How to make websites more spirited As a modern organization on the path to digital transformation, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about how to keep your brand in line with shifting customer expectations. But, if you’re like most organizations, your website may not be keeping up. Is your digital footprint giving your target audience brand whiplash? To paraphrase Will Farrell and Ryan Reynolds, no website is truly unredeemable, but it might take some serious choreography to make it accurately reflect the heart of your business. One of our clients, a cutting-edge technology brand serving the pharmaceutical industry, ran into this problem earlier this year. They were growing in hyperscale, but their website didn’t match who they were becoming from a visual branding or a core messaging standpoint. We had been a marketing partner for the company’s product launches, so when they needed new website content to support an ABM initiative, we helped them redesign, rewrite, and transform the experience of their website – in just four months. Check out the results >> Maybe it’s time to stop tap dancing around the issues you’re having with your website. If you’re interested in elevating your digital footprint by redesigning, replatforming, or making incremental changes to your website and mobile experiences, we can help. Make your digital footprint more spirited >>
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As the pace of technological change continues to increase, digital transformation in healthcare often struggles to keep up. Challenges like integrating aging legacy systems, maintaining patient privacy, and leveraging disparate data sources into actionable insights loom large in healthcare, where time and resources are often at a premium. But the same circumstances that make digital transformation in healthcare more difficult are the very things that underline its importance. When patient lives are on the line, digital transformation isn’t just a “nice to have.” Healthcare systems that achieve their digital transformation goals see immediate improvements in patient experience, quality of care, and patient outcomes. From that standpoint, digital transformation in healthcare isn’t just about adding technology, it’s about revolutionizing the processes and systems that drive the health and well-being of the population as a whole. Case study: Life-saving technology in diabetes long-term care >> Putting patients first While individual healthcare providers commonly put their patients’ needs front and center, the system as a whole did not evolve with that mentality. Due to a variety of factors, including payer systems, consolidation, and the regulatory environment, healthcare systems got a reputation for siloed information, duplicate workflows, lack of clarity, and confusion. As healthcare organizations seek to modernize, smart health systems are taking a consumer-centric approach — redesigning patient experiences and pathways while improving care delivery and outcomes using digital technology. Article: Transforming customer engagement in the digital age >> Planning the future of digital transformation in healthcare During the pandemic, industries accelerated digital transformation efforts across the board, and healthcare was no exception. Out of necessity, more medical touchpoints and interactions moved online, from virtual office visits to automated triage to digital paperwork. Now, two years into the new normal, healthcare organizations are taking stock of their progress, appreciating the speed and scale of their efforts, and mapping opportunities for the future. A recent Deloitte study found that 60% of health systems say they are about halfway through their digital transformation journey. In our experience, working with technology innovators and leaders across industries is where things can get messy. Digital transformation is a long game, and organizations often get bogged down at the halfway mark. To keep moving forward and avoid costly wrong turns, healthcare leaders need a fresh vision and renewed roadmap. Evolving digital transformation in healthcare to meet the changing expectations of patients and providers requires a commitment to a digital-first, people-centric approach, but offers great opportunities for continued growth in connection, innovation, and successful outcomes. Based on our experience, we see five key areas where focused efforts can deliver outsized returns for healthcare systems that are mid-way through their digital transformations: 1. Modernize legacy systems to give providers and patients more options While the vast majority of individual healthcare providers and healthcare organizations use an electronic health records (EHR) system, relatively few seamlessly integrate with patient portals. A recent PEW Health Information Technology (HIT) survey found that almost 80% of respondents wanted to access and view their electronic health records through a website, an online portal, a mobile app, or electronically in some other way. Moreover, the same survey highlights a strong desire for their doctors to share information about the patient’s health status. For most healthcare organizations, integrating patient records across practices and within portals is a headache at best. Adding in the other digital interactions that today’s consumers expect — such as automated appointment and prescription workflows, chatbots, pre-filled forms, and instant answers — might seem impossible. Delivering a better patient experience and giving providers greater flexibility with their tools often takes a more strategic view. Rather than layering in more and more technology solutions, smart healthcare organizations take a holistic approach to modernization, creating flexible, modular solutions that give patients and providers more options in the near term while also making future enhancements easier. Case Study: How an AI healthcare company optimized its digital experience >> Article: Modernization challenges and the path forward >> 2. Mitigate risk to build patient trust In addition to technology lag, healthcare systems also struggle to connect patient health information due to regulatory constraints. To maintain HIPAA compliance in the US and GDPR compliance for EU patients, healthcare organizations sometimes limit