• 53:37

Episode number: 129

ctrlclickcast.com Mobile Refresh, Part 1

Summary

Why did it take 3 years to relaunch a modern, mobile-friendly ctrlclickcast.com? Lea and Emily dive into the business and logistical challenges in launching an internal project alongside client work. We chat about the plan and strategy we had 3 years ago, plus the content, IA and design process along the way. Tune in to hear insights on shifts we had to make to priorities and goals due to the delay.

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Episode Transcript

CTRL+CLICK CAST is proud to provide transcripts for our audience members who prefer text-based content. However, our episodes are designed for an audio experience, which includes emotion and emphasis that don't always translate to our transcripts. Additionally, our transcripts are generated by human transcribers and may contain errors. If you require clarification, please listen to the audio.

Preview:

Lea Alcantara: And I’ve been repeating this in this entire episode like why is someone on our site.

Emily Lewis:

Lea Alcantara: And will this add value to their experience if they’re visiting the home page or visiting an episode page, and it just didn’t seem like it would add value.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: So if it doesn’t add value, then we need to remove it from the to-do list.

[Music]

Lea Alcantara: From Bright Umbrella, this is CTRL+CLICK CAST! We inspect the web for you! Today, we’re going to discuss our recent ctrlclickcast.com responsive refresh. I’m your host, Lea Alcantara, and I’m joined by my fab co-host:

Emily Lewis: Emily Lewis!

[Music stops]

Lea Alcantara: Before we get to today’s episode, I wanted to remind our listeners about our Patreon. For just two dollars a month, you can help us keep this podcast going. In return, you get exclusive updates about what we’re planning for CTRL+CLICK before anyone else. Visit patreon.com/ctrlclickcast to join our community.

Emily Lewis: And if our monthly commitment is too much for you, you can make a one-time donation through PayPal. A dollar, five dollars, whatever you can spare will help us keep the podcast going too. Visit ctrlclickcast.com and select the donate link at the bottom of our site.

Lea Alcantara: And some more CTRL+CLICK CAST news, you can now listen to our show on Spotify.

Emily Lewis: Woo hoo!

Lea Alcantara: We’ve been working on that for a few months and a few of our listeners have been asking about it, and so we’re really proud to say we’re on Spotify now, so just search for CTRL+CLICK CAST and you should be able to subscribe to the site.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, and we’ll make sure to include a direct link to the show in the show notes.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and on our site.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. Well, in a couple of days. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: I don’t know when I’m going to get to that, which brings us nicely to our topic today, which is the recent redesign of our site, which we’re still kind of tweaking and finalizing, but for the most part, it’s done.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: So two years ago about, we had an episode we called Responsive Retrofits, and we talked about different client projects as well as our own internal projects that were legacy desktop sites and the different approaches we were taking to make them mobile friendly.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. And of course, we’ll have a link in the show notes, too, of that particular episode, but to summarize, the three ways you could retrofit a website would be, one, the straightforward retrofit where you change the least amount. All you’re trying to do is make sure that the site renders properly in mobile.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: The second level would be a little bit of a revamp where there’s a limited design approach and you’re just mostly focusing a lot on content and navigation. You’re still using the desktop as the starting point, and then finally, the full-on redesign, new look, new feel and then a mobile-first perspective.

Emily Lewis: And when we recorded that episode two years ago, we kind of veered our efforts to update our legacy desktop ctrlclickcast.com as more of that middle one you described, Lea, the revamp, where it really wasn’t a complete redesign.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: But it was working from desktop to make it mobile.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: But in that time, it really became more than that. It never got to full redesign like Lea described with a completely new look and feel and a completely new design, but it was more than just a revamp. We were sort of calling it a refresh, it’s just labels to make it easier.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: But what happened is we did a complete CMS upgrade, and the front end needed to be completely rebuilt. There is no way it was feasible to reuse the original desktop code base, but we did do a visual update, but it was a little pared back from I think what you would define as a redesign. Right, Lea?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s really the best way to explain it because when there’s a full-on redesign, there’s a full-on discovery and stuation and a lot longer content strategy process, and ours was, and we’ll talk about this a little bit further in the show, simplicity.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: That was our main goal.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. And I think it’s worth mentioning though the design we went with, you did a mobile-first approach with it.

Lea Alcantara: Yes, yeah.

Emily Lewis: So it wasn’t taking the legacy site and sort of reenvisioning it.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: It was a genuine mobile-first approach, but really borrowing heavy from our existing brand elements.

Lea Alcantara: Yes, yes, and we’ll talk a little bit deeper during the design discussion how difficult that was actually for me to like wrap my mind around.

Emily Lewis: So in the Responsive Retrofits episode from a couple of years ago, we said we were doing a revamp. Now, three years later, we know it was more than that. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: And we’re calling it a refresh. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. So today we’re going to dive into that 3-year long process of updating the site and the CMS. We’ll be sharing the challenges we have with timing and priorities like Emily mentioned as well as the process for the visual and front-end revamp and the EE (ExpressionEngine) upgrade.

Emily Lewis: So it took us three years to update the site, and we have a lot of lessons learned. So after putting all of our notes together, it was clear that this is going to be a two-parter.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: So for this particular episode, it’s going to be Part 1. We’re going to focus on the IA and content changes that we made as well as the design refresh, and then the business challenges.

