Corey Vilhauer

User Experience Architect, Blend Interactive

@mrvilhauer

Corey Vilhauer is a user experience strategist at Blend Interactive, a web strategy, development, and design firm in the middle of the Midwest. He is a recovering advertising copywriter and a closeted fan of professional wrestling. He writes at length about methodology, empathy, and small-business content strategy at Eating Elephant, and writes about other things at Corey Vilhauer Dot Com.

Past Sessions

“Access Granted: Accessibility and Your Web Content”

Your website's not just designed for your audiences: it's designed for everyone. Which means it needs to be accessible to everyone.

In this workshop, we collaborate with Woods Fuller, Shultz & Smith, P.C. to dive into how accessibility affects you from a legal standpoint, as well as what you as a site editor can do to make your site more accessible.

  • Best practices for content accessibility - headings, images, links, and more
  • Creating an editorial workflow that helps facilitate accessible content
  • Understanding the place of plain language and writing for those with low literacy or English as a second language
  • Common testing tools and methods for keeping things real
  • Navigating the grey areas of accessibility law to provide the best possible user experience
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“The Accessible Editor”

Your website's not just designed for your audiences: it's designed for everyone. Which means it needs to be accessible to everyone.

Often, accessibility falls into the hands of back- and front-end developers. But just as important is the ongoing maintenance of content within your CMS - the headings and images and alt tags and simple verbiage used to communicate your brand's message: a message that deserves to be seen and heard by everyone.

In this workshop, we will dive into what we can do as editors to help fuel more accessible websites, separating the code from the content and making clear the responsibilities we all have in making sure the web is a better place for everyone. We will cover things like:

  • Best practices for content accessibility - headings, images, links, and more
  • Creating an editorial workflow that helps facilitate accessible content
  • Understanding the place of plain language and writing for those with low literacy or English as a second language
  • Common testing tools and methods for keeping things real
  • Navigating the grey areas of accessibility law to provide the best possible user experience
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“Small Business CS: Content Strategy on a Shoestring”

The discussion around content strategy is framed by large examples. NPR. Marriott. The Boston Globe. But it’s also the work of regional organizations, small universities, and mom-and-pop stores. It’s the work of non-profits with small budgets and big goals. How do we take those large ideas and distill them down to a level that helps the Web on a smaller, more local scale? Threaded through a discussion of three case studies, we’ll look at scaling the idea of content strategy back toward something more realistic so it fits within your time and budget.

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“Writing for Your Audience: The Message, the Words, the Plan”

Every word has an audience. And every audience has a message. Tying those three things together, however, is what takes the act of writing into something more strategic. This workshop will start from the beginning – determining our website’s message – and dive into how to write and plan effective web content that is both on point and on time.

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“Creating a Methodology: The Myth of Perfection”

We talk about content strategy, post-launch analytics, and general site maintenance, but we’re all plagued by one question: how do we do this? The answer, of course, is vague and frustrating: IT DEPENDS. We’ll discuss the myth of the perfect methodology – the fact that, no matter what, we cannot stop adapting, changing and improving our methods, and in the process we will begin to shift the discussion from WHAT makes a methodology to HOW we put together one of our own.

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“Zen and the Art of Content Maintenance”

There’s nothing quite like writing for the web, except of course the planning, structuring and general upkeep of that writing once it’s gone live. This workshop will explore planning for future content – from keeping our audiences and goals in check to developing simple and usable editorial processes.

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“Making Friends in the Edit Bay: Five Steps Toward Creating a Governance-Friendly Culture”

It's one thing to create a new website. It's another thing to have the staff to keep it updated. It's a completely and terribly important OTHER thing to create a culture where information flows to the right channels and editors live life without pulling out their hair. Corey will talk about five steps every business can do to help the content workflow process move more smoothly and less hair-pullingly.

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