So, where to from here?

Paul Boag

This week on the Boagworld Show, we sum up what we have discussed this season and answer some questions.

This week’s show is sponsored by Balsamiq and Fullstory.


Paul Boag: This week on the Boagworld show we sum up what we've discussed this season and look at where to go from here. This week's show is sponsored by Balsamiq and Fullstory.

inaudible 00:00:26

Hello and welcome to the Boagworld show. The podcast inaudible 00:00:33 all aspects of conversion rate optimization, user experience and digital strategy. My name's Paul Boag and joining me on this week's show is Marcus Lillington. Hello Lillington.

Marcus Lillington: Hello Paul. That one's never going to get tired is it?

Paul Boag: No, it just comes out like that now.

Marcus Lillington: Okay.

Paul Boag: It's just you've got such a cool name. I like your name. It's better than Boag or Boag. It's more lyrical isn't it? Lillington.

Marcus Lillington: Plus it's got lyriclington in it.

Paul Boag: Yeah, something like that.

Marcus Lillington: I think. That's what it is. I think your name's quite cool.

Paul Boag: I don't like my name.

Marcus Lillington: It's short and to the point.

Paul Boag: I hate my name. It's aggressive, grumpy arse name isn't it? Boag or Boag.

Marcus Lillington: That's all right. Lillington sounds like a charming English village. It is a charming English village cat in the chatroom.

Paul Boag: Is it really?

Marcus Lillington: There's two villages called Lillington. Yes. And you'd think I came from, you know, I'm descended from-

Paul Boag: Yeah, surely.

Marcus Lillington: Lord of the manor stock 'cause a village is named after me.

Paul Boag: No.

Marcus Lillington: Actually I'm-

Paul Boag: It's often the opposite. It's often that you were orphaned or one of your ancestors was orphaned in the village 'cause there's a lot of people called Blandford which were people that lost their parents in Blandford. So their surname became the town. So there you go.

Marcus Lillington: Well, my dad being as he was, decided that he'd track us down. We come from a place in Dorset.

Paul Boag: Oh really?

Marcus Lillington: Near Lulworth cove called something major. I can't remember what it's called. Anyway, I went there a couple of years ago. Lovely part of the world to go have a drive around and see the … Stop reading the chat room Marcus and see the beaches and all that kind of stuff. We went to the churchyard in this village. Oh what is it called? Anyway, it's near Lulworth cover, something major if you want to find it and the graveyard is full of Lillingtons and there is a Moses Lillington in there. How cool is that.

Paul Boag: Are people … Yeah. People that are called Moses, Noah or Jesus I think are the best people on the planet. You get a lot … In Africa, you get a lot of people that are called that kind of thing. So yeah-

Marcus Lillington: But anyway they were all kind of shepherding stock.

Paul Boag: Right.

Marcus Lillington: So how cool Moses actually was we will never know.

Paul Boag: Probably not that cool. Not really. Not if he lived in Dorset and he looked after sheep.

Marcus Lillington: Yeah.

Paul Boag: You know, it's not like my ancestry that's all viking. You know, that's a lot more grr isn't it?

Marcus Lillington: Yeah, that's my wife's as well. Hermes maiden name was Snartt. S-N for Nigel, A-R-TT, which is a Scandi name.

Paul Boag: Ah. Well I mean Boag or Boag as it should be pronounced is mainly a Scottish name. Anyway. That's all beside the point. Nobody cares. It was really funny-

Marcus Lillington: People like all that stuff.

Paul Boag: Well it was funny. We were talking about this on Twitter and somebody posted, "Here's a top pro tip for podcasters. If you've got a hour long show where the first 10 minutes is waffle, you actually need a 50 minute show," but then several people responded by saying, "Well actually, we really like the waffle on Boagworld." I do not know why. I mean why anyone that's-

Marcus Lillington: He wasn't-

Paul Boag: Why people want to know that.

Marcus Lillington: He wasn't referring to us specifically?

Paul Boag: No. No.

Marcus Lillington: He was just saying generally and then people, defenders of the show, came in and said nice things about it. As I pointed out-

Paul Boag: Yeah because there's nothing crosstalk 00:04:18 more interesting than us talking about where our names came from.

Marcus Lillington: It is a little bit interesting. It's meant to be like a fireside chat in the pub.

Paul Boag: Yeah crosstalk 00:04:31 this is-

Marcus Lillington: Vaguely.

Paul Boag: Exactly the kind of conversation you'd have after three or four pints, isn't it really? Yes, I'm a viking. Rawr. I would have probably been running around the pub crosstalk 00:04:40 at this point-

Marcus Lillington: Yeah, maybe.

