes that the web design sector should have a professional standards body and that web designers should have an option to become accredited.

Marcus Lillington:
Please can I disagree with that?

Paul Boag:
Okay. You may disagree. Why do you disagree in your opinion?

Marcus Lillington:
Because generally speaking, and I make the point strongly, generally speaking, I think accreditation bodies are set up for the people in the accreditation body and not for the people that they’re accrediting. That if you’re good, you’re good and if you’re bad, you’re bad and the bad people, it’s not going to make the bad people go away. I think they’re still going to be there. You’re cowboys and the like – it won’t make them go away. I suppose it might mean that you’re less likely to get a cowboy, so that’s a good thing. So I’m now arguing the other side of the case, but generally speaking, I think that they don’t bring a lot to the party.

Paul Boag:
Well Greg Robertson said that if there was – if you could be an accredited professional, then wouldn’t that separate you from the amateurs and present ourselves to the world as accredited professionals, giving potential clients more information before choosing a firm, because how do clients differentiate the …

Marcus Lillington:
Shannon Mølhave, this was what I was about to say, says no, I think a designer’s portfolio says much more about their capabilities than a certificate.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, okay. But no, that’s the end of my argument, no.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, that’s what I kind of think actually.

Paul Boag:
But that falls down on a number of levels, right? There are a whole load of – for a start, from a design point of view what if you’re a coder? It doesn’t help looking at a website and a portfolio to judge whether a coder is any good or not. Secondly there are a lot of aspects from looking at a website you can’t tell. You can’t tell whether it’s actually converting particularly well; you can’t tell whether it’s effectively achieving its objectives.

Marcus Lillington:
But having a certificate is not going to tell you if people can make websites that convert. It means that they can get certificates, yes? It means that they can fill in forms, whoopee.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, but then – okay, what about other industries? Like Laurence, say – talks about, a gas engineer has to be accredited. Can you imagine – how would you feel about having someone come and installing – install your boiler without them knowing whether it’s actually safe or not, whether it’s actually fit for purpose. And you rely on the accreditation to tell whether if somebody is fit for purpose.

Marcus Lillington:
It goes too far though, because if you – say if you want to do – if you were perfect – if you knew, Paul Boag:, you were really brilliant at electrics and wiring for example and you were as good as any electrician out there. You cannot touch your stuff in your house. You have to be – you have to have a certificate that says you’re allowed to do that, even though you have the knowledge. I think that’s what it…

Paul Boag:
But that’s not what the house proposes. Because the house proposes, and I quote, the web designer should have the option of becoming accredited. They don’t have to be, they can still operate…

Marcus Lillington:
It’s a slippery slope.

Paul Boag:
That’s it. No, that’s just a stock answer to everything.

Marcus Lillington:
It so is though. And we should be concentrating on the work, not on filling in forms.

Paul Boag:
But I mean Laurence goes on to say in his which I really like, which is he says ‘Customers have no idea of what they’re been given. They could pay thousands of pounds for what in effect is a few hours of plug and play.’ This is the kind of practice that should be stopped and accreditation wouldn’t solve it, but it would help at least give people something, because let’s be honest. I could go out there and I could easily fleece clients, easily. Oh yes, we will develop you this custom, blah, blah, blah, go out there and install WordPress, slap a theme on it, call it job done. It’s all bullshit. If you wanted it to be…

Marcus Lillington:
But you could do that with a certificate as well.

Paul Boag:
But at least with a certificate one presumes would have some kind of mechanism behind it that …

Marcus Lillington:
There is a test, people go back and check your work, but are they really going to do that?

Paul Boag:
Well, there has got to be some kind. I mean, how does a boiler become accredited? He must go through a certain training cycle. So it must have met a certain standard.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. But that – what you just described was conning people.

Paul Boag:
Yes. This is very difficult because I actually disagree.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, that’s why I didn’t want to be on the agree side, because it’s like – It’s a dangerous ground because I mean, it’s things like ISO, I can remember when I used to work at a really big company.

Paul Boag:
Oh, ISO are a pain in the arse, you spend more time complying to ISO than you do work.

