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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Corey and Deane talk about understanding the audiences of the The Web Project Guide book, and the concept of predicate knowledge. Then, C. David Gammel, author of Online and On Mission, joins the podcast to talk about how to prioritize outcomes when stakeholders all have their own interests, understanding the expectations of those who use your website, and how to best introduce domain knowledge.
Episode 5: Identify Your Audiences (w/ Erika Hall) Off-site link
Corey and Deane talk about Bleachers, music producers, and how understanding your audience increases effectiveness. Then, Erika Hall, author of Just Enough Research, joins the podcast to talk about interviewing the people who will visit your site — how to frame interviews, effective incentives, and the difference between researching assumptions versus learning about your users.
Over its history, Blend has developed a pattern of being an early North American partner for a number of European CMS systems. Blend was an early North America Partner for eZ Publish (now Ibexa), Episerver (now Optimizely), and Umbraco (still Umbraco!).
Episode 2: Set Your Expectations (w/ Karen McGrane) Off-site link
Corey and Deane talk about the concept of having it "fast, cheap, and good: pick two." Then, we chat with Karen McGrane of Autogram about our role as corporate counselors, dealing with overpromises, and the best mockumentary.
Corey and Deane discuss the opening beats of a project. Then, we chat with Bill DeRouchey, former lead product designer for Zendesk, to discuss his history with vetting and researching a new project during the opening salvo, territorialism, and Mike Watt.
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.
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.
Chapter 18: Select an Integration Partner Off-site link
In many projects, you will engage with a services firm to install, configure, and customize a CMS to deliver the website you need.
Chapter 16: Select a Content Management System Off-site link
Selecting a content management system (CMS) is a combination of research and vendor engagement. You need to identify prospective systems, investigate their capabilities, engage with the vendors for demonstrations or questions, and finally distill and synthesize all that information and come to a decision.
Chapter 15: Determine System Requirements Off-site link
At this stage, you have enough information to draw up requirements for what you need in a content management system (CMS).