Paul Boag: With a big ax or something. I'll tell you the other thing I always do after I've had a few pints is I always start ranting uncontrollably about things, which it actually sits very well with this podcast because I often am just ranting. Do you want to know my latest rant? Do you know, I've decided … Just to be clear first of all, I was very anti-Brexit. I thought Brexit was a terribly idea. I thought the European Union was great.

Marcus Lillington: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paul Boag: I have now reached the point where I think Brexit is a brilliant idea, he says with his tongue firmly in his cheek, and I'll tell you why. Because bloody European Union … Yeah, people are going careful in the chatroom. Because the bloody European Union has ruined the mobile web. Am I the only one that's just sick of closing bloody privacy popups on mobile devices and the number of websites that you cannot even use now because there's all these, agree to our privacy policy, agree to our cookie policy, and there all these friggin popup boxes. On the desktop you can just kind of ignore them, but on a mobile you have to close them all in order to be able to see the frigging content. It just really annoys me.

Marcus Lillington: Well, quite a lot of American sites you can't get to at all.

Paul Boag: Exactly. Yeah, although Bob has made a very good counterpoint in the chatroom which is he really welcomes the large mobile roaming charges when we leave the EU. So at the moment, you can go anywhere in the European Union and just use your data allowance like it's at home, and they've only just brought that in, and then we're leaving bloody European Union. But, they're saying at the moment that they're not gonna change that. So we will see.

Marcus Lillington: Yeah. I'm off to America again next week and my service provider gives me full access for £3 a day which is quite a lot of money, but if you're only there for a week-

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: Well whatever. So it's not like it used to be when you come back to a £500 bill and that type of thing.

Paul Boag: No, they've kind of, yeah. Of course, you can just buy a pay as you go sim card when you're out there or if you're on the Three network. The Three network's very good because in America you can just use it like at home. So it's quite good in America.

Marcus Lillington: Yeah.

Paul Boag: Anyway.

Marcus Lillington: Well I do, but I just pay £3 a day, but yeah whatever.

Paul Boag: Talking about pub side chats and our general drunkenness behavior, we're gonna have this coming year or this coming Christmas even a Boagworld virtual Christmas party. Did we mention this on the show last week? I can't remember whether we were recording at this stage.

Marcus Lillington: We did. Yeah, we did. Yeah.

Paul Boag: So I wanted-

Marcus Lillington: Ooh, maybe. I don't know.

Paul Boag: Yeah, 'cause we talk a little bit in the … So as you've gathered, we record these shows live now and if you ever want to join us for a live show the best thing you can do is go to the live page where you can then subscribe to be notified when we're recording a show. That's at and you can see upcoming shows and you can register for them and that kind of thing. So, we've decided this year instead of doing a Christmas podcast, okay, which feels a little bit lonely and sad in my opinion whenever we do it. It's like we have to do this kind of fake jolliness and-

Marcus Lillington: Cheers Paul.

Paul Boag: Yeah, and stuff, I thought it would be much better to actually use the live people because we have these people that turn up for some reason every frigging show and they listen to us talk about this live. They're sitting there right now. There are people sitting watching two middle-aged white men just banging on about crap, right. So, we decided this time that we were just get together in the chat room. We'll do a load of stuff. We'll have some guests. We'll do some games. Everybody has to bring their own drink at their various locations. So, wherever you are, you've got to bring whatever you want to drink for your Christmas party and maybe bring nibbles as well. You know, maybe make some jelly and wear some kind of Christmas clothing and that kind of stuff. We'll have some music and jokes and that kind of stuff. We'll just hang out together and we will have a virtual Christmas party, right. People from the Slack room, people that come and listen to the show live, but what we're not gonna do is we're not gonna record a podcast, right. So, it's gonna be a party, not a podcast because if we try to turn it into a podcast too, it would be nonsensical. If you think the waffle is bad now, it would be so much worse if we were trying to do a Christmas party at the same time.

We could have a shared Spotify playlist someone's just suggested. Paul's just suggested in the chatroom. Brilliant idea. Let's do that. So, if you want to attend that, it is now up and waiting for you to sign up to it, to RSVP your invitation to our Christmas party. It's gonna be on Tuesday the 11th of December at 4pm UK time. You can go to to join us for that. I've no idea what we're gonna do. We'll discuss it more in the Slack channel and work out what we do when I'm back from holiday next week. I think that's all I wanted to say about that. Yes. Marcus, do we have a thought for the day?

Marcus Lillington: We do. I've done a proper thought for the day.

Paul Boag: Okay.

Marcus Lillington: So, I hope … I want you all to be very serious and listen hard.

Paul Boag: Is this gonna be … So is it a religious one or is it a moral story.

Marcus Lillington: It's more of a moral/political one. So interesting that we were talking about Brexit earlier.

Paul Boag: Ooh, you're gonna talk about politics. All right. This is absolutely to do with web design right Marcus?