Marcus Lillington:
But people do win work by being ISO compliant.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Not so much in our industry, but if you want to – I don’t know, build an office block, then you must have all the ISO compliance stuff. But I can remember being audited, when I used to work at a company called R J Wiggins, big paper company

Paul Boag:
Yeah, I was audited when I was at IBM.

Marcus Lillington:
And it just – it’s utterly pointless.

Paul Boag:
Yes. It is.

Marcus Lillington:
The audit tells what we were being measured upon, you knew what was coming up, so you could just basically make sure everything was in place as it should be and then it went back to normal after that. So therefore it was worthless. It’s all basically about giving people jobs, he said cynically.

Paul Boag:
I mean, to be fair this is kind of going off a bit…

Marcus Lillington:
So therefore there are buts to this, you would want a certified architect I think for example, I think that in certain fields, and it depends what you mean by certification, you want your doctor to have passed their degree.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Now that’s interesting because that was what Luke Whitehouse came, he said, he wrote, I’ll read what he wrote because he kind of goes along that line. ‘Whether or not this is a true judge of skills is irrelevant, as we get larger as an industry, so will the pressure to become a more structured industry become a reality. Not only that, but now there are courses in University and Colleges and you will see more and more people and the next generation coming into the industry with qualifications, which will push up the bar of entry to the industry, making it eventually impossible to get into without qualifications.’ So it might be the said fact that given enough time, you don’t need accreditation because essentially you would never hire a web designer who didn’t have a degree in web design. In the same way as you would never hire a doctor that hadn’t passed a medical exam.

Marcus Lillington:
Exactly.

Paul Boag:
So it kind of might resolve itself.

Marcus Lillington:
Because SmallTimeMarketeer says, ‘My take on why this happens is that being a website designer is a mix of Artist, Business person, Public Speaker, Professional Listener, Skilled Scheduler, Accountant, Bookkeeper, and many more. Making accreditation pretty difficult to pull off.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. I mean that’s the real problem here, is that actually not whether or not it is a good idea. It’s that it’s actually really difficult to do. Any accreditation – it goes back to the old thing about universities as well.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
As soon as the university puts a syllabus in place it’s out of date, and the same …

Marcus Lillington:
djarumjack says exactly that.

Paul Boag:
Does he?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
Right. I think that’s spot on basically and I think what probably undermines it. There is some accreditation out there already for example both Microsoft and Adobe offer accreditation for their technologies. But you’re not going to get that from the open source community. So, difficult isn’t it?

Marcus Lillington:
I’m going to finish off with Adrian Payne, who says, ‘Let’s pretend we’re back in the ‘90s and this accreditation body exists. Somebody grabs an accreditation and come 2013 they are still a successful business. Sitting there making web sites with full blown table based layouts, image map navigation and scrolling marquees, but clients trust them because they’ve got that shiny accreditation certificate on the wall so they know what they’re doing.’ It’s a bit too cynical, but yeah …

Paul Boag:
The only way it can possibly work is if you have to renew it.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, which you would. But then that gets – then the other cynical part of my brain gets into well so it’s just in the business then, it’s a business of …

Paul Boag:
Making money, yeah you’re right, you’re right. Sorry, all those guys that argued agree, I did a rubbish job at supporting you.

Marcus Lillington:
I’ll take the bad one on the next one. It’s only fair.

Paul Boag:
Okay.

Should all websites be responsive?

Share your thoughts

Okay. So this one’s interesting, Marcus because you said you’re going to pick the bad side on this and I don’t know which side that is?

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Paul Boag:
I’m really torn over it. This house proposes that all new websites should be built to be responsive. Which side you’re going to go for on that one?

Marcus Lillington:
I can go either way, honestly.

Paul Boag:
It’s difficult.

Marcus Lillington:
You pick.

Paul Boag:
Okay. I’m going to go with disagree. I don’t know whether I believe that or not. It’s interesting. Really good one this one.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Paul Boag:
Right. So where should we start?

Marcus Lillington:
Right. Well, I’m going to start with just the first one. I haven’t read it. This is Andy Kinsley says and he agrees. All websites designed and built from scratch should be responsive in nature, this includes both the structure and the content. That’s more of a statement than a reason.

