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40 - Key Components of a Stellar Website

What Makes a Website Great? 

From user experience insights to cutting-edge design principles, this episode aims to provide practical tips for creating websites that truly stand out. We're be joined by Jesse Glade, the Chief Creative Officer at Antidote 71. Together, we will try to answer the question, "What are the essential elements and features that contribute to making a website outstanding, effective, and user-friendly?”


According to a popular Italian legend, the Bicicletta—“bicycle” in Italian—was named after the elderly men who swerved all over the road while riding home after a few afternoon drinks at the café. In the traditional aperitivo style, this cocktail combines two of Italy's favorite early evening drinks. Campari adds a delightfully bitter complexity to dry Italian white wine, and a splash of club soda turns the mixture into a refreshing spritz. 

Dry Italian White Varietals:

Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano, Garganega, Verdicchio, Arneis, Bellone, Etna Bianco (Sicily), Falanghina, Fiano, Pecorino, Vermentino


  • 2 oz Campari
  • 2 oz. dry Italian white wine,
  • 5-2 oz. soda water (To top)
  • Orange Wheel for garnish



  1. Add Campari and white wine to a wine glass.
  2. Add ice and top with soda.
  3. Stir gently and garnish with an orange wheel.

Recipe Credit: Punch

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Episode Transcript

Rich: Welcome back, Caitlin. It's been a while.

Catelin: Hey, happy new year.

Rich: Happy new year. We're off our holiday break and back with a little bit more structure, I think.

Catelin: Maybe. Well, I mean like, but are we?

Rich: I mean. I feel I'm not ready to be back Like we take that week off and it's just. It just feels rude to come back and work like full days. Yeah, here we are 

Catelin: I said on well, whatever day it was. I was like I, this seems like it's hard to do on a Monday. And then I think it was. It was Jesse and Jessica, kind of at the same time, were like it's Tuesday and I was like, well, I want to do it less now. So it was a very Monday, tuesday though like yeah very Monday, tuesday, mm.

Rich: Hmm, yeah.

Catelin: But then also I woke up, or like I was going to bed last night, like okay, here's when I'm not aware, and like getting prepared for the day, and then I was like tomorrow's already Thursday. I have so much to get done before the end of the week, I know, so there's just like there's no winning. For me it's either too much time or too little, and I am just going to complain until we go back to a regular five day work week.

Rich: Next week? Next week? Yeah, all right. Well, back we have our marketing question for this episode, which is we do, we do? I'm actually looking at the notes. I reviewed them earlier as well.

So the question we're answering today, because you know cocktails, tanges and answers, and in order to have an answer, you have a question what are the essential elements and features that contribute to making a website website outstanding, effective and user friendly? So, basically, what makes a stellar website? Because nobody wants a mediocre website right, there's so many of them out there or just bad, there's tons of bad websites too. So how do you make that Great? So we'll get to that. Our special is Jesse, who we've heard from before, our Chief Creative Officer, because in our company, websites are in the creative department. They are not a technical thing, they are a. I mean there is plenty of technical to them, but it's really a design and user experience that falls to our creative team 

Catelin: So we'll get into that we're going to get into that. Before we do, though, I think we should talk about this bicicleta I love this one. I guess I'm pronouncing it with the Spanish pronunciation, so I think it's bicicleta.

Rich: I think you do a cha on the single C. Well, now, I don't know, it might be bicicleta, but I think it's bicicleta.

Catelin: None of us speak Italian.

Rich: Now and Brian's not here. He does speak Italian, but he is not here 

Catelin: Brian, you please call in and tell us how to pronounce this cocktail. He works in a secure environment, so he's not obviously not right this second, but he could leave us a message, right 

Rich: He could? Yeah, he could do that. I can ask you later too.

Catelin: According to a popular Italian legend, the bicycle in Italian bicicleta I don't know was named after the elderly men who swerved all over the road while riding home. After a few little cocktails at the cafe, which is the only way that it is safe to drink and drive. In the traditional aperitivo style, this cocktail combines two of Italy's favorite early evening drinks Campari and dry Italian white wine and then a little splash of club soda turns it into a spritz.

