Thoughts from Blend Interactive
One of Blend’s core values is a dedication to advocacy and progress — to expand upon and give back to the community that fuels us. This is where those thoughts live.
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Episode 19: Implement the Design (w/ Ethan Marcotte) Off-site link
Corey and Deane talk about how front-end development has evolved past the early days. Then, Ethan Marcotte, author of Responsive Web Design and Partner at Autogram, joins to discuss front-end development and how the world has impacted how front-end design is treated and approached. We also joke about whether Deane actually “invented” responsive web design. (He didn’t.)
Episode 17: Plan for Hosting (w/ Elias Lundmark) Off-site link
Corey asks Deane a brutally honest question: as non-developers, why should we care about hosting at all? Then, Elias Lundmark, product manager for cloud hosting at Optimizely, joins us to talk about website hosting in common terms — cloud versus on-premises, the reality (and politics) of “five 9s,” and the things you need to understand before choosing a hosting provider or vendor offering.
Episode 16: Select a Content Management System (w/ Cathy McKnight) Off-site link
Corey and Deane talk about a Donald Rumsfeld quote, and about the concept of “unknown unknowns.” Then, Cathy McKnight, Chief Problem Solver and lead analyst for The Content Advisory, joins us to talk about selecting a content management system — the process for choosing a system, how a CMS selection analyst can help keep vendors honest, and what to do if you’re selecting on your own.
Episode 15: Determine System Requirements (w/ Joe Kepley) Off-site link
Corey and Deane discuss the three parts of selecting a CMS: requirements, tool, and development team. Then, Joe Kepley, chief technical officer at Blend Interactive, joins us to discuss the world of translating design and IA into code within a content management system — including balancing groundbreaking design with realistic engineering — and the need to tie high-level project goals into the real nuts and bolts of code.
Episode 14: Know Your Integrations (w/ Greg Dunlap) Off-site link
Corey and Deane discuss the four major parts of a content model. Then, Greg Dunlap, Director of Strategy at Lullabot, joins us to define a web integration, discuss the finer details of development risks and runtime risks — as well as real-time vs scheduled data — and praise the efficiency of using Google Docs as a workflow tool. Corey and Greg give Deane a music lesson, too.
Episode 13: Develop the Graphic and Interface Design (w/Sam Otis) Off-site link
Corey asks Deane about his ideal web design, and Deane talks about how CSS ruined the web. (He’s kidding, mostly.) Then, Sam Otis, lead designer at Blend Interactive and designer of The Web Project Guide, joins us to talk about his history in design — from Flash to responsive web design, what young designers need to know about the web, and what he wishes clients would stop doing.
Flexibility First: Designing for Mobile and Beyond
There’s a lot more to building a mobile-friendly and responsive site than just saying the words “mobile-first” and willing it into being. What does it mean? How is it done? In this article, we take a look at the process behind designing for mobile.
Designing for Dark Mode
Dark mode is increasingly becoming a part of modern web design. But is it right for your new site? Blend's lead designer Sam Otis talks through the benefits and potential pitfalls.
Design Through Discovery: Blend's Strategic Design Philosophy
Blend’s strategic design philosophy is one of Design Through Discovery: we design in a way that's usable, useful, and collaborative with those who will use and maintain the final product.
So ... What Is Discovery?
Building a website is like building a house — each decision is built upon the decisions that came before. Just as an architect doesn’t just throw a number at you and begin working on blueprints, we don’t begin working on a project until we fully understand the scope. We do that through our discovery process.
Blend doesn’t just write here: we also write books, create videos, and dive deep into our individual disciplines. Check out some of our external sources of knowledge.
The Web Project Guide
A phase-by-phase look at the web design and development process, providing context to each step.
Coding with Bob
A YouTube series by our director of development, focusing on .NET coding and Optimizely development.
A blog about content strategy, information architecture, and understanding user needs.