Lea Alcantara: And then for Part 2, we’ll wrap up with the details about execution, about the front-end build, including some accessibility enhancements, and of course, the upgrade from ExpressionEngine Version 2 to the newly-launched Version 5. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Emily Lewis: All right, so I think one of my clearest sharpest memories of this process is we really started it when you and I were at that WBENC conference in 2016.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: It was one of our first conferences together and it was one of the rare times that you and I are in person and could have meetings to talk about this stuff.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And so what we wanted to do at that conference, obviously, enjoy a conference, but we also wanted to have some strategic-type meetings.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And it seems like talking about CTRL+CLICK CAST moving towards mobile would be a good thing to get started at that time.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And so like Lea said in the beginning, we really wanted it to be a simpler process than what we would normally go through with our clients because we wanted this to be faster than it actually was. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: But the goal was for it to be faster, and so we didn’t go through a hugely intensive process, but we started with our IA structure, which isn’t complicated. The site itself is rather simple as well as a close look at our content. Again, we don’t have deep, deep pages, but it was still worth it to take a look at it, and all in the context of why.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: I mean, obviously, we wanted to move towards mobile, but why are people on our site, you know?

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: When we launched the site, Lea, we didn’t know that stuff because this was the original EE Podcast site, the legacy desktop site.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. And also years and years and years ago, podcasting, when we first started, wasn’t the thing yet. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: It was just more like…

Emily Lewis: Either was the responsive.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly, exactly, so it was a desktop-only site and it was still focused only on ExpressionEngine as well, and so a lot has changed since we joined forces and started podcasting.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. So the clearest things for us were in this in-person meeting to really clearly for us to agree on what the goals for the site are, and also to assess what we don’t need now that we’ve had a couple of years to reflect on this and what we think we’re missing now that we’ve had a couple of years to reflect on it.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah.

Emily Lewis: And I don’t even remember our reason for wanting to look at our language better, but I just felt we were a little inconsistent, not just within our own messaging on the site, like we would refer to sponsors as well as to advertisers or say advertise or say sponsor and I wanted us to be consistent with that.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: It wasn’t a huge thing, but I thought it was important at the time. I can’t really remember.

Lea Alcantara: Do you know what it is? I think it’s because we did have a few people ping us questions that we thought were obviously already on our site, you know?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: So for example, “How do you sponsor the show?” And then you’re like, “We have a sponsor page.” [Laughs] You know?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: So it’s kind of trying to figure out like, “Well, why did they actually contact us to answer a question that we thought was obviously answered on the site?” Right?

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: And part of that is language, like if we label something in a way that doesn’t resonate with the target audience, then that’s when you get inquiries that answer themselves really.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. I went through that document we created. So what we did is we created a single Google doc to kind of guide us in this process.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And it was essentially started with a basic outline of our navigation and our content.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And then from that, we just started making edits and comments, but I was reviewing this doc just yesterday to put our notes together for the show, I was like, “Oh, I don’t remember some of the discussions.”

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I know, absolutely. And I think for modern web development, this could be considered a “content priority document.” You know?

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: Especially because Emily and I had decided to skip a formal wireframing phase really, like we were just kind of like, “Let’s get all the content done and then move as quickly as possible to visual design.”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Timestamp: 00:09:59

Lea Alcantara: So having an outline of the content and being able to comment directly on why something should be more prominent or not was important.

Emily Lewis: I also think as simple as a Google doc is or it could be a Word doc or whatever your cup of tea is, commenting, highlighting specific parts of content, being able to comment on that, as well as having a version or versioning system were really useful during the development process or even more specifically, Lea, I remember when we were starting to get close to final on the vibe, look and feel that you were going to go towards and I was starting to look more at the details of the pages, I was referencing our comments in previous versions because this took us a long time, so it’s just wasn’t fresh in our minds.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: So having those comments, being able to go back a version or two to see what we had done previously and why we made that shift was just really useful to help make sure that we weren’t forgetting things that we said were important, but time made it hard to remember that they were important, if that makes sense.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah, that makes sense.

Emily Lewis: So let’s talk about our goals, like we said mobile friendly, but what does that mean?

Lea Alcantara: So mobile friendly means it’s responsive, that means we’re dealing with one code base and it will show as expected in mobile devices, tablets as well as desktop, a major thing in the past two years. Again, I feel like some of the things we’re saying right now seems like common sense, but wasn’t a priority a few years ago, speed.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: So speed was a major priority for our mobile-friendly, mobile-first kind of approach as well, and then in the same vein of this used to be a thing, but then it became a thing, HTTPS, SSL.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs] Right.

Lea Alcantara: This wasn’t even on when we first, three years ago, started to talk about this in our goals. Security was not even on our radar.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But as the web moves quickly, you have to make sure that you move with it, and HTTPS became a priority for us for our mobile-friendly revamp.

Emily Lewis: I think another one of our goals aside from I think primary mobile-friendly, but secondarily and something we hadn’t really considered when we first launched the site is we wanted to make it easier for people to give us money, whether that was donations or sponsorships or now, today, Patreon.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. And I remember someone actually emailing us saying, “Okay, we’re keeping promoting all this donate stuff,” and they’re like, “Where’s the donate link?”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And so that was kind of a major eye-opener thing, “Oh, yeah, we should get on that.”

Emily Lewis: And then make it easier for listeners to find episodes. Surprisingly, I don’t know what our logic was for not having like a way for someone to easily find an episode because we had so much in the archive, but we didn’t have a search. So I think that was also really important once we saw how long we were going and how much fun time we had and how much really good content we had.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: We want people to listen to. Even episodes from three years ago have some great information in them.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, absolutely, like our Podcasting 101 episode.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: People are always asking us how do we produce this show, and we made it easier for them to find that now.