Paul Boag:
It’s a statement. Yeah, that’s not a reason. But I mean there is – Wesley Knight kind of builds on that point where he says by default the web is responsive. By default it’s responsive. We’re the ones that impose rigidity on top of that and it’s so – it’s us that needs to take control over that visual representation. So he kind of backs it up. So it was quite interesting the conversation on this one kind of skewed in lots of interesting directions like for example it then moved into a conversation of well actually are we talking about responsiveness here or actually is this an accessibility issue. Is it about making things accessible for mobile devices and Philip started talking about that.

Marcus Lillington:
Which it kind of is, but then you can argue that if you can view a website and you can pinch and zoom on your device – I’m doing your argument – then it’s still accessible. When is it, when does it become inaccessible? I agree that all content should be accessible as it can be or that interestingly I was just…

Paul Boag:
Well not necessarily “as it can be” because it can be incredibly accessible, but as can be justified within business constraints.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t know if this is relevant, but I was just flicking around Twitter the other night and Tom Harley, Tommy used to work for us, he tweeted a link to an article that said I want to say not graceful degradation …

Paul Boag:
Progressive enhancement.

Marcus Lillington:
… is dead.

Paul Boag:
Oh for crying out loud.

Marcus Lillington:
It was the title of the article. I didn’t read it all, but it was lots of articles that were basically – lots of points basically along the lines of this argument about accessibility is too limiting.

Paul Boag:
Oh god, that needs to be another debates topic.

Marcus Lillington:
So there you go. There’s another one.

Paul Boag:
There is a debate tomorrow, let’s not get into that one now, because otherwise I will go off for one. Is it Devolute? Devolute, I think and he makes…

Marcus Lillington:
Devolute.

Paul Boag:
He says I think things have changed significantly that maybe the good question to ask is "Do all websites need to be optimized for desktops, or is mobile enough? I think that’s a bit pretentious. We’re not there yet.

Marcus Lillington:
No, I think we do have to forget – we do have to remember that we’re not in the real world.

Paul Boag:
No, we’re not. We are in a make-believe, webby world.

Marcus Lillington:
We totally are.

Paul Boag:
Absolutely.

Marcus Lillington:
A make-believe world, where IE doesn’t exist and IT departments don’t put limitations on us etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Paul Boag:
So anyway I will get back to my position that I’m supposed to be taking, which is the disagreeing position.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, go on then.

Paul Boag:
And why do people have to have such annoying names, Raven?

Marcus Lillington:
Răzvan

Paul Boag:
Răzvan. He says that a responsive web site should be considered a luxury more than a necessity. If the client has the money and time then they can chose to go responsive, or not. So, I don’t know if I entirely – I don’t know whether I entirely agree with that, do I agree with that?

Marcus Lillington:
Should all websites be responsive? Of course, but that shouldn’t mean that the website must be the main platform for mobile users.

Paul Boag:
So in other words you could have a mobile site or a native app as well?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, yeah. Well, yeah that’s fair enough. On a personal level I feel that all designers and developers who do not do responsive as a default are not doing justice to the web building community and industry. It still doesn’t say no though. This doesn’t say why?

Paul Boag:
That’s just jingoistic. That’s not the right word. Just arrogant crap. Who was that? I’m going to …

Marcus Lillington:
Matt.

Paul Boag:
Matt, you’re scum, Matt. You’re a terrible human being. Oh no, now I’m just doing the same as he did, no, sorry, Matt, I love you really.

Marcus Lillington:
But, what was I going to say – what – let’s say – let’s take this argument forward 10 years say…

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
… all right? Would anyone who is coding websites because basically the different – to go back to the point that Răzvan made was that it costs more to do a responsive site.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Now obviously from a design point of view you’ve got to make decisions, you know, for wireframing, but let’s say that’s out of the window. Just from a coding point of view it does take longer to do a responsive site, yes tick.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
But in 10 years time won’t everyone do responsive coding, so going back and doing a site that isn’t responsive would be kind of …

Paul Boag:
Sorry, I zoned out, because I was sitting on my Hover Castle because we’re 10 years in the future and I’m going to live in a Hover Castle.

