Author Topic: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!  (Read 18144 times)

Offline Inso

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #50 on: November 15, 2011, 10:04:00 PM »
I am looking forward to the end of the month...

Grymn officers, Pug squad, Thor...amongst other things :).

...and because I am registered, I don't have to put all my details in or wait for an invoice...AND I know that it is better for Sally due to a reduction in admin...lots of win going on :)
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Offline blackfly

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #51 on: November 17, 2011, 07:25:10 AM »
I like the new layout, and in general (after quick navigating and hunting) I think the oganization is definitely an improvement.

Now to the constructive criticism, because that stuff jumps out at me more prominently.

1) The thumbnails. They're really not good. :( Almost all categories I checked all seem to be degraded to the same level of quality, showing a rough outline of a figure with major compression artifacting, rendering the details pretty hard to make out. At first I thought maybe this was a 'blur' preview/tease to drive users to the full size image, but if so, I think it fails. If it is meant to tease, it needs to be /obviously/ a tease- with a smooth photoshop blur effect or something. As it is, the artifacting leaves open the possible impression that your shop is just put together cheaply. Anyone that knows you will know how long you've been doing things, and that its not a novice mistake or something, but as someone who /does/ know that you're not clueless newbs over there :D, it does make me wonder why the quality is so bad.  It honestly doesn't seem like the site of the proprietors with a dedication to quality that I think of when I think of you and Kev.

A couple examples:

These are the raw files you're using on your preview page:



They are small, but they are clear, when loaded individually.

However, something in your preview page is magnifiying them to fit the predefined thumbnail spaces which are larger than the image dimensions, so they look like this:



It doesn't come off very well, honestly.

The original thumbkristianfront.jpg file is only 97x100px, however the space it is being made to fit in the preview page is ~139x~139, so the image is being blown up, and suffers accordingly.

I would consider resizing your thumbnails to be at least the size you want to display them at, so instead of the Kristian shown above, you'd see one that was natively ~140xWhatever, like this:




I get that thumbnails need to be smaller, and that throughput and filesize are an issue, but you can make clear thumbnails with a decent filesize without degrading the quality too much. My 140px version of the thumbnail is only 8k. Granted, its larger than yours, but 8k is.... minimal, really. And thats without even trying to downsample it. You could probably knock it down to 5k or better with a little more jpg compression, and still have it be more clear than what you have.  Anyway, the long and the short of it is you guys make really striking figures, and I think you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you preview them at a substandard quality.


2) Login? Register? Really? 

If you're already integrated with payments directly through paypal, why do I need to create an account at your site? I know my paypal password. I use it all the time. Thats the convenience of paypal, I only need one set of credentials, and I can don't even have to lift my arse off my seat to get my wallet and my credit card number out. It is accepted most places I shop now, and that ubiquity is part of what makes it worth using. The only thing that logging into a retailers site ever gets you is one of two things: 1) Spam. 2) Order tracking.   I know you guys aren't going to spam me, but you know what, I don't care about order tracking. I may be the exception because I've been ordering from you guys for years and have never had a problem, much less even a slow delivery, so I don't /need/ order tracking
, but even if I wanted it ,  since I'm in the US I can't even get order tracking from overseas half the time anyway.  Granted, that might make me a less standard customer, but even with that... I don't want to log in to your site. What does it really get me? If you want to offer me the chance to create an account and get order tracking (where applicable), thats a fine service, but please offer me the option to just proceed to checkout, enter my paypal credentials, and be done.  I love sites that do that, and there are very few that I will begrudgingly create an account for... they have to be a really great site though.

I hope this doesn't sound snarky, I'm just trying to be honest. I know /lots/ of users who don't like shopping carts that make you log in. I know the cart sellers add on all this extra analytic stuff- you can track unique customers, and ordering trends and all that... and maybe that is super useful to the purveyor... but to the average punter it is just one more obstacle between me and you getting my money. Put enough of those up, or even just one more on a day when I've already seen enough, even on sites that you have nothing to do with, and yours may be the straw that breaks the camels back, and I go to ebay looking for second had stuff.  Again, this i just trying to give you perspective. I like you guys, and would probably eventually create an account. But then I'd forget my details, and everytime I wanted to buy something I'd have to wait for my password reminder email to arrive, and in the meantime I might just decided I don't actually need any new dwarves after all.  Which is totally not true. You know I need new ones... thats why you made them so goddamned cool. :)

So... I hope those two points help. If they seem a bit long winded, believe that it is meant out of constructive motives. I hate it when someone says 'your shopping cart sux' or 'your images are crappy', so I'm trying to give you some back ground and context for my points of critique.

On the other hand. Yeeehaw! The site does look a lot better and modern, so hats of to you for making the effort to update it.