Emily Lewis: Also, after having the site up for a long period of time, there were some things that we really ultimately were able to say, “We do not need this at all.”

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. And I feel like one of the focuses is who is our audience, right?

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: And our audience, all the people listening to right now, are tech savvy devs and designers.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: So the social sharing widgets that we added to the site were just not necessary. Everyone who’s listening to the show or visiting the site knows how to share a page. They don’t need prompting.

Emily Lewis: And I don’t think we actually saw activity to support that those were even being used.

Lea Alcantara: Right. And in our effort to be faster on our site, getting rid of a third-party service, getting rid of scripts that aren’t being used help speed up the site.

Emily Lewis: Yes, excellent point. We also had a little banner badge at the top of our site, which promoted the fact that our podcast had been ranked in the Top 10 Podcast of The .net Awards for several years.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: And I think at the time when we would get those sort of essentially honorable mentions, we were proud and wanted to showcase it, maybe also a little bit of social proof.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: But The .net Awards aren’t around anymore or I don’t think they are, I haven’t heard anything about them.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: And we also like never won. [Laughs

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah.

Emily Lewis: It’s almost like, “How much do you…,” and you’re like, “Oh, I always been in second place, you know.” [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Right, right. Well, and the other thing too is, again, is this something that will resonate with our target audience?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And I just don’t think that there was enough data to support that it did.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. And what it comes down to it, back to what Lea said in the beginning, we were just aiming to go more simple.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: For one, it’s going to be faster to design, faster to code, because we have just less stuff, but as we ‘re thinking about that mobile experience, that took a big chunk of space, real estate, in the masthead area, but how do we want to scale that for mobile? Does it even become readable at that point? Is it even worth considering when it also doesn’t serve an audience or business need?

Lea Alcantara: Right. And then with all that in mind, too, cutting down content, right?

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: So we had like this massive About page, which was just unnecessary.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: We could have shorter bios and say the same thing and link to other About pages like on Bright Umbrella site, right?

Emily Lewis: Yeah. We even had a colophon with like, “These are the fonts that are used and these are the add-ons that are used, and these are the…” And I think we just replaced that with a link to our Podcasting 101 episode.

Lea Alcantara: Right. Because then that tells you everything that you need.

Emily Lewis: Another thing kind of minor, but when I was reviewing our notes, we spent a little bit of time talking about this, our contact form had a subject select menu.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And it essentially had fill in the subject line when we would receive an email and it would say something like, “I want to sponsor the show, or I have a suggestion,” and it was really only for us and it’s just an extra step for the user and it’s not essential so it’s easy enough to remove.

Lea Alcantara: And no one really uses it properly. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Like everyone just kept the general…

Emily Lewis: General inquiry, yeah.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly. And then they used that for everything. So again, let’s remove development work or extra texts or potential for things to fail by simplifying.

Emily Lewis: And then we have one little block of content about future plans, which just I don’t know, I kind of feel like we might have put it there to fill space originally.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: And so after time, we’re like, “We don’t even want to maintain this. I don’t want to update this. I’m not sure if anyone is reading it,” and it makes sense to cut stuff like that.

Lea Alcantara: Right. So with all of those out, that doesn’t mean we stop there. Besides paring things down, we had to also figure out, “Is there something this site needs that it doesn’t currently have?”

Emily Lewis: Yes, yeah.

Lea Alcantara: And the biggest one, and I think part of it is like a few years ago, I don’t know if we really understood we were going to go this long…

Emily Lewis: I don’t think either.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah. So we just didn’t prioritize search options, but then after 200-plus episodes, it’s essentially a necessity. We’ve got eight years’ worth of content so we needed to create and add global search.

Emily Lewis: We also, as we mentioned earlier, one of our goals, being to make it easier for folks to give us money, is we wanted to promote those options.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: When we started, it was just donate, but now that we’ve launched Patreon, we sort of promoted that to be the more prominent option of event sponsorship.

Lea Alcantara: Right. And the other thing that we wanted to promote was Bright Umbrella because that’s our business, and before it was just buried in the footer, so prioritizing who’s actually producing this show.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, and that’s something I want to mention and want to just spend a little bit of time on because I do know we have some colleagues who are starting podcasts and stuff, and when we got into this, this was purely educational and community based and a way to connect with our colleagues, but a few years back, I feel that WBENC conference was when we really started thinking about how we’re going to manage this business.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And we’re like, “Why are we not leveraging the podcast somehow?”

Lea Alcantara: Right, exactly.

Emily Lewis: And it was at that point that we decided to start mentioning Bright Umbrella in the intros. We never did it before. We just said, “You’re listening to CTRL+CLICK CAST.”

Lea Alcantara: Right, right.

Emily Lewis: Now, we mention Bright Umbrella at the start and the end, and so that was something we did in the short term. When we were having these discussions, we were like, “Well, the least we can do is connect the two and make it obvious that this is something we’re producing. Set it up so it’s something that we could share with clients.”

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: You have to take it much further than that, but you can’t forget those basics.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: If you want a podcast or a newsletter or some sort of outbound marketing to connect it. That’s not closely branded to your business, but you wanted to help your business, there has to be some sort of brand connection.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, again, one of those things that seems obvious in retrospect, but since that wasn’t our initial goal when we started the show, it wasn’t even in our radar until we sat down and actually discussed what do we want.

