Podcast season 2: Getting our hands dirty

I have been recording the Boagworld Podcast for over 5 years now and yet we have never built a website as part of the show. Its time for that to change.

Season 2 of the Boagworld Podcast was going to be about client centric web design. However because of Mike Kus (@mikekus) that is all going to change (so blame him!).

A change of plan

The second season was due to be all about working with clients and I still have every intention of doing that for season 3. However, sitting at FOWD I watched a brilliant presentation by Mike Kus in which he showed a time lapse video of him designing a website.

Mike Kus talk from FOWD

I love watching how other people work. Nothing is more enlightening even if you are a seasoned professional with years of experience. We all approach web design differently and you can learn so much from seeing how other people solve problems.

Rebuilding a website on the show

As I watched Mike’s presentation I thought how cool it would be to do something similar for the podcast. Obviously that doesn’t work so well in audio format but it got me thinking. What if myself and Marcus went through the entire process of building a website from start to finish. We could tackle everything from defining our business objectives to integrating the design with our CMS of choice.

I’ll get help with my crappy code!

The problem I have is that it has been a long time since I have coded a website myself. I spend so much time advising clients on their web strategy I don’t really spend anytime designing or coding. However, after nearly giving up on the idea it occurred to me that this was the perfect situation to be in. It meant we could interview experts in design and code getting their opinions about the best approach. I could learn alongside the listener!

My embarrassing code

We are back on the 9th June

I am therefore pleased to announce that on the 9th June we will be launching season 2 of podcast in which we will redesign and relaunch the Boagworld website over a series of weeks.

Rebuilding Boagworld.com

The reason I have selected Boagworld as the site to redesign is simple. First, if you are reading this you are already familiar with the site and so understand at least some of its background. Secondly, it is in desperate need of improvement!


The show will go out every 2 weeks for as long as it takes to complete the rebuild. The reason it is only coming out once a fortnight is to give me time to advance the build between shows.

We’ll make it transparent

I will make the process as transparent as possible showing both my successes and failures. I am also hoping to make it interactive with listeners participating in user testing and maybe even in the process of designing and coding the site.

To be honest I am a little apprehensive about doing such a prominent project so publicly, but I am hopeful that we can learn from each other and it can become a community effort.

So what do you think? Do you have suggestions about how the season should work or how the site can be improved? Would you like to get involved or want to recommend people to get advice from? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Very cool idea Paul, I’m looking forward to this a lot. I think it’ll have the added benefit of encouraging listeners to give their sites a little TLC too. I might well overhaul our company site in parallel with you!

  • Sorry if two comments appear from me, mobile safari crashed as I submitted the first one – the testing begins!

    Anyway, I was saying I really like this idea and I think it’ll encourage people to give some attention to their own sites too. Our personal sites are where we can take a few risks before putting features into client sites so this will be good motivation for everyone.

  • Yikes… sounds interesting, but you are violating a very important rule, here.

    Avoid design by committee, at all costs!

  • I love this idea! It couldn’t come at a better time for me too. I’m about to attempt to redesign the website for the organization I work for, so hopefully I’ll be able to pick up on some tips and tricks!

    I can’t wait to see what you guys have to present!

  • Sounds like a good plan … would be particularly interested in the discussion pre-code, where you’d talk about the approach – HTML5 vs. XHTML (perhaps not a no-brainer … there was a good article on this over here http://cognition.happycog.com/article/are-doctypes-the-new-lunch-tables) … about whether you’re going to start for small screen devices and work up, whether you differentiate between mobile and small screen, etc., the conversations around CMS choice, etc. In short: Am Looking Forward To It! Good luck.

    • We will definitely cover all of that.

  • Brilliant!

  • Ready to learn!

  • Sounds like a great idea – and something different. Looking forward to listening and seeing how it all pans out!

  • Great idea, really looking forward to it.

    I’d like to see some stats or analytics for your site before (ones that your happy to give away), and try and improve them or have certain goals that will be met by the redesign. Example you might like more people to subscribe via itunes, so how do you improve that through design.

  • Lee

    It sounds a brilliant idea, it’s good that you’re going to include both the back and front end work. I’m very glad I stumbled upon your website. As a (soon to be) student designer/developer, it should be very useful to see the whole process unfold. I look forward to listening!

  • Great idea Paul, I’m really looking forward to Season 2 now (much more so than before – you’ve covered clients before… :-)

    Any chance of a link to that Mike Kus timelapse video? I can’t find it on his site, and as it covers two of my loves – timelapse and web design – I’d really like to see it!


  • This is great, especially following up on the last post about education. One thing did catch my eye though:

    Isn’t a site supposed to be a living thing and evolve? I always take your articles / book as a reference to show clients an evolving site will not really need a complete redesign with new features, sections, etc. I hope you can talk about how Boagworld is the exception here, or how Boagworld didn’t ‘stay alive’.

    Can’t wait, marking the 6th of June on my calender!

  • Rob

    Great idea for a series Paul, and very courageous too! I’m always curious how other designers/developers code their sites, especially those I respect, so I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from this. I also love the idea of going through the entire process from start to finish. Looking forward to it!

  • Ed

    Looking forward to it Paul!

    I too always enjoy getting a peek at how others approach a redesign process.

    Be sure to tackle working with frameworks vs. starting with a blank canvas. It’s very divisive but I think key to how we approach the redevelopment process in 2011.


  • I also think it’s a superb idea. I don’t think design by committee will be an issue here. At the end of the day Paul & Marcus have the final say. WHen it comes onto the technical parts with the code etc., would it be on something like GitHub where we can all view the code & even fork it if we want to make suggestions/changes?

  • I love this idea.
    I’m new to this being web designer stuff so I haven’t really developed my own process/workflow yet. And sometimes the vast array of choices is kinda paralyzing.
    It’ll be great to see how someone else does it from start to finish.
    How’s the book going to work? Will you be writing it first and using it as your brief, or will you write it during/after so the rest of us can use it as a quide?
    Maybe you could do both.

  • Sounds like a great idea, looking forward to it.

  • max

    Cool looking foward to it, another bit of good advice from headscape, already used so much of your advice (especially when dealing with clients) iam starting to feel guilty. keep the good stuff coming

  • Looking forward to it Paul!

  • absolutely can’t wait amazing idea

  • Cool. Looking forward very much to that one. Here’s a link to a Mike Kus time lapse video I found – not sure if it’s the correct one but still excellent and fascinating stuff… http://shakenandstirredweb.com/207/mike-kus-time-lapse-design-process

  • Looking forward to it Paul.

  • Looking forward to it Paul.