I'll keep looking around and try to offer more helpful commentary if I notice anything. ;)

Offline blackfly

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #52 on: November 17, 2011, 07:39:00 AM »
Also, I just noticed that on the armorcast page at least, a lot of the rows aren't aligned right.

You have 4 items across, then 1, then the row resets, and 4 again on the next one, then only 1 item on the next row.

http://www.hfminis.co.uk/shop?category=accessories~resin-terrain

Ahh, same thing on the coloured basing sand page:

http://www.hfminis.co.uk/shop?category=accessories~coloured-basing-sand

and here:  http://www.hfminis.co.uk/shop?category=accessories~etched-brass-architectural

and here:  http://www.hfminis.co.uk/shop?category=accessories~resin-bases

and here:  http://www.hfminis.co.uk/shop?category=accessories~plastic-bases

etc.



Offline libertee

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #53 on: November 17, 2011, 11:54:54 AM »

1) The thumbnails. They're really not good. :( Almost all categories I checked all seem to be degraded to the same level of quality, showing a rough outline of a figure with major compression artifacting, rendering the details pretty hard to make out.

The images from the old website were formatted in 100x100 pixels.  Due to the fact that we moved over nearly 800 codes we were unable to redo all of the thumbnails.  I have been working on replacing them all by going back into the original image files and re-doing them but my ME has slowed this down considerably as my pc time is limited.  If you check the newer codes you will find they are all 138x138.

We delayed the new website for 4 months whilst we ironed out coding issues and i upgraded a lot of the images/descriptions/layouts etc but it got to the point if we didnt launch it soon we would go bankrupt.  So we have some images that are being redone, currently i am redoing about 100 each week including new catalogue images as well.


Quote
2) Login? Register? Really? 

If you're already integrated with payments directly through paypal, why do I need to create an account at your site? I know my paypal password. I use it all the time. Thats the convenience of paypal, I only need one set of credentials, and I can don't even have to lift my arse off my seat to get my wallet and my credit card number out. It is accepted most places I shop now, and that ubiquity is part of what makes it worth using. The only thing that logging into a retailers site ever gets you is one of two things: 1) Spam. 2) Order tracking.   I know you guys aren't going to spam me, but you know what, I don't care about order tracking. I may be the exception because I've been ordering from you guys for years and have never had a problem, much less even a slow delivery, so I don't /need/ order tracking

sorry you feel this way.  It was something we were considering doing where you can go straight to checkout as i personally hate sites where you have to log in however we weighed up various options and went with the one that the majority chose.

1:  Currently if there is a problem with payment it may take us a few days to find it, Paypal arent known for their excellent communication skills either to customers or traders who have to pay their exorbitant fees.  If a payment fails then the customer may not know and we may not know, i then get an angry email from someone asking where their order is etc and i have to track it all down manually.  On the new site i can see from one control panel screen the progress of each order.

2: We lose a lot of orders to the postal services, about 10% actually which is an awful lot of profit so for us order tracking is something we wanted and to cover ourselves with Royal Mail when things go missing

3:  Auto-confirmation emails, we didnt have them and i get at least 10 emails each day that i need to follow up manually from customers wanting to know when their orders have shipped.  We cant afford staff to do this at the end of each day so (as usual) it comes down to me. The new system has this on which makes my life easier plus reassures you guys that it has gone out or if there are any issues.

4:  To go through to checkout you have to fill in your address details on our site. It was the same on the old site even if you wanted to pay with Paypal.  So now if you have an account you dont have to fill in those details each time and better than that you get to store different shipping addresses in your account.  This means i dont have to spend time sending emails to customers whose address details on the website dont match the ones that Paypal have put on the confirmation form and time at checkout overall.
The old site payment options were clunky and gave us no facility to upgrade or improve our checkout procedure.  The new site does.

5:  Longevity.  We dont spam and have never spammed customer accounts however I get a lot of enquiries asking for newsletters of some kind every month/2 months with new releases etc on.  By having customer accounts in one place we can facilitate that and the custoemr gets to choose if they want it or not.

6:  'Wishlists'.  We were asked to implement those.  We are doing so but to do so means we need customer accounts.

I could keep going on about how many things we have planned linked to the accounts but i hope youg et the bigger picture from what i have already posted.

Quote
I hope this doesn't sound snarky, I'm just trying to be honest. ...
So... I hope those two points help. If they seem a bit long winded, believe that it is meant out of constructive motives. I hate it when someone says 'your shopping cart sux' or 'your images are crappy', so I'm trying to give you some back ground and context for my points of critique.
On the other hand. Yeeehaw! The site does look a lot better and modern, so hats of to you for making the effort to update it.
I'll keep looking around and try to offer more helpful commentary if I notice anything. ;)

There are so many upsides to having accounts set up for both us and customers, as far as a successful E-Commerce site goes it has to be the way forwards.