Timestamp: 00:20:00

Emily Lewis: And I think it’s something that anyone who’s had a website for a long time, if you haven’t started having these conversations and you’re on like your 3-year or your 5, you probably should, because you now have a couple of years of actual information to make informed decisions about that you may not have when you first launched. This is as relevant to someone that you and I might serve, our clients, as it is to our colleagues who may have their own websites or own properties.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: So sure, we could have just made this responsive, but I think this process of evaluating our content and evaluating how to simplify our information architecture is really important from a goals’ perspective, goals that we didn’t even know we had when we launched eight years ago or whatever it was.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, absolutely, and speaking of those goals, we’ve spoken about what we took out and what we added, but a lot of things we kept.

Emily Lewis: Yes.

Lea Alcantara: So kept, but changed.

Emily Lewis: Right, right, right. I think the main thing is the navigation, we really wanted to look at this with a mobile-first perspective with a less is more.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: It didn’t really cut anything because we don’t have a deep site. We kept our main pages as our “main” or primary navigation.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: But in the original design, we kind of had a primary navigation and sort of – what would you have called it?

Lea Alcantara: Category, sub, secondary navigation.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. It was essentially a way to get to filtered views based on category; Dev, CMS or Business.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: But as we thought of this and kind of imagined how people are finding this, the categories really weren’t as important as I think we thought they were in the beginning, and I also feel like in the beginning, you and I felt it was important to make those categories prominent to also help convey what our editorial focus was.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: But after the number of years we’ve been doing it, it just hasn’t proved to be critical.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: We still wanted them though so we kept that category level navigation, but essentially moved it much lower in the page.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. Because, again, if we’re thinking about who’s visiting the site and why they’re visiting the site, the main thing is to listen to possibly the latest episode, that’s their number one priority, to listen to the episode, and we didn’t want to clutter it up by adding this long list of category navigation before they get to the show.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, particularly on level, the narrower it gets, the more “real estate” is being taken up.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly.

Emily Lewis: From the original site’s primary navigation, we also wanted to just pare it down a little bit to make it more focused on the pages we thought were most important.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: So we also split up that original primary navigation into essentially keeping some as our primary navigation and then creating a footer or a bottom or a utility navigation.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: And those are pages that they’re really only for someone who wants to know something more or do something other than listen to the podcast.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: Really, there’s no point in putting them at the top. They’re just not the common pages that most of our visitors are going for.

Lea Alcantara: Right, and I mean, they’re still useful, especially for just those who are new to the show and they want an at-a-glance view of what we’re about. It’s kind of like that first priority that you mentioned in the old redesign, but that’s less of a priority than the show itself, the episode itself. So, splitting it allows to kind of still keep that information out there without lowering the prominence of the actual episode.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: And for you, SEO folks, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: We still have those works prominently on every page of the site.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. I think it’s obvious that we would keep the audio player that we always had on the site. We always want to have our own copies, not just rely on like Apple Podcast or Stitcher or whatever, but we did want a better audio player. The one we had, which I don’t remember the name of, but it was a little buggy. It was also like eight years old. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, it was JW Player.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. And we wanted something that was a little more accessible with better fallbacks. So we kept what we had in terms of having the functionality of an audio player for our listeners. We just, in my opinion, upgraded to a better one.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. And also I want to make a note about how you’re like, “Well, you can’t assume they’re going to listen on iTunes.”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: A few listeners that we interact with on social media, we asked them like this, that or the other, and then they mentioned like, “Oh, I only ever listen to it on the browser.”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: So, we, of course, want to make sure that for those particular users, that they have a good experience for actually listening to the show.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, I can’t say that they had before.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. Like I mean, again, our site is old.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: And I feel like, for example, JW Player existed eight years ago, and it’s there, it works, and that was it.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. We’re going to get into the player we chose in Part 2, but for those of you who were like, “Oh, what did you pick,” it’s called AblePlayer.

Lea Alcantara: Very cool.

Emily Lewis: We also kept our archive listenings, but we changed the visual design of them because we realized as awesome is the original design was, we ended up having really long episode titles that ended up getting truncated.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. And so that’s really not a great user experience. I think, again, like old school design thought, and it always feels like it’s really obvious in retrospect, but when we first did the design, I think we were trying to stuff as much as possible on the page and therefore that’s why we did the truncation and then this was before everyone got smart about the “fold,” and so we were like, “Try to put as much as possible above the fold.” So we needed to, you know, and so our solution eight-plus years ago, which we didn’t really changed until eight years later was to make small columns and truncate the title.

Emily Lewis: We also made subscribe more prominent.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: If you look at the site now, it’s clearly prominent on both mobile and desktop, and it wasn’t so much before, but that’s as much as people listen from our site on the browser, if they do listen on other platforms, we want them to quickly get to those, our pages, our profiles on those third-party systems.

Lea Alcantara: Right. Just again, the simple fact of what do we want people to do when they visit our site, and if they’re new to our site, we need to give them the options as easy and as clearly as possible on how to stay subscribed.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. And then I think the last major change we made to simplify keeping things but changing them is the home page always features the latest episode, but the original design also had the latest score from the archive.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And we just dropped that, the latest score. We made the focus on just the latest episode on the home page.