Rich: Yes, it does. I did find out how you pronounce it, but I don't want to hit it because it's oh, you know what? I think it is Bicicleta, because Gucci the cha is Gucci in G-U-C-C-I.

Catelin: It's two Cs. Two Cs that tracks. So anyway, turns out, we do speak Italian.

Rich: Sure, of course we do so, yeah, so I did a little bit of extra digging on this one, because Italian wine varietals just don't get enough play. So we all know about Pinot Grigio, of course, and Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, which Chardonnay is a French grape but and Pinot Grigio is perfect for this. It's a nice dried white wine and it's very easy to find, but there are so many amazing white varietals in Italy, so we'll post some of these in the little recap that we do online.

 Catelin: Okay, so like some fun ones.

 Rich: The Trebbiano not to be confused with Joey Trebbiano.

 Catelin: Trebbiano yeah, that's exactly what I was saying. I'm also seeing Pecorino, which is a cheese.

 Rich: It is To drink.

 Catelin: Pecorino wine with Pecorino cheese. Is that the point? Or?

 Rich: is it just a happy coincidence? Yeah, I think you could. It's just Pecorino means shepherd, and so, yeah, there is versus the sheep that the cheese comes from, so Pecorino is, I believe it's, just a sheep cheese is why it's that, but it's because of the shepherds. Vermintino is a really fun one. I love the Etna Bianco, which is from Sicily, from Mount Etna. They're a volcano that they've got down there hanging out.


Catelin: Oh, so I bet that dirt's kind of interesting.


Rich: Then too, gives you a little specific regional flavor yeah you can get a little bit of that, that pumicey, smoky taste, potentially. So anyway, there's a whole bunch more. I believe it's called Garganega, so they're just really fun to pronounce, but, honestly, I've had Verdecios, I've had Tribianos, I have not had a Pecorino, but I have had Vermintinos and they're all really great and all of those are perfectly with this. There's so many dry Italian whites, which is probably why this is such a common beverage.


Catelin: Well, what you need for this is two ounces of Campari, two ounces of dry Italian white wine, any of those varietals previously mentioned. I learned over the break that I don't like Chardonnay, but I do like Sauvignon Blanc.


Rich: Yeah, yeah, yeah, very different wines and Chardonnay. So Chardonnay, you can like it sometimes if it's in a stainless steel barrel instead of an oak barrel, because it's the difference between like a crisp floral Chardonnay or a crisp fruity Chardonnay versus a buddery Chardonnay, which is like, yeah, and I like the blue.


Catelin: Anyway, after your dry Italian white wine, one and a half to two ounces of soda water to top, and then a little orange wheel for garnish. And you just add your Campari and white wine to a wine glass. Add your ice, top with soda, stir gently and garnish with your orange wheel. See, I like this one too, because it's easy. It's super easy.


Rich: And this is a great. I know it's not summer right now, but we really haven't had much of a winter so far, so we'll see what happens.


Catelin: I don't know what is weather, who knows?


Rich: But this one you can. Also, I will highly recommend that you double it and put it in like a tall glass or a pint glass, because this is a porch zipper. You can just oh, there is a drink called a porch zipper too but you can just sit out on the porch and enjoy this, much like the Italian men sitting at the cafe who then ride their BC Glatos back and we've all over the road and create issues.


Catelin: I'm wondering if there is an Italian woman equivalent Like what do the Italian women drink that cause them to wander aimlessly through the streets?


Rich: Or are we?


Catelin: just like home. You know what I mean? I don't know. Or is it a sidecar scenario?


Rich: No, I don't know, because I think the men go out on their own. I'm googling drunk Italian women. This could be really crazy.


Catelin: That seems dangerous.


Rich: No, it's just about this one woman who flew on a plane and had mid-air drama.


Catelin: I'm not getting anything good with that. I don't think that we're going to find the answer on Google.


Rich: No, but I mean it's, and it may be that the women don't have a comparable drink because they are not so sloppy and messy to be riding and weaving on their bicycles home after getting drunk downtown. Get credit for this when it comes from Punch, which is a website, punchdrinkcom and we'll include that as well, so that you've got the recipe right there. And I love the notes on this, because, kampare, you instantly go to bitter, because that's what it is, but delightfully bitter and refreshing.