Marcus Lillington: Nothing at all to do with web design, but there's always talk about kind of our community and mental health and crosstalk 00:11:20 all these things that surround work in general-

Paul Boag: Yes. Yes.

Marcus Lillington: And this is life in general I suppose.

Paul Boag: Okay.

Marcus Lillington: I've just been thinking about this quite a bit over the past kind of year or so and other people have made comments similar to the ones that I'm going to make, but as I'm gonna make clear, saying this kind of message will hopefully disseminate it further and more people will start to think in this way. So, anyway, right. Hope you're sitting comfortably.

Paul Boag: Oh dear is it gonna be a long one?

Marcus Lillington: It's fairly long-

Paul Boag: Okay.

Marcus Lillington: But crosstalk 00:11:56

Paul Boag: Okay. That's all right.

Marcus Lillington: Few minutes.

Paul Boag: We've got time.

Marcus Lillington: First thing … Yeah. I live in a lovely part of the world. It's all leafy and there's hardly any trouble at all, ever. The only things to moan about are the traffic and property prices.

Paul Boag: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marcus Lillington: Basically I have a very privileged existence and all of this privilege and comfort and nice people that surround me have basically led me to living in a bubble.

Paul Boag: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marcus Lillington: I originally said that I was gonna say in a liberal bubble but that's not probably the case 'cause I live in a rather … it's all a bit old world Tory around here.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: Of those people that I know, they're actually liberals really. So, maybe that is right. So I live in this kind of liberal bubble. Certainly the term bubble is right, and I watch in horror at Trump's pathological lying and Farage's and that utter twerp, Rees-Mogg, and I discuss this with my enlightened friends and we all shake our heads a lot.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: I say things to myself along the lines of how did this utter madness happen? People can't be that stupid can they? Then I go back to my everyday business, and that's it. That's where I think I'm going wrong because Brexiteers, even Trump supporters aren't stupid. Some are. Of course, they are, but you're gonna find stupid people in any large group. Basically we often make political choices out of A, what's the least worst of our options. You know, Hilary or Donald. I know what I think on that one, but a lot of people disagreed or B, what's the biggest wrecker to a system that we despise. I.e., if Cameron's telling me to vote remain and I hate him so I'm not going to do what he's telling me to do. So I believe many people voted for Brexit as a protest. I think they'll end up getting a double dose of what they hated in return for that, but that isn't the point. The point is people made a reasoned choice if you like. I'm protesting against what I'm being told to do here. It wasn't just that it's a dumb thing. I'm just gonna do that.

So the point is here, people usually have a legitimate reason for making these kinds of choices and we need to step outside of our cozy bubbles to try and understand what they are. We also need to engage in conversation which is really hard with people that we don't agree with because if we don't, then I think society's divisions are only going to become greater.

Paul Boag: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marcus Lillington: And the people in power, and when I say that I'm meaning the media and controlling regimes, that kind of thing and I'll leave you to think who you think fit into that group, want us divided. It keeps the power with them. Also, I live in a social media bubble. Facebook is really only my friends which means I'm fed messages that I want to hear, and I'm sure if I was a staunch right wing nationalist, then I'd get a lot of Daily Mail style stories in my feed and that would make me feel good about myself. This is the real dangerous thing. Basically this kind of separation like along we're being fed all the stuff that we want to hear has enabled, to put it as plainly as possible, election results in first world countries to be changed by the dissemination of fake propaganda.

Paul Boag: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marcus Lillington: Let's just think about that for a second. You know? Trump wouldn't have got in I'm pretty sure to say without that. So, back on the point. Talking about people you don't agree with. Don't expect anyone to say my goodness, I've been wrong all along crosstalk 00:15:45 You're so right. No one's ever gonna do that. What it's about, and this goes back to what I was saying at the start, I'm repeating what other people have already said here, it's about infusing thoughts and viewpoints from both sides of an argument so that we can all end up less divisive generally speaking. The more people talk about these kind of things then the more those kind of different opinions are gonna be infused into the argument. Basically, talk to people you don't agree with on a bunch of stuff and do it on social media too. You can be impassioned about it, but you need to listen as well, and that's my thought for the day.

Paul Boag: I think it's brilliant. There's a couple of things that sprung into my mind as you were talking there. One is the fact that it makes me deeply sad, especially the social media thing, because I remember right back at university when I was doing my final year dissertation and I wrote my dissertation about the internet and about the web which was a very new thing. I presented this very utopian view of what the web can be. That it would allow people to connect with people they would normally never interact with, right?