Lea Alcantara: And I think, again, that’s a much better user experience and a much better simpler way to listen to our show.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And we’ve added a link to older episode and archives on our top navigation, so it didn’t feel like we really needed to stuff the home page with more.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. So those were the general notes we were taking as we were going through sort of our IA and existing content.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: What we kept, what we got rid of, what we changed, then we sort of dove into actual content changes, language changes.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: Looking back, I’m not sure if this was intentional when we had those initial meetings at the WBENC conference, but looking back and seeing what we had at first and what we have today, it’s definitely more friendly and more personality, I think.

Lea Alcantara: Right. I think our original ones were just like just utility descriptive.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. And I kind of…

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: I can’t say I definitely remember, but I know me well enough to know that there was some part of me that was like, “I wanted to seem legitimate.” You know?

Lea Alcantara: Right, right, right.

Emily Lewis: And so having a lot of words and seeming more business-y and more formally versus expressing who we are was important to me at that time.

Lea Alcantara: Right, right, right, but conversely, the reality is that it actually takes away from the thing that makes our episodes and our podcasts special, which are our personality.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. We cut back everywhere.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: I mean, Lea mentioned at the beginning that we really cut back the About page, but honestly, every single page is just simpler content, more to the point. We’re employing more bullets I think for just key highlights, and just quicker blurbs.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. Yeah, exactly, like you don’t need a huge preamble. Again, why is this user visiting the site? What are they looking for?

Emily Lewis: Yeah. And it also gives you and I less to have to maintain over time.

Lea Alcantara: Yes! That is also a major, major aspect. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Because content ages itself too.

Emily Lewis: Totally.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: You know, we talked about how we split up the navigation organization.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: But we also changed the labels.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: The original site, our archive, was actually titled Episodes. We now have it labeled Archive, which I remember doing this. That was what all of our contemporary podcasts were calling those same sections on their sites.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: So I wanted to get consistent with what other web design and dev podcasts were calling theirs because our audiences are probably pretty similar, and then that would be easier for someone to understand that they could dive in to more.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: Same with – originally, we had Schedule.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And we’ve changed it to Upcoming. I remember this as well, same reason. That was pretty much what we saw our contemporaries are using for labeling, and actually, I feel like both of those new labels are much more accurate to what those pages are.

Timestamp: 00:30:03

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly, and again, it’s one of those things too when you get an email saying, “What’s coming up next?” And you’re like, “But I’ve got a schedule page. Why are you asking me this question?”

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: But a label saying, “Upcoming,” would reduce those amounts of questions.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. So those seem really small, and they are, but again, I feel like they’re little things that are probably – what – ten minutes of discussion to just feel a lot better about what you’re putting out there, what your content is, how you’re guiding the user to the information. Again, I think it’s worth it whether you’re someone who would be a client or someone who is a colleague of ours.

Lea Alcantara: And then there was, when we were doing all this initial planning, we had a huge wish list, which we pared down.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, yes.

Lea Alcantara: But then we pared it down even more once we started actually executing on all these plans.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And initially, we had wanted to have like a next episode teaser.

Emily Lewis: Yes. And that was, again, I was looking at other web design/web dev podcasts.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And there were those on their sites and I was like, “Oh, that must be what we should do.” It was just like, I don’t know, “Look, we should do it.” That was all.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Right. Right. And I feel like our Upcoming page does enough of a job for that type of function or for that need.

Emily Lewis: Right. By skipping it, we saved ourselves design time, dev time for front end, dev time for EE, and Lea is right, our Upcoming page totally says what’s coming up next. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Right, yeah, and I mean, the other thing again, and I’ve been repeating this in this entire episode, like why is someone on our site, and will this add value to their experience that they’re visiting the home page or visiting an episode page.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And it just didn’t seem like it would add value.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: So if it doesn’t add value, then we need to remove it from the to-do list.

Emily Lewis: Another one of those items would be an advanced search. So I guess in my mind, I envisioned we’d have, as you can see on the site now, a search in the masthead area. It’s just a basic keyword search, but I imagined that once they got to the search results page, there could be advanced search options where they could filter by category or filter by tag or date or whatever. And again, I remember you, Lea, pushing back on this. You were like, “Do we really need this? Like are people really going to be searching by dates?”

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah.

Emily Lewis: We don’t need them to search by category because we still have our category filters as part of our navigational structures on every page of the site.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: So is that necessary? Is that necessary to design? Is it necessary to build out?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. And the answer was no.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: So we took it out.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. All right, so that was – I don’t know. Would you say that was really about maybe just a couple months of initial discussions at the conference, commenting in the document, a little back and forth, a little bit of editing, what do you think of this?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, that was a few months.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: And so then we moved to visual design, and I don’t remember if we kind of intentionally started visual design right after we wrapped up the content IA phase, but…

Lea Alcantara: Definitely not. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: Yeah, I can’t remember like when we picked it up, but generally speaking, the visual design phase took the longest of all of the different aspects of this design.

Lea Alcantara: Yes.

Emily Lewis: So let’s talk about like why.

Lea Alcantara: I think to like pare it down, the simplest explanation is we really didn’t have great internal communication on the site as a priority as well as simple task management.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: It was one of those things where we had a to-do list created.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: We had all these tasks, but then the way I use to manage my tasks, if a deadline kind of goes and it doesn’t show up on my priority list for more urgent things, then it became out of sight out of mind.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Which is unfortunately but so based in reality.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: Easy to do when it’s an internal project, you know?

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: There isn’t either a partner or a client or someone on the outside who’s like, “Hey, I need this thing.”

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: It’s you that needs the thing, and just like pretty much anything, it’s easy to like put your own needs lower.