Catelin: Yeah, yeah, so is Jesse delightfully bitter and refreshing. Delightfully bitter. I feel like you could also. If you wanted to do less bitter, you could do an app, you could do apparel in this.


Rich: Yeah, you could do apparel in this. I'm wondering about italicus in this and then maybe like an herbal garnish we don't have time to get into italicus.


Catelin: I don't like yeah, we're over time. I know Zach wanted us to be in Just chatting about our drunk bike riders.


Rich: We're at nine, so I think with that we should probably wrap this piece up Turn it over to our bitter and refreshing chief creative officer. Yeah, we'll be back with Jesse in a minute and we're back and Jesse is with us. Hello, jesse.


Jesse: I guess. Thanks for having me back.


Catelin: Would you be offended if we said bitter and refreshing about your character?


Rich: No, I feel like that's no, he's like that's perfect. That's perfectly I mean he's got the like the year old man inside asking you to get off his lawn please. So he also is very honest, and I find honesty refreshing. I find people who are candid and kind of forthright refreshing. So I think bitter and refreshing is really Jesse. I think that works. Yeah so but we're not here to discuss that. Well, we could. What would you say?


Jesse: we use the sour patch kids reference with our kids all the time, like first they're sour, then they're sweet. So that's like the adult version of that, I think.


Catelin: We have like a. We have like a gusher kit, like a sour gusher, where it's like sour and then sweet and then sour again and she just turns on a dime.


Rich: Yeah, yikes, but we are.


Catelin: That's not what we're talking about, zach. I'm trying, I'm trying, zach.


Rich: We'll have more tangents later, but we're really trying to answer the question today. Just to recap, what are the essential elements and features that contribute to making a stellar website? So it's got to be outstanding, effective and user friendly, and I know this has been a huge focus for us and you in particular, jesse, for the last probably two years, and we've really honed it. Last year, like I've been so impressed with some of what we're doing. Just to toot our own horn for a minute, because it's our podcast, we can do that, I suppose.


Catelin: I think we don't say enough nice things to each other. So yeah, I agree, fair enough, I agree.


Rich: So, jesse, I want to know this user experience honeycomb is that something that you have used? Is that something Zach just pulled out of thin air?


Jesse: No, this is actually. It came up last year or a year and a half ago when I started teaching the web design class. Oh, that's right, and I have really liked it. So you know, if anybody has seen our kind of website pitch that we do, we open with a slide that's kind of got a Venn diagram with great design, user experience and then optimal functionality. I think this just kind of encompasses really all of that. He breaks it up into six parts instead of just three, but it's a little bit more all-encompassing.


I see seven, though the middle is like the core piece, so that's the website as a whole oh got it, got, it Got it All the honeycomb pieces around.


Catelin: Because that's how geometry works.


Rich: Well, yeah, math is hard.


Catelin: I love this and I think that we should.


Rich: probably you should maybe get your design team working on a honeycomb to replace our Venn diagram, because, like, if you're going to use it, like let's use it Okay. So in the notes here it says useful is the first thing, and that makes sense to me because, like, the web is really about function, right, so that's number one. So talk to me a little bit about that one so useful.


Jesse: I like this one because you could have something that's really great looking. The functionality of it could even be great, but if it doesn't solve what the user is trying to do, then it's kind of trash. So, being useful, it has to solve what somebody is trying to do. Whether they're looking for, you know, a product to buy or information or something to download, they have to be able to do that. So getting to that kind of end result of what that user is actually looking for makes it useful.


Rich: Right, and I think that these all have to go together right, because just putting up a list of things I might want to find that might be useful, but it's probably not going to be a great website, it's definitely not a stellar website, and so I think that one of the things that I've noticed is like, especially when we were doing SEO which I know we get to findable as one of these as well we get into like talking about creative and innovative ways to help put the technical pieces in there, but make sure that they look really good and they function really well. So that's always been impressive for me.