Marcus Lillington: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paul Boag: That you would know people from all around the world in all of these walks of life, that national barriers would become nothing because I would know someone personally who lived in Iran. So how could you feel this kind of national hatred when you knew people personally in Iran and it saddens me so much that that hasn't happened. That because of these filter bubbles and things like that, we don't get that broad kind of view and actually I think it is changing. I look at my son and he plays games with people from all over the world, from all kinds of backgrounds and actually i have hope that his generation will have a broader view than our generation has. It is incredibly sad and I think the other thing that jumped out in what you said is it's not just a matter of you need to talk to people with to viewpoints. It's the fact that we need to do that in a civil and engaged way. In a, I disagree but that's okay. You're okay having an opinion that I disagree with.

Marcus Lillington: You know that there's been an awful lot of kind of finger pointing at Brexiteers, Trump supporters that is unfair. Just dismissed.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: And if you actually speak to people, I know some people who support both of those things, even the Trump thing, and there is reasoned thought behind it. It might not be right, but if you talk about that reasoned thought and yeah you keep it civil and you listen, you're not gonna necessarily come to an agreement at the end of it, and minds are going to change, but it's just this idea of disseminating more thoughts when making it a kind of wider discussion is really important because otherwise we're gonna end up with just sort of two groups of people in the world, which is bad.

Paul Boag: It's not just about politics either. It happens in absolutely everything. People get offended and angry so so easily now. If you maybe express a different opinion over how gender and equality should be dealt with or over … even over things like content management systems. People seem to get really angry when you say that you don't like their content management system. It's like we're this generation that gets offended and angry at the drop of a hat and that just makes me really sad, if I'm honest, and I hope that we can do better than … I hope it's just a phase that we're passing through.

Marcus Lillington: Yeah-

Paul Boag: This is why I love … Sorry go on.

Marcus Lillington: I was gonna say. Yes, the best things that's been said in the last five minutes on this podcast is that your son doesn't seem to have the same kind of prejudices I suppose.

Paul Boag: I mean-

Marcus Lillington: That's what I'm talking about.

Paul Boag: When I look at him, not only is he got this very broad group of friends from lots of different backgrounds and they're all united around killing one another in a game. So it doesn't matter if they're Muslim. It doesn't matter if they're conservative. It doesn't matter if they're liberal or live in Georgia or wherever. None of that matters. They're united around playing this game together and killing each other, which is lovely, but also he's got a much more mature attitude towards … If somebody is being trolling on the internet, he doesn't get angry at it. He just recognizes, well people are dumb on the internet. People say things they don't mean, and it just washes over him while with our generation it's this reactive thing of oh we've got to fight the injustice of what this dumb ass person has just said. Actually I think it polarizes, again, which is what you're saying. It forces people to either end of the spectrum.

So I hope you're right. I hope it's … and the final thing, just to bring it back to web design again, is the other reason for doing this, the other reason for getting out of your bubble for interacting with these range of people is that that's gonna inform the designs that you produce. It's gonna inform the products that we build. Who's out there building web apps for Trump supporters, right? And it might think, "Well they don't deserve good apps." Well they do. They have lives as well.

Marcus Lillington: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paul Boag: Yeah. Anyway. Back to the middle ground I say.

Marcus Lillington: Anyway, what's wrong with a bit of middle ground?

Paul Boag: Exactly. And what's wrong with just showing every human being no matter how big a douchebag they are a little bit of courtesy. Anyway. Let's move on from that.

Marcus Lillington: Yay.

Paul Boag: You've really got me going with that. Yeah. I'm glad you do it my Marcus 'cause it is all informs the world that we live in and the world we operate in and the fact that the tech industry is by default very liberal in its thinking. It's like you can be whatever you want liberals say. You can be gay. You can be transsexual. You can be black, white, doesn't matter, but you can't be a Trump supporter or you can't be a Brexiteer. You know …

Right, anyway. Let's move on from that. Let's talk about Balsamiq. I'm sorry Balsamiq. You've got to follow that. It's a bit rubbish isn't it really? Yes, and now buy Balsamiq after we've just been ranting about how shit the world is. A huge thanks to the guys at Balsamiq. They've been supporting this podcast year on year now. We wouldn't be … Since I've gone independent from Headscape, I can tell you if it wasn't for Balsamiq, I wouldn't still be doing this podcast. They've been an absolutely huge support and I cannot thank them enough. They're such lovely people as well, but also they're giving so much back to the community just generally. I mean they've got some great teaching material. They're always producing stuff, putting stuff out there. If you want to see some of the stuff that they're doing, check out Basically if you've got a client or a stakeholder that you want to engage more in the process or who you want to help them express their ideas in something that isn't just no I don't like that, then get them to check out Balsamiq because Balsamiq is such an easy tool for them to use.

You can find out more by going to You can get a 30 day free trial of their wire framing tool, their collaborative wire framing tool, and then once you've had your 30 day free trial, if you then sign up. If you use the code Boagworld alongside your billing information, you'll get another three months for free. So, do check them out because I really do appreciate their involvement.