HF needs to become more profitable in order to survive and the new website is the way it is going to happen by reducing administration time, overstocking and cashflow.  Our web presence  needed upgrading and research showed us this was the way to achieve it.  We know it isnt going to please everybody and, as always, customer comments will be taken on board as the build progresses. 

We have invested a lot of time and money into what is essentially the first stage of the site. There are somethings we would have liked to have had on board for launch but we need to generate sales to pay for them, however over the last 14 months HF has either been closed or running at half-speed for at least 8 months of that time due to family issues and mine and Kevs health.  We dont have any spare money and keeping the old website going at a loss was killling us so we went ahead and went live.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 12:48:43 PM by libertee »
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline libertee

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #54 on: November 17, 2011, 11:59:00 AM »
Also, I just noticed that on the armorcast page at least, a lot of the rows aren't aligned right.

i see this.



what browser are you using, it may be a browser specific issue.

Can you do me a screenshot please
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline DRAGON

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #55 on: November 17, 2011, 12:48:42 PM »
Looks aligned tome  :shrug:
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Offline blackfly

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #56 on: November 17, 2011, 05:36:18 PM »

1) The thumbnails.

 I have been working on replacing them all by going back into the original image files and re-doing them but my ME has slowed this down considerably as my pc time is limited.  If you check the newer codes you will find they are all 138x138.


Awesome, glad to see that they're getting the facelift. I hear you about how long it takes to re-edit images, and about having to deciding to go live at some point no matter what. As long as you're going to address it, then awesome. I just thought it didn't reflect well on you guys, but knowing that its in progress is great. :)

Quote
Quote
2) Login? Register? Really? 


sorry you feel this way.  It was something we were considering doing where you can go straight to checkout as i personally hate sites where you have to log in however we weighed up various options and went with the one that the majority chose.

All valid points. And like I said, I am fully aware my opinions may not be in the majority. :) I really don't care about wishlists and all that, but if your choices satisfy requests from more customers, and give you more business, I hear you. Thats what you want to do then. Its always a tough row to hoe, balancing those who want change and those who don't, and making the most of them happy as often as you can.


Quote
HF needs to become more profitable in order to survive and the new website is the way it is going to happen by reducing administration time, overstocking and cashflow.  Our web presence  needed upgrading and research showed us this was the way to achieve it.  We know it isnt going to please everybody and, as always, customer comments will be taken on board as the build progresses. 

 :thumbup:

Like I said, I'm glad to see the progress, just thought I'd offer up some potential suggestions. I'm glad to see you've already played devil's advocate with yourselves over the sign-in issue, and at least come at it from a reasoned point of view. Many of the places that have sign ins don't have anything else like wish lists, or whatever, so the value add to the customer is exactly zero. It is the frequency of sites like that that cause me to question the motives of the proprietors. Some people are clearly just instlalling whatever boilerplate e-commerce site they are sold without thinking it over. Glad to know you guys are picking over it all. :)

Best of luck on the new phase of HF-Online!  8)

Offline blackfly

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #57 on: November 17, 2011, 05:39:02 PM »
Also, I just noticed that on the armorcast page at least, a lot of the rows aren't aligned right.

i see this.



what browser are you using, it may be a browser specific issue.

Can you do me a screenshot please

Strange!  Now that I'm at work, all 4 browsers I checked here look good (FF, Chrome, Safari, IE, all on WinXP).

I was using Chrome at home, for Mac... I'll check it again when I get home and see what I can figure out.

Offline libertee

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #58 on: November 17, 2011, 07:52:35 PM »
:thumbup:

Like I said, I'm glad to see the progress, just thought I'd offer up some potential suggestions. I'm glad to see you've already played devil's advocate with yourselves over the sign-in issue, and at least come at it from a reasoned point of view. Many of the places that have sign ins don't have anything else like wish lists, or whatever, so the value add to the customer is exactly zero. It is the frequency of sites like that that cause me to question the motives of the proprietors. Some people are clearly just instlalling whatever boilerplate e-commerce site they are sold without thinking it over. Glad to know you guys are picking over it all. :)

Best of luck on the new phase of HF-Online!  8)

Thanks Blackfly.  I have got the webmaster working on some other issues right now .. applying discount codes and addressing the text in email issues plus also re-coding some areas to deal with the password/email thing but i will speak to him about the alternate option for those who want a 'guest account' and see if we can bash a way around the issue without it destroying the current procedures too much.  It only got pushed to one side because of the financial side, it was still on my 'things to investigate/address' list.