Jesse: Yeah, I really like the honeycomb kind of piece because, like you said, they all kind of touch and rub on each other and if you're missing a part of the honeycomb it all kind of falls apart. So that's why it's a really good analogy.


Rich: Yep, I agree, and so usable is the next Like. Useful is one thing, but then we get into can I use it, which you were kind of hinting at.


Jesse: Very close related, but still kind of its own thing, the more you think about it. So usable is, is it easy to to use and understand? Can somebody find their way around things? You know, does somebody get lost? Do they get frustrated when they use it? Because if they do, they're probably not coming back or they're going to dread coming back and not come back as often. So sorry, go ahead, Kailin.


Catelin: I wouldn't say that. The two of them kind of function together where like useful is meeting your clients need right and showing them how you're going to do that, and usable ensures that when they have determined that your service or product is the thing that fits them, they can find what they're looking for easily by visiting XYZ site.


Rich: And I think of usable, like so many people like to get really clever with menus, right.


Catelin: Oh, it just drives me nuts.


Rich: And you can have a clever menu that's very usable and very easy to use and it should be right Like the mega menu shouldn't just be a giant list of everything and I know a lot of what we've done recently and I know I've seen you working on some things for us in the background as well is injecting imagery or iconography or subheads into the menu so that it's really easy for you to look around and see what you need. That, for me, is like one of the biggest usability pieces, but I think this one probably also encompasses like speed right. Some of those pieces are embedded in usable as well.


Jesse: And like things that function like they're supposed to. You know, when you hit a button, does it actually click? Does it take you where you think it's going to go?

Catelin: The bar is not high in some instances.


Jesse: Like, does the button?


Catelin: button.


Rich: But the number of places you go like and you click a button and it does nothing. Like we actually helped fix a very small website recently where that was the case. Like they had these buttons on there and they just didn't do anything and it's like we'll just take them off then Like either point them somewhere or take them off. Like one of those things has to happen.


Jesse: Talking about like usability. I have a joke in my syllabus that's always on the last page and it says the one for web design is user experience is like a joke. If you have to explain it, that's not that good. So I always kind of keep that in the back of my head, like if you have to explain something to somebody about how it works, especially in web, yeah, it's designed to be used on your own right, like you don't have somebody guiding you through it.


Rich: I should be able to see it, and that's where those like self-guided tours when somebody updates their website, drive me a little crazy. It's like I shouldn't need this.


Catelin: I should be able to find stuff that no one else. No, I don't need a video to know how to run your website. That's so self-defeating.


Jesse: And that's kind of hard too, especially as stuff changes like so fast, especially in web, just the technology and advancements and things. Sometimes people do need to be educated on what to do or how this works, like when mega menus weren't a thing and then all of a sudden they were. A few people had to be the early adopters of that and kind of make it prominent and show people how good it was. So I think there's a give and take for all of these, but for the most part I think that's a pretty good rule to kind of keep in mind.


Rich: I think so. So that moves us on to the next two are desirable and findable. So design desirable is a rough one for me, like it's a kind of a loaded phrase, right.


Jesse: Yeah, it is. The designer in me really likes this one because is it pretty or not Right, is it Okay?


Catelin: Do I want to look at it? Yeah.


Jesse: Do. I want to look around at these pages and see what's going on. I think you know at the heart that's what we do really well is make things look really good. So people want to click on buttons, they want to read that info. It's a big part of it, but in this kind of, when you're looking at a website as a whole, it's just one of those pieces. So all of it has to be good. It can't just be pretty, it has to be all the other things too.


But I think another good point about this one is does it reinforce the brand's mission? Like it can't be good looking just to be good looking. It has to go with the brand, has to be what they're about, because if it's not, that there's going to be a huge disconnect. And especially when you're on web, if there's a disconnect between what you're kind of looking at and what the product is or what they're trying to serve you, it creates mistrust and that's definitely not what we want to do.


Rich: Yeah, I mean, and I think if you don't have a point of view for your brand or any kind of identity for your brand or a vision for your brand, it's going to be really hard to develop a website for you. That's one of the first things we start talking to them about is personality and who they are and who their brand is, you know, and we'll hit a point probably where, if somebody can't answer that question, we just end the meeting and walk away and we're not doing your project Because you won't have a.