Right, shall we talk a bit about web design? Who knew that we should discuss such things on the show. I want to kind of summarize really this season because this is the last episode of the season. So I just want to kind of really summarize it and maybe talk a little bit about next steps that we can take. So this season we've been looking at conversation rate optimization which again is yet another topic which has got a lot of polarized opinion over. You see loads of posts that are very critical of people who use dark patterns and are saying it's unethical and throwing around these kinds of words, but actually I think if we talk about how we build websites and how we try and persuade people to take action, when we talk about things like dark patterns, we need to understand that the people are using dark patterns is because they're under enormous pressure to increase the conversion rates on their sites and we should have a little bit of sympathy with them. Actually, show them there are better ways, and actually also help them to make the case in their organizations for not using these kinds of techniques.

So when I talk about dark patterns and how they're a bad thing, I talk about how they're bad for business, not unethical, because you can't just make an ethical argument within an organization and not actually back that up with some kind of business reality in it as well, and you can't just say this is shit without giving people an alternative, right? So dark patterns are in my opinion a dead end for long-term business growth and we talked about this previously in the show. We talked about how they put customer on the defensive and one of the most important things you need if you want to persuade people to take action is trust. So as soon as you start using dark patterns, you are putting the customer on the defensive. You're also gonna end up damaging your brand and how your brand is perceived because people … If I talk to you about for example, we all know the kind of thing that they do to kind of manipulate you into booking and the fact that we all know that, it all gives us a bad impression of companies like that. It also reduces the long-term value of your customers. Yes, dark patterns work in the short-term. They get people to convert instantly but you won't get them coming back to you again, and again, and again. You won't get that lifetime value out of them.

And, they have hidden costs that you don't always see. Obviously there's hidden costs in marketing of having to constantly win new customers. There's hidden costs in processing returns when people get buyer's remorse afterwards and also hidden support costs as well. So actually, dark patterns are not the way to go and that's what we talked about right at the beginning of this season. So then, you've got to say why if not that then what? What are the alternatives? In my opinion we need to be focusing more as organizations on how people make decisions. Understanding the process by which people decide to act, whether it be signing up for a newsletter. Whether it be purchasing a product, a contact form, whatever, right. In particular, the areas we need to be looking at is reducing cognitive load. The more cognitive load somebody has, the more they're having to think, the worse the experience will be and the less likely they are to convert. They're gonna miss key calls to action. They're gonna encounter all kinds of issues with your website. They're gonna feel worse about it. They're gonna think it's worse. They're gonna be put in a bad mood. All of these things have a negative impact on the conversion rate.So, reduce cognitive load through simplification, through all the things that we've talked about in this season.

Then we also need to be helping people with choice paralysis. There are so many options that are presented to us these days. We've got the whole … every product on the planet available in our pocket, which is a terrifying thought in terms of choice paralysis. So there's a lot that we can do to help people make informed and good decisions. We also need to be matching people's mental models in the way they think. This is such a big issue. Now the example that I gave when we were talking about this on the show is that idea of booking a holiday. That when you book a holiday, you kind of know you want to go some time in the summer holiday. You know that you maybe want to go to a city with a bit of culture, okay, and that you can go for a week, and this is your budget. Yet, when you go to a booking website, the first thing it says is where do you want to go and what dates do you want to travel, none of which are part of your mental model. Those aren't the things that you know. You know your budget, you know roughly when you want to go. You know roughly the kind of place you want to go. So we need to get better at supporting people's mental models.

I'll give you another example of this actually. I'm working with a company at the moment who sell bricks right. One of the services they offer, I know weird thing to sell, is a brick matching service. So, if you've got a house and you want to build an extension, you want the bricks to be the same, right? So your mental model is, "I've got this brick. Here is my brick in my hand. I want a load more bricks like that," right? But when you go to this particular website, the first thing it says is "We offer a brick matching service." Well, I just want more bricks like this, that doesn't match. Then you go into it and the first thing it asks is a load of personal detail. It doesn't allow me to show you my brick and say this is the brick I want, you know? So that's … What are you laughing at Marcus? That makes perfect sense.

Marcus Lillington: I don't know. It just sounds wrong, Paul.

Paul Boag: What? Anyway. Whatever. So matching people's crosstalk 00:31:21 mental model-

Marcus Lillington: Sorry. I'm in a daft mood today.