Marcus Lillington:
A Hover Castle? Wow!

Paul Boag:
That’s where I’m going to live.

Marcus Lillington:
Actually you haven’t got any – we won’t – the internet won’t be …

Paul Boag:
I won’t care.

Marcus Lillington:
The internet will be

Paul Boag:
10 years it will be all Google glasses, you won’t have websites.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah exactly. So this is all really irrelevant.

Paul Boag:
We’ll go: “Siri, tell me what I need to know” and Siri will go: “no, I’m your master and overlord. You shall do what I tell you.”

Marcus Lillington:
That probably will happen. Siri is the start.

Paul Boag:
It is isn’t it? It’s Skynet. It’s the beginning.

Marcus Lillington:
The reason why he doesn’t work at the moment, it’s all just a ruse.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, he’s actually artificially intelligent, he’s just hiding it.

Marcus Lillington:
Exactly.

Paul Boag:
I think Brian…

Marcus Lillington:
I haven’t come up with anyone that says it – that I’d agree with yet.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, Brian has got another good argument about – in terms of disagreeing. He says it depends on the content, on the audience and on the client who generally – and there is generally two reasons for wanting responsibility – a responsive website; it’s a trend, is one of his reasons …

Marcus Lillington:
Oh now I don’t agree with that.

Paul Boag:
Why have an app when you can have a responsive site. So he is basically saying it’s either because it’s people want it because it’s trendy and I think clients do. There’s a lot of people that are putting in briefs, “yes we want a responsive website,” without really understanding what that means and also they see it as a cheap alternative to a mobile – a proper mobile site.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, I’m just saying, I know I’m supposed to be on the agreeing side. I think there is a good reason at the moment why you would disagree with this and that’s purely the amount of time it takes to develop and when, is just a desktop site better than no site at all, yes.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
But that’s pretty poor.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, okay. Fair enough. What about John then? John says it should depend on the client’s requirements: target market, content, message, type of user, budget.

Marcus Lillington:
Budget yes, but all the rest of them no.

Paul Boag:
Why?

Marcus Lillington:
Why?

Paul Boag:
With target market, okay, if you were aiming at your whatshisname down the pub, he hasn’t got a smartphone, so why make a responsive site?

Marcus Lillington:
Because the only way he could access the Internet will be via his not very smart phone.

Paul Boag:
But that’s not a responsive site?

Marcus Lillington:
I exaggerated on the not smart phone. He’s got one of those quite big fat Samsung things.

Paul Boag:
Oh, okay.

Marcus Lillington:
He doesn’t have a PC at home. More and more people are using tablets and phones. More – many, many, many, many more, I can’t think of a case of when the target market would only be using desktops.

Paul Boag:
Okay, John makes another point. He makes the money point that you said about the price.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
But there is another kind of related to that, which is time, that it takes longer as well and time doesn’t always allow it. So I think that’s a good point as well.

Marcus Lillington:
Time waits for no man.

Paul Boag:
Exactly.

Marcus Lillington:
Let me read one.

Paul Boag:
Oh go on then.

Marcus Lillington:
Patrick Johnson says, “How can a better optimized user experience be a bad thing? I understand that some projects have budget restrictions and a clearly defined audience that makes responsive unfeasible, but otherwise, a better user experience should always be a priority.” That’s just what I’ve just said. Okay.

Paul Boag:
I don’t know. Let’s have a look at what Chris said, “There are absolute cases where the physical size of the screen and the interface needs to be tightly coupled together. UI patterns on the iPhone being the most obvious example of that. But more generally, the idea of “write once and run everywhere” has been attempted so many times. And each time we see something coming up that breaks that model. Additionally I believe that designing for the lowest common denominator will produce boring sites that won’t help the content.”

Marcus Lillington:
I was just actually sat here thinking about the cost thing and I was actually thinking that I don’t agree with that either. I really do genuinely agree that all websites should be responsive, because mobile devices are, if they haven’t already, about to take over from desktop devices for people accessing the Internet. All right, for some groups that’s going to be a – it’s going to take longer, but you can’t ignore it. I can’t think of any case where you can ignore it.