Jesse: You're setting yourself up for failure and setting us up for failure by not knowing that it's kind of let's take five steps back and look at your brand before we go into that website.


Catelin: Well, and it's so funny too, because it's like people want to talk about I need a new website. But then when you get into it, they're like oh well, I guess I don't know what goes there. And so so much of our web process now has become centered around like how do you talk about yourself? What is it that you want people to see when they visit your site? What types of imagery do you like? It's like, instead of designing a brochure, like we've had the conversation where it's like your website is now your like leave behind for people, because we're not. You know, we don't do a ton of print anymore, but it's like that leave behind where what is the thing that you want people to know or remember about your business and how do we showcase that in a meaningful way?


Rich: Yeah, and I think that gets into the next one Findable really well, we've had, and we've been slapped with this one recently. When we built our new website, we didn't put a portfolio on it and we hadn't really needed one for like over a year. But we've had a couple of people who were like oh, I was looking for examples on your website. I couldn't find them. Well, they're on our behance profile and you can go there and take a look at them or we can send you some stuff. But that's something that we're correcting, because Our website is very findable but people couldn't actually find the information they needed once they got there in that specific instance. Yeah, so it's really yet where that piece is. Go ahead, jesse.


Jesse: It's, it's kind of two-fold I'll take this one a little further to and it kind of the SEO, because that's really big into what we do. But focusing just on the findable stuff on the website, like you said it's it's super important Kind of goes with that usable and usefulness piece, like if they can't find something easily they're not gonna stay there very long, especially with short attention spans. So one thing Outside of the website that we can do is a lot of SEO and that ties in very closely with all the, the architecture of the site, how it's built, the content that are that's on all those pages, making it helpful and easier to show up in search. I think is is another kind of if you want to really Kind of pinpoint that findable piece and think outside of just the website, that's a it's a big place to To look into as well.


Rich: Well, and it's also your opportunity to set the expectation right, like, if I get a Google search result, I see that headline and meta description and when I click on that and go there, I should get content. That makes sense to me based on what I saw there, and so many people just put up really general title tags and meta descriptions and then you get to the site and you're like this is not what.


Catelin: I thought the question I was asking. The number of times that I have been frustrated or misled by a meta description and an inaccurate Title tag it will I like it's so frustrating.


It's catfishing and I fit like, yeah, it is. And I think I mean that was, you know, a couple of years ago Maybe, when it was really more common. I think people are wising up to that. That like ranking and search results and and being Accurate in what you're describing on that initial search page has changed. But oh, and it was like the best you know latte in Sioux City and then you'd get there and it was like they're selling whole ground coffee or like whole beans and it's like that's not. I'm not making a latte at my house.


Rich: Come get your life to me yeah. Yeah, and I think people have realized that Google's gonna smack you down for those. We're kind of getting into a few areas where, like the next one is also a, google will smack you down If you don't do this right and a lot of people ignore it, so accessible. So, and specifically, we're talking about ADA requirements, right? Yes, and you can get fined, like people don't realize, like you can get fined, and it's a couple thousand dollars, I think, per instant.


Yeah, it's not Cheap so how do you make sure that? How do you balance, like, the desirable and the pretty in the design with the accessible? Because, like Contrast, like white text on black background or black text on white background is your best, but it's not the only thing that's ADA accessible. But how do you? How do you make that work, jesse? Like, how do you work around that with somebody's brand guidelines?


Jesse: The brand guidelines, if you know if they're pretty prescribed. That's. That's kind of tough. You can tweak a few things here and there, but I think it starts really early. There's so many good tools for that. We're pretty tied to Adobe at this point. Adobe color is really good and even just adjusting them slightly, you know if it's really close and we can Change a few, a few digits or something on a hex code to make it applicable, I think that's totally fine and probably good thing to do. But it's, it's a big part sometimes it's it gets tougher, it gets frustrating, especially If there's colors that you know look really good but maybe they don't read very well. So you have the. There's some give and take on that one especially. That's. You kind of have to walk the line and and figure out where it's best.