Paul Boag: You obviously are. The other thing we need to be doing is reducing risk. We talked a lot about that on the season as well. Working hard to mitigate the kind of objections that people have. Are you gonna spam me, what are you gonna do with my personal details, is it secure, all of those kinds of things. What if I don't like the product? But really at the heart of a lot of this is about building trust. Trust between you as the company and your customers and that really comes down to offering an outstanding customer service. But in all of this, if you took on every point, every thing that I've talked about on this season and you applied all of those principles, you may still not succeed if you're not testing. If you're not passing this by real users. If you're not taking the time to get to know those users. Stop guessing, and start using data to make these decisions. So it's been, I think, a really interesting season. It's a subject I'm really passionate about. I created a masterclass at about this. I'm also gonna write a book about it and it all comes down to the fact that we don't need to resort to dark patterns and things like that. There are better ways to increase our conversion. I want to present that positive message that there are better ways of succeeding in this kind of area.

Right. Enough-

Marcus Lillington: Yay.

Paul Boag: Ranting. That turned into a bit of a kind of preach session, didn't it? I need a soapbox to stand on.

Marcus Lillington: It's become a bit like that this whole show really hasn't it, but there you go.

Paul Boag: It has. It's one of those episodes, but, you know, I've got no time for, oh it's unethical because that just makes everybody feel guilty and doesn't actually achieve anything does it?

Anyway, let's talk about our second sponsor. Talking about testing and understanding your users, gotta talk about Fullstory haven't we that again, why these people keep coming back season after season to support us is humbling really, and it shows that there are a lot of great apps out there that are dedicated not just to advertising and winning people, but actually to give back to the community 'cause let's face it, I know damn well that these companies won't have got a direct return on investment for the money that they've put in sponsoring this show, right. If I'm frank, there is a big degree of them just doing it 'cause they like supporting the show and that's great. In fact, I've had, talking to some sponsors that have said, "Look we've done so well out of the web community, we just want to put some money back into it," and I think is just amazing.

Anyway, Fullstory great people. Thank you for supporting the whole show Fullstory. I actually met some of them for the first time at the Smashing conference in New York and there was their lead designer there and I got to have a chat with him. It was really great because you know how you work in a bit of a bubble sometimes don't you, well going back to what you were saying, but different kind of bubble. You feel quite isolated as a designer and you're kind of getting away and you're working on your stuff, and of course, when you're working on your own thing, you always think it's crap, don't you? You're like, oh it's terrible. I've done a really bad job, and just being able to speak to this guy and say I absolutely love the interface for Fullstory and I could really get excited and say oh I love the way you do this, and this, and that and all these things about the app. You could really see he was really chuffed to know that yeah there are people out there that really appreciate my work and what I do. So I really enjoyed doing that. It was a really nice thing to do.

I've got to say it was entirely sincere as well. It's one of the easiest to use and understand of all of the analytics or screen recorder tools that I've ever used. It's beautifully designed. So, if for no other reason to check it out, go and check out the user interface because it's a very, very complicated thing. If you think about what they're doing and what they're trying to present back to you, but they do it in a very, very easy way, and that's especially true when it comes to things like searching. Obviously playing a session record a video back is not complicated, but when it comes to things like show me these particular videos, that's quite a complicated user interface challenge. So he's done an amazing job at that. You can sign up for it at-

Marcus Lillington: Even I can use it, Paul.

Paul Boag: Well there you go, there. That says something. Poof. You can sign up today and get a free month of the pro account absolutely free of charge. No need to enter a credit card. Talking of dark patterns, that is a dark pattern that really pisses me off. When they say, "Oh sign up for our free app. Enter your credit card and at the end of the month we're just gonna start charging you because we're hoping you're gonna forget to cancel." That really irritates me. So you don't have to do that with Fullstory. Then when you get to the end of that free trial, you can still carry on using it for free for up to 1000 sessions per month. So if you want to try it out, go to Okay.

Marcus Lillington: Nearly there, Paul.

Paul Boag: Let's talk. I know. It does feel a bit like that. I don't know why.

Marcus Lillington: End of term.

Paul Boag: It is. That's exactly what it feels like. It's really funny isn't it. Right. Let's leave you with some solid next steps that you can take going out of this season of the podcast 'cause we're not back until January. So we don't want you to get board while we're away. So I'm gonna set some homework. This is your homework for Christmas, people. That always annoyed me as well. Teachers-

Marcus Lillington: God yeah.

Paul Boag: That set homework over Christmas. crosstalk 00:37:47

Marcus Lillington: When you've been away for six weeks over the summer holidays and you get back to school, and I was always quite happy going back 'cause it's like you're seeing mates that you haven't seen for a while, and the first thing that you have to do is write a story about what you did on holiday. It's like oh god. Or it's-

Paul Boag: The trouble is your holiday wasn't that interesting was it. So every day was the same. In your case, going out and playing cricket with your mates, and with me it'll be sitting in front of a spectrum. Then a spectrum for … I mean that's a very short story. So you had to make up some bullshit as well didn't you?

Marcus Lillington: Oh totally. Yeah, but I just I had hated things like that, but anyway. Yes, I've gone off on a tangent.