Sorry if i came across a bit 'terse' earlier, i am having problems typing right now and probably didnt elaborate as much as i could do in areas.

We do welcome this kind of criticism and have actively invited it over the years as we have also laid open our plans and costs.  It is part of the 'HF Growth' process!
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline Pleasurepain

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #59 on: November 25, 2011, 09:33:23 PM »
On the 'About us' > 'Where we are' page, I assume that:

"We do not operate a walk-in shop and are set up for just ‘popping in’."

is supposed to read:

"We do not operate a walk-in shop and are not set up for just ‘popping in’." ?

Also I know it's been mentioned, and it's not at all a big issue in the grand scheme of things, but if putting the prices with VAT included in brackets afterwards (or a button to click to say "Show me VAT inclusive prices") was a case of a couple of lines of code, that would be mighty dandy.

It looks very nice though, I particularly like the look of your new catalogue top menu screen.

Offline libertee

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #60 on: November 25, 2011, 10:37:44 PM »
On the 'About us' > 'Where we are' page, I assume that:

"We do not operate a walk-in shop and are set up for just ‘popping in’."

is supposed to read:

"We do not operate a walk-in shop and are not set up for just ‘popping in’." ?

yes it is, i saw that the other day and just hadnt had a chance to change it.  i must get around to it.

Quote
Also I know it's been mentioned, and it's not at all a big issue in the grand scheme of things, but if putting the prices with VAT included in brackets afterwards (or a button to click to say "Show me VAT inclusive prices") was a case of a couple of lines of code, that would be mighty dandy.

It looks very nice though, I particularly like the look of your new catalogue top menu screen.

yes that is being dealt with as well, we knew there would be things people point out as they see it with new eyes, all valid points, thanks guys!
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline libertee

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2011, 12:54:26 PM »
new sections at the top of each main shop category will help you pinpoint the latest releases. I am uploading lots of new stuff including lots of bulk buys of things like resin terrain, magnets etc over the next month so they will be here along with any new resin releases or metal figure releases. There is a place to the right of 'Armoury' where a permanent category link will be placed within the next month which will then contain all releases and added products for a period of 2 months, so you don't miss anything!

btw this is a screenshot (in case u hadnt guessed) you will need to hover over each category to see the drop down menu....and the holly is for seasonal effect...dont look for it on the website!


A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline Bergil

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #62 on: November 28, 2011, 04:23:40 PM »
I visited the website before seeing your post here. I have to say it was a nice surprise seeing it! Very professional looking.

Offline alchemist

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2011, 11:30:38 AM »
Just FYI, although the drop-down menus look fine in Firefox, they are rather jumbled in Internet Explorer:



Offline libertee

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #64 on: November 29, 2011, 08:26:17 PM »
thanks for that, i will forward that to the webmaster.  which version of IE are you using?
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline alchemist

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #65 on: November 29, 2011, 11:22:13 PM »
It looked the same in both IE8 and IE9 on a couple of machines at work I viewed it with this morning.

Viewing it tonight on my home machine with IE8 it looks OK, so maybe it is fixed now.  I will check my work machines again tomorrow.

EDIT:  Hmm... still messed up on the machines at work.  Not sure what the difference is.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 09:27:24 AM by alchemist »

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #66 on: December 23, 2011, 07:53:11 PM »
If this is already there or in progress, then just ignore me :) I'd love a way to tick an out of stock item and get notified when it was back in-stock.  Obviously, would need to be logged in to tick it.

Offline Mr Teufel

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #67 on: December 24, 2011, 09:31:44 AM »
If this is already there or in progress, then just ignore me :) I'd love a way to tick an out of stock item and get notified when it was back in-stock.  Obviously, would need to be logged in to tick it.
:metoo:

Oooh, good thought! :boing:

Offline Brandlin

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2011, 02:19:03 PM »
Or alternately don't run out of stock n get all our cash earlier! ;)
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Offline libertee

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #69 on: December 27, 2011, 07:55:35 PM »
it is on the cards to get the  email notification up and running, we had to prioritise some back-end stuff to make accounting and paying the tax man easier but it is on the list
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline Webby

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2012, 11:08:46 AM »
Sally,

Just a quick note to let you know that one of the banner ads here on the FOD (the one for the juveniles) links to the old site rather than the new.

And I will just add my congratulations on a fabulous new home for Hasslefree (on the web) and I will be making use of it just as soon as  have some spare cash...

Offline Mr Teufel

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Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2012, 11:54:51 AM »
Sally,

Just a quick note to let you know that one of the banner ads here on the FOD (the one for the juveniles) links to the old site rather than the new.
Yeah, it's the "Don't mess with the kids... or their Mum" one.