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.
Corey and Deane discuss an old migration project. Then, Carrie Hane, Principal Digital Strategist at Sanity and co-author of Designing Connected Content, joins to talk about preparing content for site migration — how good content modeling helps set up a site for future success, the psychological side of migrations, and a few horror stories from Carrie and Deane. Carrie graciously insists this is not the most depressing episode yet.
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.
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.)
Corey Vilhauer Joins The Content Strategy Podcast Off-site link
Corey Vilhauer joins Kristina Halvorson on The Content Strategy Podcast to discuss his start in content strategy, his thoughts on communicating with clients and stakeholders, and his work toward demystifying the world of web projects.
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.
Corey and Deane talk briefly about how hard it is to run a conference. Then, Sarah Winters, founder of Content Design London and author of Content Design, joins to discuss the difference between content design and content strategy, writing and designing for accessibility, and the work it takes to turn a big ship toward lasting content change.
Episode 11: Model Your Content (w/ Jeff Eaton) Off-site link
Corey and Deane chat about the first time they realized they really liked content modeling, and how modeling is the hidden language of content. Then, Jeff Eaton, partner at Autogram, joins to define content modeling, the concept of content reuse (and its many issues), and the balance between philosophical modeling and actually doing the work in spreadsheets.
Corey and Deane chat about Information Architecture for the World Wide Web — ”The Polar Bear Book” — and then our experiences with information organization in real life. Then, Lisa Maria Marquis, author of Everyday Information Architecture and You Should Write a Book, joins to discuss how to frame information architecture for those who aren’t web people, the hidden biases in organizing content, and a bit about why you should write your own book. (We also take a critical look at Lisa Maria’s bookshelf.)
Corey and Deane talk a little about that time Kristina Halvorson (founder of Brain Traffic, co-author of Content Strategy for the Web, and executive producer of Confab and Button) visited Sioux Falls. Then, Kristina chats with us about content strategy — defining content strategy vs. content design, what tasks are often overlooked, and some basics on spinning up an internal web content team — including a bit of conference talk about the upcoming Button Conference.