Paul Boag: The worst one, the worst one I ever had at Christmas when I was at art college and they set us an assignment over Christmas to make an art project out of wrapping paper. I know. I felt like I was in bloody primary school.

Marcus Lillington: It would have ended up looking like Ling's Cars website I would have thought, whatever it was, which is actually genius, but there you go.

Paul Boag: It is genius. It breaks every rule and therefore wins a huge amount of publicity off the back of it. If you haven't Ling's Car. Is it Ling's? Ling's Cars?

Marcus Lillington: Ling's Cars.

Paul Boag: Cars, yeah. Dot com. It's worth checking out. It's an abomination from a web design point of view, but actually it's got a … It's very misleading 'cause you look at Ling's Cars and you think oh it's just some little website. It's a huge business actually.

Marcus Lillington: It is.

Paul Boag: I found out a bit about it. They've got a huge operation behind it because people are just fascinated by it. So they've been very, very successful actually by breaking every web design rule in the book.

Marcus Lillington: I absolutely love it. It's fantastic.

Paul Boag: I can't imagine how you would even order a car on that website. Oh they've changed it.

Marcus Lillington: Yeah, it's different. It's like crosstalk 00:39:55

Paul Boag: It's not as bad.

Marcus Lillington: They've made more money, they've kind of made even more of it, but it's done brilliantly.

Paul Boag: Oh that is so terrible.

Marcus Lillington: I love the paisley background.

Paul Boag: Good for them.

Marcus Lillington: That's fantastic.

Paul Boag: That's … Whoever designed that must have had a hell of fun because one presumes they do grownup design as well. That is amazing. Anyway, let's move on from that. So yes. Next steps, that was it. What can you do? First of all, take the time to get to know your audience, right. So sit down, talk to a few people, run a survey. Run a workshop. Just find out. Actually spend some time with real users. Doesn't need to be a lot, anything will do. Then out of that, at least minimal create some empathy maps looking at their motivations, what are the users goals, what are their pain points, what questions do they have, what tasks are they trying to complete, what objections do they have to buying or acting, what influences them in their decision-making and how are they feeling about the process. Just get to know them a little bit more. Be very, very clear in your mind about who your audience are. We know all of this stuff. I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but let's be honest, we don't do it. I always ask whenever I'm at a conference, whenever I'm a at a workshop, I always ask when was the last time you spent time with users, and people are always embarrassed about how long ago it was. It's normally months, and months, and months and that is not good.

So I would encourage you just to spend some time getting to know your users. Once you-

Marcus Lillington: And I would like to add there, Paul.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: If you can't get to your users then speak to salespeople and do surveys-

Paul Boag: Yes.

Marcus Lillington: And stuff like that.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: Look at analytics.

Paul Boag: Customer support staff are another really good one, right.

Marcus Lillington: Yeah.

Paul Boag: So you've done that, then once you've done that, the next thing you've got to do is review your site. Take a step back. Just spend half a day going through your website with that knowledge of what you've got from your users. It's not rocket science, but again we're always focused on creating new stuff; the next project, the next thing to do that we don't step back and review what we have. Take half a day just to review what you've got and you'll find a whole load of low-hanging fruit. Quick easy fixes to do, right? Stuff that-

Marcus Lillington: That's very true.

Paul Boag: We've talked about on this season. Various little techniques. Not all of them are difficult. Not all of them are cumbersome. You'll find just little things, oh maybe we could reword this or maybe we could move that button here or just little stuff, do it. Don't put it off. Don't allow that big next project to get in the way of just doing those quick simple fixes 'cause it's the best way of improving your conversion rate fast. Then the last little bit of homework is look for ways of integrating testing into your daily process. So instead of testing just being this thing that you do in one big bulk at three-quarters of the way through the project or something like that, look for those opportunities to be doing a little bit of testing every week, something. Even if it's just throwing up a mock up in front of a few people on social media and then maybe once a month running a a usability test session, but just have it baked in rather than having it as this kind of extra module that maybe sometimes you do and sometimes you don't. Little bits, and little and often. If you do those three things, if that's all you do out of this season, I promise you you will increase your conversion rate.

So, that is it for this season.

Marcus Lillington: Yay.

Paul Boag: I know. It's been a good one.

Marcus Lillington: It's home time.

Paul Boag: Home time. Yes, schools out. Woo hoo! First thing you do is take off your school tie, isn't it.

Marcus Lillington: Yep.

Paul Boag: That's always the first thing I did. Although Americans, they don't have school uniforms as much do they? Some schools do but not as many I don't think.

Marcus Lillington: I have no idea. Pass.

Paul Boag: On TV they never have, but you know, TV. Although I've been watching a series called American Vandal. Have you seen that on Netflix?

Marcus Lillington: No.