Lea Alcantara: Right, and there’s also the reality of client work, what billable work is a priority and it limits the time you have on internal projects as well.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. I think we do a fair job of sort of discussing the details of our challenges with priorities and task management and even just communication about expectations.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: In Episode 126, I don’t know, 127, the Dealing With Business Challenges is one.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: So I think we’ve got some good kind of hindsight/lessons learned about that. it might be worth for some of our listeners tuning in to if they haven’t already.

Lea Alcantara: More specifically, I think beyond those logistics that we just talked about, creatively, I think I was stuck.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And I kind of mentioned this at the beginning of the show with like how much design change was necessary with this refresh.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And that’s I think a common problem when it’s your own project, you do literally have unlimited direction.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: You don’t have that third party or client who’s like, “This is specifically what I want. Now, give me what I want.” It’s now me thinking, “Well, what do I want?” And then when you’re a creative person, when you’re a designer, you’re like, “Oh, I want this. I want that. I want to do something fancy or I want to do this other stuff.”

Emily Lewis: Right. It’s like the paradox of choice.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: It’s like too many choices and you can’t make one.

Lea Alcantara: Right. Speaking of timing, I looked at the file history for like my Version 1, and the first real shot, so WBENC, just to give you guys like timelines. WBENC conference where we first really had the discussions and started the IA and all of that was in 2016.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: And then fast forward to August 2017. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: That was my first real shot of actual visual design. My first comp that I sent to Emily was August 2017, and here’s a funny thing, the overall layout actually of what I did there is more or less what you see now.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: So it wasn’t like I made major design changes from 2017 to launch. It was more specific details that I was getting really stuck about, and more specifically, the color palette.

Emily Lewis: I remember.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. So with the color palette, like I think with the design, I’m like, “I want to try something new,” was my kind of thought process there, and that was the wrong direction for that, but it took me a while to quite realize that that wasn’t the right direction, and then while I was stuck with the color palette, I was still also simultaneously wondering about some of our initial content and like my wireframe sketches. So there was no formal wireframe process with this design, but there were a few sketches that I’m like, “Well, how much of this do I really want to tweak?”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And then I got stuck and then I hadn’t moved forward after that initial design for a while.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. And I think just to go back to the communication thing, when you handed me some of those first color palette choices, I was like, “Whoa, I don’t think we need the rebrand. I really feel like the original brand is awesome. We just need to get it in a mobile-first perspective.” And I don’t think the feedback I gave you was specific enough to help you kind of know what just kind of adjust.

Lea Alcantara: Right, right.

Emily Lewis: But I also don’t think you told me that it wasn’t specific enough.

Lea Alcantara: Right, yeah.

Emily Lewis: So we kind of have, I’m like, “Oh, I think this is way too in a new direction. I say stick with what you have and just focus on mobile UX.” And you’re like, “Well, so you hate these colors.”

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Right, right, right.

Emily Lewis: And then we didn’t get past that until months later I think.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. And then your feedback really did get specific because it took us months to get to that point where you were like, “Well, what’s happening with this design? Like how do I make changes or whatever?” And then I don’t know what it was, but you rephrased the way you explained about the color scheme and you were like, “Can we stick with our original color scheme?”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And I feel like the moment you said that, [laughs] and it was just really weird, because like maybe it wasn’t as obvious to me that that was what you were trying to convey about like, “I really like our original design.”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And I think with that, that’s really a broad statement, because then I’m like, “Well, what of the original design it was?”

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: And then months later, you were like, “Our original color scheme is real good.”

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: I’m like, “Oh, okay, then how can I use this layout, which you didn’t really have bad feedback on because it wasn’t the layout that I had adjusted that you had issues with.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But really, a lot of it was the color scheme.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: The moment you were like, “Let’s keep our original color scheme,” that kind of unlocked something for me.

Emily Lewis: I think it says a lot about the importance of when you are getting design feedback of really pushing for clarity, like it’s something that you do with our clients, but we just didn’t do great internally where you push back and force the conversation to be more specific.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: But I think it also highlights sometimes how great constraints can be.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, absolutely. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Absolutely, like I feel like let’s say we finished the IA process, and you know with our clients, we normally go, “Can you give a sample designs that you like? Do you have brand guidelines or a color scheme?” I feel like if we had already established at the beginning that the majority of the major design changes like simplifying the layout, but we’re keeping the type, we’re keeping color, then it would have been so much more clearer than, “Here you go, Lea, here are the content. Let’s redesign.” [Laughs]

Timestamp: 00:40:10

Emily Lewis: Yeah. Yeah. Well, okay, what I want you to do is sort of kind of discuss your design process.

Lea Alcantara: Sure.

Emily Lewis: Before we dive into it, I just want to just summarize the things we essentially learned from the long kind of lag in this 3-year long project was we have to have better communication, priorities and expectations.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: Accepting the reality that it’s possible that the long time frame could have hurt our ability to attract sponsors and new listeners, which we’re now trying to deal with.

Lea Alcantara: Right, right.

Emily Lewis: And we hope that the refreshed site will kind of give us a better platform to work from moving forward.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And this is so important again, it’s kind of along the same thing I said earlier for those of our colleagues who are doing like podcasts and stuff like that, if it’s representative of your brand or something your business is supporting, you have to make it a top internal priority on par with client priorities.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: It just isn’t something that you can afford to ignore, if it’s tied to your brand, tied to your reputation.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. So Lea, I’ll pop in with questions, but you have some really good kind of summary notes to describe the process you went through with the site, so why don’t you share some of that?