Paul Boag:
Okay.

Marcus Lillington:
So therefore it’s actually you’re restricting your audience, therefore it’s a – especially if you’re selling something anyway, you’re going to end up losing money, even though you maybe paid less in the first place.

Paul Boag:
Okay. All right. There is a couple of things with that. One is as you’ve already said, you can use a desktop website on a mobile device, point one. So it’s not that the content is inaccessible.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, true. But it might be so poor that – it might be so difficult to do that you might not get any sales, using my previous example.

Paul Boag:
Okay. But it is in theory – depending on what your desktop site is…

Marcus Lillington:
You could do it, yes.

Paul Boag:
…it is possible. Second element here is what – which is what Chris is arguing and actually we’re going to do this as a separate question at a later date – is, he is saying that actually responsiveness is all well and good, but actually it’s a stopgap. It’s a stopgap for doing kind of device specific websites. So an iPhone – you should be doing an iPhone site that looks and feels like an iPhone, an android site that looks and feels like an android that has that kind of user interface. So actually responsive design is kind of a minimal requirement and that’s his argument against all websites being responsive is not that you shouldn’t cater for mobile, but actually this “write once, run everywhere” mentality is not enough. That that isn’t going to cut it over the long-term.

Marcus Lillington:
But that – going back to what the original remit was, “This house proposes that all new websites should be built to be responsive” and he is agreeing with that. He’s saying but you should also do other stuff as well.

Paul Boag:
No, he’s saying instead of making it responsive, you should provide – you should have a desktop version, an iPhone version, an iPad version and an android version.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s nuts, in my view.

Paul Boag:
Well I’m not going to get in too much, because we’re going to cover that in more detail in another show. But it’s an interesting angle on it.

Marcus Lillington:
What Shannon says, “Responsive…” – and this is a good response to what you just said…

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
“…inherently means device-agnostic…”

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
“…which is necessary this day and age if you want your content to be consumable by all of your users,” which was the point I was just making.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, I have to say from my personal perspective I would probably, I think well I obviously agree actually because that’s what we do at Headscape.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. Yeah, we do. Every new thing is …

Paul Boag:
Is responsive.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
And that – whether that will last forever, whether that is the right solution for ever, but here and now from my perspective building a responsive website, a basic responsive website, we don’t always kind of because it’s a very broad statement to say you’re making your website responsive. Are we talking – we don’t necessarily optimize all of our images and load different images for different… because of budgetary constraints. But a basic responsive website is something we build by default because the cost isn’t that much higher and that the – it ensures a long-term or longer-term reliability – what’s the word, shelf life for the website. So I mean I actually once again I’ve argued against something I don’t think I agree with.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, I’m always kind of going – but as we – as seems to be the trend here, we both go like that all the way through it and neither of us will stick to our side of the argument.

Paul Boag:
No, we won’t. But it’s nice to have a starting point.

Marcus Lillington:
I think I do agree with that one. I mean, the only thing I keep going back to in my mind is that – is when I argued against it is, is a desktop only side better than those site at all, yes.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
But I think I then argued that particularly if – unless it’s a personal blog that has no kind of particular audience or something you’re not that bothered whether it’s successful or not. If it’s supposed to be doing something, selling something, providing information to people, then I think that actually it’s a false economy and that you should be paying the extra to make it responsive, to get, so that all of your audience can see it, because so many people view websites …

Paul Boag:
That’s the trouble. The trouble is, is that they don’t. So many people don’t all view websites on mobile devices right now.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, they do. And I will tell you a story, Paul, about me.

Paul Boag:
This is going to be anecdotal.

Marcus Lillington:
No it isn’t.

Paul Boag:
Go on.

Marcus Lillington:
Well it is a bit, I suppose, but I was sat on the sofa, not last night, night before, and an advert came on about a charity that was quite similar to the charity that I went to see yesterday morning. And it was on exactly the same subject as about I was going to go and see them. So obviously my ears pricked up and I thought oh, I better go and have a look at this and it’s big URL across the screen, very sad, but happy because the good things happened. Big URL across the screen at the end of it. I pick up my iPhone off the coffee table, type in …dot org dot uk, bammo, I can’t read it and I’m also blind as well these days, so it’s even worse and it was just like, put the phone back down on the table, you’ve just spent loads and loads of money on TV advertising and you haven’t made a website.