Paul Boag: Oh dear. I don't know how to describe it. It's a crime drama really-

Marcus Lillington: Right.

Paul Boag: Where you have one crime that's being investigated over the whole season, but it's been done by high school students. They're making a documentary about a crime that has happened in a school, in their school and the crime is basically someone drew 27 penises on every teacher's car, right. It's hilariously funny. But anyway, in that they don't wear school uniforms, but in the second season, they go to a different school and they do-

Marcus Lillington: I've been looking for hilariously funny on the telly. Everything's so bloody kind of serious. Drama.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: And it's like … I quite liked The Good Place, but that was a little bit …

Paul Boag: So it's a TV show now. Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: 'Cause that's quite lightweight, but yeah all right. Thank you for that Paul-

Paul Boag: Yeah, you'll enjoy it.

Marcus Lillington: I have a TV recommendation. Okay.

Paul Boag: Yeah, you'll enjoy I promise and what's clever about it is it takes itself very seriously, but they're talking about drawing penises, you know, which is hilariously funny. But then, it also right at the end at times it'll suddenly go quite emotional and quite powerful. I always think good comedy can do that. It can do that switch where suddenly they kind of hit you emotionally. So yeah it's really good. Anyway, enough of that. That's yet another tangent. Next season-

Marcus Lillington: Yes, what's happening, Paul?

Paul Boag: I think I mentioned this. Yeah I think I mentioned this before. crosstalk 00:46:28 What are gonna do-

Marcus Lillington: You did, but I can't remember what it is.

Paul Boag: Right. So next season we're gonna do a season on which is entitled "What Do You Do All Day?"

Marcus Lillington: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Boag: And we're gonna talk to different people about what do they practically do on a day-to-day basis because there are a lot of these people, especially more senior people in their career when you think, well what do they actually do? I mean people say it about me and my job. What do I do on a daily basis, and there's a lot of people like that.

Marcus Lillington: Paul, you fly your drone and I play golf.

Paul Boag: Yeah, exactly.

Marcus Lillington: That's what we do every day.

Paul Boag: Every day. Exactly. Except for when I'm playing Red Dead-

Marcus Lillington: Oh yeah.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: Or I'm playing my guitar you know what I mean.

Paul Boag: So that's what we're gonna look at next season. So I have no idea who we're gonna have guest wise. I haven't even thought about that yet, but if you've got any suggestions of people that you want to actually know what they do for a living, drop me an email to and I'll see if I can get them on the show 'cause I think that might be quite funny. As they've just pointed out in the chatroom, the main thing most of them seem to do all day is hang out in our Slack channel, but I'm sure they do something in between as well. So that's what we're gonna do next season. I don't know the exact date of when we're gonna come back. I'll work that out at some point. It'll be in January at some point. Probably the latter half of January by the time we've faffed around. In the meantime, don't forget our Boagworld virtual Christmas party on Tuesday the 11th of December. You can find out more about that by going to You can also join us in the Slack channel which is and finally there is also a second podcast that I do called Digital Insights which is essentially just my blog posts in audio format. So if you really desperately can't live without my voice for a few weeks.

Unfortunately, you don't get Marcus crosstalk 00:48:39. So probably not worth it.

Marcus Lillington: I did like when you commented on Twitter earlier and said, "Well yeah I don't have any waffle on there." I'm thinking you can't really do waffle on your own, can you?

Paul Boag: No.

Marcus Lillington: That would be really quite odd.

Paul Boag: It would be.

Marcus Lillington: Hello, Paul. How are you today? All right.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: Went down to the end of the garden and thought about my life and stuff like that.

Paul Boag: How did you know that's what I did today? Amazing. So Marcus, do you have a joke to round off the season with?

Marcus Lillington: I do, courtesy of Bruce Lawson. Saint Bruce Lawson. My girlfriend hates it when I mess with her red wine. I added some fruit and orange juice. Now she's sangrier than ever.

Paul Boag: Ooh. I tell you what, talking of Bruce, when I was at Smashing conference … I won't tell it as a proper joke because you'll know it's a joke and I didn't know this was gonna be a joke, right, but he said to me, "Oh isn't it terrible news about that actress getting stabbed?"

Marcus Lillington: He's done this to me.

Paul Boag: And I said, "What actress?" "Oh you know, Reese. Reese, what's her second name? Reese?" And I said, "What Reese Witherspoon?" "No, she got stabbed with a knife." With a spoon.

Marcus Lillington: Yes. He's done that to me as well.

Paul Boag: Did he really? It's his go-to joke at the moment.

Marcus Lillington: Yeah.

Paul Boag: It so got me. Completely got me. That wraps up this season. Thank you very much for joining us. I hope you found it useful. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you'll join us for the next season starting in January, but for now, thanks for listening, thank you inaudible 00:50:17.

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