Lea Alcantara: Okay, so as I already mentioned, the design process became a lot more smoother once we focused on making sure we’re keeping the same branding colors, typography and like the main graphical elements, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And since we’re designing for mobile and being more modern, the main change besides like same branding colors, the only tweak really is improvements to accessibility and contrast.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: So that meant testing the colors against contrast checkers, making sure that the typography were a certain minimum size as well.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And once that opened things up, then I worked on massaging our simplified layout.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: The biggest thing that we did was we got rid of the sidebar.

Emily Lewis: Sidebar.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: That we just used to shove with contents. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. I feel like, you know, especially in like old school web design and everything, like everything had a sidebar, and then as mobile first became more prominent and you’re trying to simplify the content as well as the design and then trying to figure out, well, what’s important, well, we realized that we were using a sidebar almost like it’s a throwaway element.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, totally.

Lea Alcantara: So it wasn’t necessary at all for the type of content that we were producing, and I believe it’s also better for you as a developer, right, Emily?

Emily Lewis: Well, sure. I mean, a single column, which is essentially what we have is just faster to deal with when you’re doing responsive work, so it takes less time for the front end.

Lea Alcantara: Right. And those are like realistic expectations when it’s an internal project too.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: Like you can’t just have unlimited time to do the craziest layouts or whatever, so a simplified layout also helped our goals in trying to get this out and launched as well, and as Emily mentioned when we were talking about the navigation, we split a bunch of things, that meant we needed to have a new masthead to account for those particular changes and priorities, like changes to the navigation and the addition of search as well.

Emily Lewis: And if I recall correctly, that was the one area that took us the most to come to consensus on, the masthead getting the navigation and the subscribe and the search all sort of working in a way where you felt like all the key things were being represented, and I felt it wasn’t cluttered or feeling too congested in that area.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. And it’s really, really interesting because I feel like the general layout that I created in 2017 hadn’t majorly changed, but because we were talking about priorities and what needed to be at the top, like I actually widened the content design in order to accommodate and just trying to figure out, like how many views will this starting width accommodate without having to do a lot of development work for it as well?

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: So those were definitely considerations and why, as a designer, it’s good to understand development restrictions as well because if you have an original layout that will work for a majority of views already, then you’ve already saved so much time for development as well.

Emily Lewis: Oh, yeah.

Lea Alcantara: Right?

Emily Lewis: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know how many designers work closely with devs, but it’s something that I really value that not only do you check with me, but if I say, “Oh, this is going to take me a little longer,” you’re like, “Okay, let me adjust it.” Like you have an appreciation for what my responsibilities as a developer are, and it allows us to kind of find a happy medium of you getting your visual and UX design goals met while I can also get my front end, getting things done faster and efficiently without tons of extra testing or whatever.

Lea Alcantara: Right. For example, just because you have a wide screen doesn’t mean we need to fill the entire width with stuff, you know?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: For us, our current layout, for example, isn’t super, super wide, and that’s actually good because then it works for a lot of views.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. I mean, typically, layout has been the more time, like I usually set aside like a whole morning just to get layout done for a typical site.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And Lea, it was probably the fastest part of this particular.

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: Because there’s almost no layout level shifts.

Lea Alcantara: Right. So the other design changes, as I already mentioned, included accessibility considerations.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And once we had narrowed it down to like, “Let’s use the original color scheme, except make it accessible, make it better contrast,” that really opened up the avenues and going back to basics about branding and what makes our site identifiable.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: You were talking about restrictions earlier on.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And having accessibility as a priority for this mobile refresh actually helped narrow down the color scheme to something more usable.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: So even though our original color scheme is pretty good, I actually narrowed it down even further to like a set dark blue, just highlight blue, this link blue, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: So then we weren’t using the colors a little bit more haphazardly like we are using this particular color not just because it looks good, but because it needs that type of contrast for readability purposes. It needs to have the particular size for readability purposes.

Emily Lewis: I feel like you did the same thing with regard to typography.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: We have said a lot that our pages aren’t very dense. We simplified everything. The exception to that is our transcript, they’re massive. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And so I feel like the typography, the font size, the line height, the spacing between paragraphs, even the color it not being like pure white, but like tough white addresses all of those accessibility, usability and readabilty issues, and pretty effectively.

Lea Alcantara: Right. And I think it looks better. It’s a better design because of those particular restrictions, and that was one of the things that we dealt with. Of course, supporting IA goals with the particular layout and really focusing and honing on to that target audience, every design decision is always like, “Is this easier to navigate and a lot more clearer?”

Emily Lewis: I just wanted to say again, I feel like our transcript is where you can see that in one of the more stronger ways of – I almost wish we still have an archive of our old site up so you could do a side-by-side comparison.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: But it was like impossible to read those transcripts online. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Right.

Emily Lewis: And when my eyes are getting older, I’m like, “I got to zoom in.”

Lea Alcantara: Right, exactly, exactly. And those issues get worse on mobile, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But specifically, we kind of touched on this, but we haven’t really talked about it, like images is a big thing.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. That was a big change from our desktop site.

Lea Alcantara: Right. So we are using Font Awesome to help with a lot of the iconography so that looks great on mobile and that also allows us to have a little bit more flexibility as well to like switch it out.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And because Font Awesome is a service, like they’re always updating it, so then whatever you see is the latest, greatest version of that icon.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: Our logo used to be the old school 2X Pings before, I believe.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And we switched that to SVGs.

