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Thoughts | Blend Interactive

Using audits to drive change, Mechanics Bank launched with a new CMS and an improved design that follows web best practices. Find out how. 

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 24: Maintain and Improve (w/ David Hobbs) Off-site link

Corey and Deane discuss the people and rules that help run a website after launch. Then, David Hobbs, author of Website Product Management: Keeping Focused During Change, joins to talk about transferring a site from a project to a product — what that means to keep the site going after launch, where it most often fails, and how to streamline requests and set reasonable expectations for the future of the site.

October 17, 2023 | The Web Project Guide Podcast

Episode 22: Test and Launch the Site (w/ Bob Davidson) Off-site link

Corey and Deane talk about the concept of the “Nails List.” Then, Bob Davidson, Director of Development at Blend Interactive, joins to talk about how to get your site ready for launch, what makes a good QA practitioner, the role of quality assurance and testing in the development process, and how to prep the site so it doesn’t fall over when exposed to the real world. We also spend a lot of time talking up Jenna Bonn, Blend’s QA Practice Manager.

August 16, 2023 | The Web Project Guide Podcast

Episode 20: Implement the Back-end Functionality (w/ David Knipe) Off-site link

Corey and Deane discuss a high-level philosophy of back-end development. Then, David Knipe, Vice President of Product at Optimizely, joins to discuss back-end development — how developers and project stakeholders work together to make decisions, the difference (and balance) between technical perfection and audience needs, and the reasons why AI will help, but not take over, back-end development. Deane also equates developers to lumberjacks.

June 20, 2023 | The Web Project Guide Podcast

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.)

May 16, 2023 | The Web Project Guide Podcast

Episode 18: Select an Implementation Partner (w/ Tony Byrne) Off-site link

Corey and Deane discuss what clients should look for when selecting an implementation partner. Then, Tony Byrne, co-author of The Right Way to Select Technology and President of Real Story Group, joins to talk through the implementation partner selection process, including common mistakes, the value of domain knowledge, and how most projects should focus on technology first.

April 13, 2023 | The Web Project Guide Podcast

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.

March 15, 2023 | The Web Project Guide Podcast

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.

February 21, 2023 | The Web Project Guide Podcast

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.

January 17, 2023 | The Web Project Guide Podcast

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.

December 14, 2022 | The Web Project Guide Podcast

The Web Project Guide joins Content Strategy Insights podcast Off-site link

The Web Project Guide’s Corey Vilhauer and Deane Barker joined Larry Swanson on the Content Strategy Insights podcast to talk about all things The Web Project Guide — how the book came to be, how it ties to the work of building websites, and what's next as the book expands into the podcast space.

November 30, 2022 | The Web Project Guide

Beyond Blend.

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.

Eating Elephant

A blog about content strategy, information architecture, and understanding user needs.