Paul Boag:
But that was wholly anecdotal, right?

Marcus Lillington:
But it’s a pretty good example.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, yeah. But the reality is, we – if you look at the analytics of a lot of clients, not all the clients, a lot of clients have really quite high mobile levels, but some have quite low. Some of them may only have 5% of their audience using mobile devices at the moment.

Marcus Lillington:
You would struggle to find something that low. When I was looking at an organization that we worked for a year-ago, they were at over 10% at that point already and they weren’t the kind of organization to think, well, they will be a massive mobile audience or not.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
It was just a bog standard kind of institution. About 10% or 11% and on the rise and that was a year ago and that was before the iPad Christmas that we had last year.

Paul Boag:
I can’t really argue this, really. I’m trying to – I think because – it’s a kind of – this is I’m going to use your word, I can’t believe I’m going to do this, it’s a slippery slope. If you say, oh, only 5%, even if it’s only 5% are using mobile devices we won’t support then. Only 5% use IE7, we won’t support them, only 5% don’t have JavaScript turned on, we won’t support them. Before you know it, you’ve kind of decimated your entire audience and they so – yeah, I actually think it’s such a growth area, how can you not? You have to take mobile seriously now. And responsive at the moment I think is the most cost effective way of doing that as a starting point. But I do lean a little bit towards, I can’t remember what his name is, that …

Marcus Lillington:
About this idea of having specific sites on specific devices.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, I wouldn’t necessarily go as far as specific sites for specific devices …

Marcus Lillington:
Because that may as well be an app then.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, but I may lean towards the – perhaps you need a device – sorry, a website that is a mobile site rather than just a responsive site. But then you do get into areas, well, we’ll cover that in another show, because I want to save that juicy conversation for another time.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Paul Boag:
And there are pros and cons to both sides of that argument as well, which means it’s a great debate topic. How are we doing time wise, Marcus?

Marcus Lillington:
We are good. It’s joke time I would say.

Paul Boag:
Is it joke time already?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, it is.

Paul Boag:
It’s just such fun doing these podcasts when I’m in a good mood.

Marcus Lillington:
Hey, I’ve got a joke for you, Paul.

Paul Boag:
Oh, is it more – your set of jokes you were doing last week?

Marcus Lillington:
This is number one. This is the funniest joke …

Paul Boag:
The funniest joke ever.

Marcus Lillington:
… from a bloke called Rob Orton. I heard a rumor that Cadbury is bringing out an Oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese whisper.

Paul Boag:
That won best joke.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s the best joke.

Paul Boag:
Talking about chocolates?

Marcus Lillington:
It’s not as good as don’t be Sicily, that’s absolutely …

Paul Boag:
That was a good one, yeah. Talking about chocolate, have you seen this android-KitKat tie-in?

Marcus Lillington:
Embarrassingly, speaking to the client this morning, I had to admit no I haven’t.

Paul Boag:
Oh, so funny. So they’ve always – android releases the different versions of their operating system, it’s always been…

Marcus Lillington:
Hello, Amy, by the way. She listens.

Paul Boag:
Oh it’s Amy? Are we allowed to say who she works for?

Marcus Lillington:
Well I think I’ve just given it away.

Paul Boag:
All right. Yeah, considering the reference. So they’ve always had like different versions of Jelly Bean and various kind of generic suites and stuff like that. And they’ve – this time it’s going to be KitKat. But what I love about it, I was reading on the BBC about the background of how it came about and I think more business decisions need to be made like this. The guys at Google were like basically yeah, what can we go for next? And they happened to open the fridge and there was a KitKat in it. ‘Hey, we’ve got to go for KitKat.’ ‘Oh no, we can’t do that, that’s a brand name.’ ‘Or we could give them a ring’ and that’s how it happened.

Marcus Lillington:
They’re not going to say no, are they?