Emily Lewis: You know what, I hate to say it, but I feel like it might not even been 2X, just considering when we built the site. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yes, yeah, it’s possible. It was just like 1X. Yeah, yeah.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But yeah, SVGs now, which smaller file size as well as they’re vectors, so it looks great on mobile as well.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: In terms of like the mobile design, in terms of supporting mobile needs, we also really discussed the content order as well, like our navigation in mobile is a little bit different than what you see on tablets or desktops, so we had to kind of reorder some places based on what we thought our visitors wanted and what we wanted them to see in that smaller, smaller scale as well.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. Yeah, definitely placement considerations from mobile to desktop are important for sure.

Lea Alcantara: Right. And those types of changes like moved on to our like archive and other internal pages with our focus on simplicity. Our episode archive having the full titles there makes it a lot more readable and clear, and then it’s also just in a list format, so again, simple, easy, people can read it from top to bottom. [Laughs]

Timestamp: 00:50:02

Emily Lewis: Yeah. And it was also one of the easier pages to build. I think I left it to the last page I built and I just threw some flex-box in there and it was like, “Boom, done.”

Lea Alcantara: Right, right. So we’ve talked a lot about the entire planning process and the IA, the content, and the design, and we still have a lot more to talk about.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But I think that’s a good place to stop for Part 1.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: And we’ll pick up on Part 2 with all the details on front end and the ExpressionEngine upgrade.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. Before we finish up though, we’ve got our new 2019 rapid fire ten questions, which our Patreons voted on last year.

Lea Alcantara: Oh.

Emily Lewis: And Lea, it’s your turn to answer. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Oh.

Emily Lewis: Are you ready?

Lea Alcantara: Sure, I’ll be ready.

Emily Lewis: Okay. Would you rather travel to the future or the past?

Lea Alcantara: The past. I don’t want to know what’s ahead of me.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Lea Alcantara: Oh, leave Canada.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: And moved to the United States.

Emily Lewis: Big deal for sure.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Who was your childhood celebrity crush?

Lea Alcantara: I think this was like every girl’s childhood celebrity crush, at least in my generation, Devon Sawa. He was the human version of Casper, the friendly ghost.

Emily Lewis: Oh. Oh, okay, yes, I know who you are talking about.

Lea Alcantara: Do you remember? It’s like at the end of the movie where Casper turns into a human.

Emily Lewis: A human.

Lea Alcantara: And then you’re just like I’ve had my awakening just watching the scene.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: What’s one of your pet peeves?

Lea Alcantara: Oh, gosh, I have too many.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: People who complain and don’t do anything about it.

Emily Lewis: I think you’ve mentioned this on the show a couple of times.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: But officially, what was your first website?

Lea Alcantara: Sailor Moon website on Geocities.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: All right, what’s your favorite time of day?

Lea Alcantara: Late morning.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: Happy early morning, it’s got to be the late morning.

Emily Lewis: How about your favorite place?

Lea Alcantara: The kitchen.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: Oh, my gosh, I love that. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah, the kitchen is my happy place.

Emily Lewis: What’s your favorite emoji?

Lea Alcantara: Right now, it changes, but right now, my favorite emoji is the monkey with the hands over the eyes.

Emily Lewis: Oh. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Because I feel like it’s just a little bit more than the hand slapping one.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But I feel like there’s a lot of [laughs] versatility with the monkey with the hand over the eyes. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: All right. How about your favorite charity?

Lea Alcantara: My favorite charity of the moment, Planned Parenthood.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, last question, sweet or savory?

Lea Alcantara: Both, but leaning a bit more towards savory.

Emily Lewis: Hah, I would have guessed sweet.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. No, I mean, my favorite snack of all time is popcorn, but…

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

[Music starts]

Lea Alcantara: But it’s got to be kettle popcorn. That’s why I have to say sweet and savory.

Emily Lewis: Totally.

Lea Alcantara: I like them both.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: All right, well, that brings us to the end of today’s episode. For any of the resources that we mentioned today, we will put them in our show notes so be sure to check those out, and a reminder, if you want to discuss this episode with us and other listeners, be sure to sign up for our five dollar Patreon tier.

Lea Alcantara:CTRL+CLICK is produced by Bright Umbrella, a web services agency obsessed with happy clients!

Emily Lewis:If you want to know more about CTRL+CLICK, make sure you follow us on Twitter and Instagram at “ctrlclickcast,” or visit our website ctrlclickcast.com.

Lea Alcantara:And if you liked this episode, become a patron so we can create more content you love — visit patreon.com/ctrlclickcast. We can also use your reviews on Stitcher or Apple Podcasts or both — links are in our show notes!

Emily Lewis:Don’t forget to tune in to our next episode. We’re going to talk to TJ Draper about the newly-formed ExpressionEngine Community Association. Be sure to check out ctrlclickcast.com/upcoming for more topics.

Lea Alcantara:This is Lea Alcantara …

Emily Lewis: And Emily Lewis …

Lea Alcantara: Signing off for CTRL+CLICK CAST. See you next time!

Emily Lewis: Cheers!

[Music stops]

Timestamp: 00:53:52

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Emily Lewis and Lea Alcantara

CTRL+CLICK CAST inspects the web for you!

Your hosts Emily Lewis and Lea Alcantara proudly feature diverse voices from the industry’s leaders and innovators. Our focused, topical discussions teach, inspire and waste no time getting to the heart of the matter.

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