Catelin: Yeah, and in the like we don't say enough nice things to each other. I think you and Megan do a great job of balancing what looks good with what is functional, and you design with that accessibility piece in mind at the forefront. It's not an afterthought when you're designing, which I think Is not always the case, especially you know, like I'll visit Smaller sites or you know people with smaller budgets and I'm like, oh, they just and and you don't know, like a lot of times it's, it's just a lack of awareness or education around that piece, but it can be really costly.


Rich: Yeah, and I know there's. You know there's little things that you mentioned, like we're gonna push your Navy just a little bit darker or we're gonna push your yellow just a little bit brighter or lighter. But I know there's other things, because you can mess with size of text and bold text, so a color that isn't bold might not work on a certain background, but when you bold it, it's readable now, or you increase it by two points, which is the other thing that I see all the time. Websites have such tiny type and I'm like you don't make it giant, like I don't need it to be giant, but like type can be such a great design element and you can use it that way and also guess what it makes. It more accessible because it's easier to read.


Catelin: It's, it's that, and it's also like you're not gonna run out of room, you know it's not like you're limited to an eight and a half by eleven. True, is she the paper in the you know in the old days? Right, exactly, it's like. No, you, the, the limit does not exist. You can just make like, make it as big or as long or as wide as as make sense. Yeah, the other thing too, that we talked a little bit about accessibility and findability, or findable, is like when you are appropriately populating, like alt tags on your images and meta descriptions and tagging your hs, hs, hs, that also plays into the accessibility piece. So, like Jesse said earlier, some of these pieces kind of you know, tag off of each other and if you don't have one, the whole honeycomb falls apart.


Jesse: Even like buttons for like tapping and yeah like that that you can do now with Some of the back end stuff is is really, really handy All right, cool, so a few more, you've got credible.


Rich: So how do I make sure that I am credible?


Jesse: So this is where content gets really important. Obviously, there's some content pieces on the other ones, like desirable and findable, but having good, relevant content that speaks to the brand, you know it's true to what they're trying to do or what we're trying to do, and just reinforces kind of what the brand is about and builds that trust with the user is a huge part of I think. When people are, whether they realize it or not, they know that they kind of pick up, especially if you're just trying to sell something that's in your face and things like that. So being credible, being authentic, I think is huge. Especially, I think it's only getting more important.


Rich: So yeah, and I think you've got. There's a thing in the notes here about and I'm guessing you use this when you teach the Web Credibility Project, which is from Stanford University, where they actually have guidelines on what makes a site credible and what elements you can add to make a site credible, depending on what kind of site you have. So you don't have to guess right, you don't have to be like. I think this makes me more credible. They've actually done a huge study and obviously you know not just some run of the mill university, but Stanford, like they got a good research team there to help understand what makes a site credible, and Google loves this one.


It is becoming the most valuable thing, ahead of almost everything else, is what content you have and how credible you are with it. I think it also helps you stand out from people who just use AI to slap things together. Ai is great for a start, but it lies and it doesn't always get things right, and so you know, making sure that you've done that is important and huge, very cool. So last two, it looks like it looks like valuable, and then site performance. So talk to me about valuable.


Jesse: Site performance is kind of an add on.


Rich: Okay.


Jesse: So the last part of the honeycomb is valuable, right in the center, and I think it's a good one, because everything kind of feeds into that and makes the site either super valuable to somebody or something that they just look at once and move on and maybe never go back to, never purchase anything from anything like that. So you want to deliver value to your users, so it's a brand thing, it's a, you know, customer satisfaction thing to build up that value for them, to keep them coming back, kind of playing into the hub spot, you know that delight piece.


Rich: And then you can buy that kind of customer service.


Yeah, and I think the valuable it's. What's interesting is, if you create value for your audience and get them to come back, the flip side of it is it's going to then create value for you and it may be in the form of monetary value, like you may make more money. It may be in the form of reputation or advancing your mission or your cause. But that value is a two way street and if you don't create value for them, there's no way you're going to get value back out of it. And for a lot of people you know their website is their number one sales tool. It's their number one location that people go to, and so making sure that that's delivering value is, you know, absolutely huge and I love that. That one's in the center, Of course, in our notes they're just in a list. We didn't have a graphic, so it was nice of you to describe that. And obviously people this is an audio program, so people have to like understand how that works. But I like it. I like the user experience. Honeycomb, I learned something new today.