Paul Boag:
And, but no money has been exchanged, nothing there is not – just they rang up Nestlé and went, ‘Can we call our operating system KitKat?’ ‘Yeah alright, that sounds good.’ It was just so laid back and you just think that’s brilliant. That’s the way it should be done.

Marcus Lillington:
Absolutely.

Paul Boag:
Lovely.

Marcus Lillington:
But of course I didn’t know that. I hadn’t heard that.

Paul Boag:
You ought to check out – check out the kitkat.com website. Go to kitkat.com, it’s just brilliant.

Marcus Lillington:
Doing it now.

Paul Boag:
And they really tied in really well. And so not only is the new operating system going to be called KitKat, but also KitKat’s branding is now going to be down there, all the KitKat’s are going to have the little android figure on. And their KitKat website is done like a mobile website. Like selling a mobile phone on it. Have you found it?

Marcus Lillington:
Currently I have a red screen and nothing else.

Paul Boag:
That’s shame, that’s our rubbish broadband connection in the barn. It’s just really good because it’s like – it sells KitKat like it’s a mobile phone. It’s really funny. So I think that’s a brilliant tie-in. Well done all those involved. You have my approval.

Marcus Lillington:
Have you seen the – on the subject of advertising and being like another thing. Have you seen that, I can’t remember the type of cider it is, but the cider ads that are in the Apple store?

Paul Boag:
Yes. Brilliant aren’t they?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. Absolutely super. Oh, it’s doing it. KitKat 4.4, the future of confectionary has arrived.

Paul Boag:
It’s brilliant. So good. A lot of people are like, ‘Neh neh’, it’s interesting that all the kind of branding people, the marketing people are going, ‘If KitKat has a bad reputation, Nestlé have a bad reputation, then that will drag the Google brand down,’ and it’s like, you’re just jealous, because you didn’t think of it.

Marcus Lillington:
The tech specs, four fingers, one finger. That is good.

Paul Boag:
Very well thought through. Love it. Good guys. So that about wraps up this week’s show, does it not?

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
I’m just wondering …

Marcus Lillington:
What’s next week.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, do I know what’s next week?

Marcus Lillington:
You didn’t last week, you only had enough for this week.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, but things move on, Marcus. Things move on. Yes, I have. Do you want to know what next week’s is?

Marcus Lillington:
I forgot last time you told me, so yeah.

Paul Boag:
This house proposes that the current trend towards flat design is damaging usability and the intuitiveness of many websites and applications.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay. What do you mean by current trend? No, let’s not discuss it now.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Have you not seen, everything’s gone flat.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh, I see what you mean, yes, yes.

Paul Boag:
All the designs are flat now.

Marcus Lillington:
There is no – there are no shadows or nothing.

Paul Boag:
No drop shadows and nothing skeuomorphic anymore. We all rejected that. So, and the second one is this house proposes that where budgets allow organization should create a separate mobile website instead of relying solely on a responsive design, which is a follow-up to what I was saying.

Marcus Lillington:
I’ve got that one, two words, it depends.

Paul Boag:
You know that’s not allowed. Very naughty of you, Marcus.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Paul Boag:
So there we go, that’s next week’s show. Join us again there. In the meantime, guys, before I say goodbye, will you do me a great honor, a great privilege, you kind of faff around these things, I’m just going to ask you. I want to get more people listening to this show. So tell someone. It’s as simple as that.

Marcus Lillington:
Go out of your door now …

Paul Boag:
No, no.

Marcus Lillington:
… and shout it to the world.

Paul Boag:
It’s not – I’ve been thinking about this, how do you build an audience, how do you motivate people and you start getting into all of these kind of almost psychological tricks and I thought no screw that, I’m just going to ask people. Go and tell someone about if you like the show. Give us a rating on iTunes that would be really appreciated as well, because we would like more than six people listening to the show, because we put quite a lot work into it.

Marcus Lillington:
If we could get into double figures by the end of this series. How good would that be?

Paul Boag:
Awesome. That will be brilliant wouldn’t it? Anyway thank you very much for listening and thank you in advance for your recommendation and we will talk to you again next week. Goodbye.

Marcus Lillington:
Bye.

Our sincere thanks to the guys at PodsInPrint for transcribing this show.

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