I’m Corey Vilhauer.

I’m a user experience strategist at Blend Interactive, a small shop in the heart of the Midwest, where I specialize in content strategy, information architecture, and editor/end user quality assurance.

Recent Posts

Making things real: Content strategy for realistic content management

Everyone has a plan. Until reality sets in. So how do we make our dreams match up with the cold realization of a content management system integration? It’s called “reification,” and it’s the act of making something real. This transcript is loosely based on notes from my Confab Central 2017 talk, “Making things real: Content strategy for realistic content management.”

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Five Hundred Pages In

Five hundred pages into a content audit, I had a laundry list of things we could to to make the redesign work. My client – a mid-Atlantic university – was angling for a new CMS and a new redesign, and I had spelled out some standard content updates. But I was still searching for that […]

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Tools, Dependence, and My War with the Road

It was dark when I stood up. There was a flash and a lot of movement, and then it was dark. Except for one streetlight, and then another. The road was a black canyon, kept awake by the steady blinking of my back taillight. Instinctively, I moved every limb and concentrated on the pain. Where […]

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“Small CS: A Shoestring Approach to Content Strategy” – Now What? Conference 2015

The discussion around content strategy is framed by large examples, but it’s also the work of regional organizations, small universities, and mom and pop stores. How do we adapt the big concepts of content strategy to work within the constraints of a small organization? This transcript of my talk from Now What? Conference 2015 in Sioux Falls (April 30, 2015) explains more.

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Kill Your Processes

We spend a lot of time in the beginning learning these letters — often without any larger picture. We know that these shapes help us spell, but we don’t dive into what it means to spell. We just do it. We know what we can do, but we don’t know what we should do.

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A Few Words on Mismatched Minifigs

My son has taken the head off of every one of his LEGO minifigs. He has rearranged everyone’s hair, given them new pants, and tossed the weapons into a giant pile on his LEGO table. He has no regard for canon. In the story of Star Wars, it’s now Darth who shot first, doing so […]

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Where You Are Is Perfect: Thoughts On Titles, Promise, and Camp

I don’t know what to tell people when they ask me what I do. I tell them that I help plan websites, because using my actual professional titles – content strategist; information architect; user experience strategist – leads to more confusion. Confusion not about what the title means, but about whether or not I do the things necessary to claim those titles. Some thoughts on that, camp, kayaking, and a painting that turned out to be totally bogus.

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Barker on Hyperlinks and Emphasis

Deane Barker at Gadgetopia puts together an interesting post about what we imply when we link something. More than just the words themselves, we are subtly drawing attention to certain emphasis, even if unintended.

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A Too Serious Post on ROI

Society saves seven dollars for each dollar spent on early education, or so the United Way has told us for years. Stats like this are important. But they also bum me out. They focus on doing things becuase they are efficient, not because they are the right thing to do.

We’re at a point in our industry when some clients can’t be convinced, or require a level of convincing that goes beyond what the project requires. Some small businesses require an extra level of attention, but others are continually suspicious and are more work than they’re worth.

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