Jesse: Yeah.


Rich: So the site performance oh go ahead.


Jesse: I was just going to give credit to shoot. Who is it from? Peter Morville from Semantic Studios is the one who came up with that. So super handy. I really like it from a teaching perspective because it focuses everybody on you know outside of just you know looking nice and some usability stuff, but definitely it kind of all encompassing. So it's a really good thing to kind of keep it Well and from a redoing a website.


Rich: Yeah, From a teaching standpoint, it also makes things a little bit more objective instead of subjective right Like these are the seven things you need to do. This is how those things are defined and we can agree that you did or did not do all of these things on your project Really translatable to a rubric? Oh God.


Catelin: It's taken me back to my one semester of photography at the community college.


Rich: Yes, caitlin Todd, for one semester, and then said nope the next time they came back.


Catelin: That is not for me. I commend and admire those of you that can do it. I cannot.


Rich: It's a challenging love-hate relationship. I think there's a lot that I love about it and there's some things that make me just want to step myself in the head. Okay. And then site performance is just sort of an add-on, because obviously your site has to be optimized and perform well and that does support the rest of these, especially when you get into findable and usable and those types of things.


Catelin: As I say, site performance is in with accessible and in with findable and in with usable, because if your images are huge, it's going to be impossible to use because your page load times are going to be trash and people will have to wait. And if you are optimizing things like your Hs and Hs, it's all of that same thing. The site performance is also layered in. But I think it's really important to call out, especially, like Jesse said, as our attention spans get shorter and shorter and shorter.


Rich: What kills me about it, though, is people talk so much about site performance.


Oh, I put it into Google PageSpeed, or I use this other tool to check my page speed, and blah, blah, blah, and it's like, yeah, that's important, that's % important, but it's not something that we necessarily talk about a lot, because if you do all of the other things right, site performance is going to come along with it, and yeah, there's some technical stuff you can add on, but if you're really focused on usable and findable, and useful and accessible, you shouldn't have an issue with site performance. But everybody just wants to be like oh, you only got an and it's well, an is actually pretty good, you know. Or you just got a on the mobile, you know speed test, and it's like right, and that's. That's a symptom of a greater problem, and these are all the things we need to fix in order for that symptom to go away. That isn't the thing we need to fix. You're treating the symptom, and then you're going to fall over on all the rest of these in the honeycomb.


Jesse: I think it's a lot like responsiveness from like five or years ago. Like everybody was so hung up on making it responsive, and making it responsive and that's all anybody still get that question oh, and it's like well, it's like, well, what happens on a cell phone?


Catelin: It's like, yes, that it will.


Rich: The site looks beautiful on a cell phone.


Jesse: Yeah, it's kind of like what you were saying, Like if you do all of that all those other things the site performance and, like SEO is another big one that people get hung up now. It's like, yeah, that's all going to be good because we're doing it.


Catelin: It's hard as a technical setup.


Jesse: Through that whole process it's not just this holistically.


Catelin: Yeah.


Jesse: Yeah. So I think that that one it's kind of one of those buzzwords that everybody is really hung up on now and it's hard to you can't really just discredit it right, you have to address it. But it's one of those that gets me. It's like, well, yeah, we're going to do that. We do that through the whole time.


Rich: Yeah, we take it for granted, like of course we're going to do that, why wouldn't we? And then it even gets down to, like you know the site map. And some people are like, oh, why do I have to go through this site map phase?


Catelin: And it's like well one, it's an organizational thing.


Rich: But it's the first place we start talking about SEO as well, those page titles and how they're structured and their hierarchy Like SEO starts at the beginning and goes all the way through it. It's just I don't know how you would do it otherwise. I know people have, and even we have, like a while ago, without going through that. But life got so much easier when we made that the first step and had to lock it down before we moved on.


Catelin: Well, and it yeah, I mean in terms of, like agency client expectation too. It's like you hand over a document that says this is what you can expect at the end of this project in terms of number of pages, the content that we should see, like it keeps everyone accountable to the whole process. But I have spent a lot of time over the last two weeks playing with magnet tiles and I just have like it's foundational right, like this site performance piece is like the pinnacle of your little triangle pyramid, right. But if you can get all of your, your blocks lined up on the base with your like accessibility and usability, then all of it just like fits together.


Rich: So you've gone from the honeycomb to the pyramid.


Catelin: Did you know that the triangle is the strongest shape?


Rich: I mean, it kind of makes sense.


Catelin: That's why they made it. That's why they like the pyramids. It's like geometry.

Rich: Wow, we're getting all kinds of math lessons today.


Catelin: I'm. That's the extent. My daughter is three.


Jesse: That's as far as we go.


Catelin: All right Well.


Jesse: I'm just kind of like to wrap it up a good example of that, like not being an afterthought but being something that we just put time into throughout the whole process, like we finished up a website I think it was this year, or it was this year, last year, well, true.


Catelin: We haven't fit. We've had three days of this year. Whatever it is Rolling month period.


Jesse: Yeah, sometime in the last two months, they like we got done with it. It was great. And then Riley did a site test on it, like a week after it launched, and it got a hundred and it's like, oh, that's nice. It did exactly what we wanted to do.


Catelin: Yeah, it did. It was like oh, good job, guys, and that's a I know which one you're talking about.


Rich: That's a big site with a video on the homepage getting a . Because, like you know, when somebody wants a video on the homepage it's like are you guys creatively come up with that? You're like, yeah, we can do that, but then you've got to figure out how to do that and make it work Responsibly. Yeah, yeah, responsibly. It's a great way to put it.


Catelin: Please video responsibly.


Rich: So I think that's great. So biggest piece of this is the Honeycomb User experience. Honeycomb with useful, usable, desirable, findable, accessible, credible that's a lot of bulls, those are all around the outside of the Honeycomb. And then valuable is in the middle. So valuable is this six-sided thing in the middle and as, as Jesse noted, like they all touch each other, they all have to work together and if you do all that right, voila, your site will perform extremely well on mobile and everywhere else.


Catelin: If this was meaningful to you, we would love to hear about it. You can either leave us a comment on one of our social channels. Wherever you listen to podcasts, we would love, love that you will also be hearing from us again soon with our chief operations officer, Jessica. I'm told the episode is entitled Hot Pants, which is a drink apparently. I would like to just note that I did not sign off on that wardrobe choice.


Rich: I think it's a beverage choice versus a wardrobe choice. But we'll get into that later. So, and Hot Pants will be all about it's all about HubSpot features you might be missing out on. So Jessica is going to like peel back the mystery in HubSpot and talk about a few things. This will be a good one, because I think all three of us use HubSpot, so we'll be able to jump in.


Catelin: I'm just, I'm just having the hardest time not making an underwear joke, the whole. So we're going to pee. When you were like we're going to peel back and I was like we're not peeling anything to be clear.


Rich: See, for me, hot Pants are more the.


Catelin: It's like the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders shorts.


Rich: No, I was, so I was drinking more of like the leather skin tight leggings from Greece that the no, those are cigarette pants oh maybe just Zach. I'd like an episode called cigarette pants in the future. If we could do that, that doesn't sound like a good drink. Oh, it doesn't, you're right, it doesn't scratch that Like.


Jesse: I do want to thank Zach for making my episode drunk guy on a bicycle and not hot pants.


Rich: That's how you avoid that DUI, unless you're in Arizona, because then it's operating. It's not a motor vehicle, it's just operating a vehicle and a bicycle is a vehicle. So you can get a DUI in Arizona on a bicycle, all right, well, thank you guys for listening.


And, as Caitlin said, we would love your feedback and we've got a phone line you can call. You can go to CTApodcastlive and leave us a comment on this episode or you know wherever you get your podcasts. So thank you. You guys are all beautiful. We're glad to be back for a brand new year of Cocktails, tangents and Answers. Be new.