the very information sharing that would result in higher quality care. To meet patient expectations of data privacy and personal health data security while also delivering on modern expectations for functionality and connectivity, health organizations need to build in best practices for security and governance throughout their technology architecture. While there are myriad ways to approach this issue, a couple of key options deserve consideration: BYOD Policies A 2019 study found that 63% of healthcare organizations sustained a security incident related to unmanaged and IoT devices. Given the rapid acceleration of digital transformation in healthcare since 2020, we suspect that number is much higher today. As healthcare organizations modernize systems and integrate more virtual and IoT solutions into their technology spaces, having a robust and updated BYOD policy becomes more important. Developing a compliant, enforceable strategy is a critical step in your modernization efforts. Case study: Navigating BYOD in a highly regulated industry >> Containerization One way to mitigate risk is to containerize data, workflows, and applications in the cloud. Although the cloud can sometimes get a bad rap for security, a carefully designed strategy puts security first and can prevent any breach from spilling over too far into other parts of your architecture. Article: Maintaining a composable enterprise >> Blockchain Best known in the context of cryptocurrency, blockchain uses a computerized database of transactions to allow secure information exchange without the need of a third party. Applying blockchain technology to the healthcare industry could improve information security management; healthcare data can be communicated and analyzed while preserving privacy and security. Countries like Australia and the UK have started experimenting with blockchain technology to manage medical records and transactions among patients, healthcare providers, and insurance companies. In both examples, decentralized networks of computers handle the blockchain and simultaneously register every transaction to detect conflicting information, keeping records accurate and making them more difficult to hack. Article: Building trust in your data privacy compliance >> 3. Use voice and wearables to enhance patient experience and outcomes Wearable devices and IoT-based health sensors can track a patient’s conditions and activities remotely, from their vital signs and hydration to the onset of a medical crisis event. The data collected can be helpful to healthcare providers and enable them to better guide patient care. Healthcare providers use IoT and wearable data for remote monitoring and preventative care, providing more specific, personalized connections even with lower staff coverage. Machine learning also drives AI-based natural language processing technology in the healthcare space. As more patients become familiar with voice models like Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, healthcare organizations see potential to deploy the technology for tasks like triage and treatment reminders. For example, the UK’s NHS uses voice technology to field common questions, deliver health information, and remind patients to take medication. Case study: Using wearables to improve patient care >> 4. Put data to work for predictive and preventative care Healthcare organizations collect volumes of data but traditionally haven’t used advanced analytics to translate the information into actionable insights. Today’s leading provider systems are exploring how real-time business analytics, predictive analytics, and AI can transform patient experience and how care is delivered. In much the same way that businesses use data analysis to spot trends, forecast consumer behavior, and drive purchasing decisions, healthcare organizations can use the information they collect to understand patient expectations, discover areas of dissatisfaction or waste, and identify opportunities to enhance the overall experience of patients with their facilities. Likewise, providers can use patient data to understand how a unique individual responds to treatment, spot key diagnostic markers, and even predict potential outcomes so that doctors and patients can work together to minimize risk. Article: Data analytics in healthcare settings >> 5. Automate administrative tasks to focus on patient care The growing number of administrative tasks imposed on physicians, their practices, and, by extension, their patients adds unnecessary costs to the health care system. Excessive administrative tasks also divert time and focus away from providing actual care to patients. Tools like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help healthcare systems save time and resources in areas such as administration, billing, and human resources — freeing up more time for face-to-face interaction with patients. When it comes to finding the right applications for automation in healthcare, it’s important to keep patient experience at the center of your strategy. Developing a customer-first automation strategy can help create the perfect blend of automated interactions and human interactions that will meet today’s expectations and delight patients rather than frustrate them. Article: Finding the right use cases for automation >> Evolving patient care through digital transformation in healthcare As the digital tools, apps, and resources pioneered during the pandemic continue to evolve, healthcare leaders must continue to push ahead with digital-first, patient-centric investments in technology, integrations, and solutions. Finding the right balance between patient and provider expectations, maintaining compliance, and enhancing patient care requires a mindset that values the patient’s perspective. Ready to take the next step? Get a machine learning jumpstart >> Get a better view of your data analytics maturity >> Refresh your digital transformation roadmap >> Wherever you are on your digital transformation journey, our team of digital, data, and technology experts can help. Ask us your questions about digital transformation in healthcare >>
The pace of change and unpredictable circumstances of the past couple of years have led many companies to rethink their just-in-time approaches to resourcing tangible goods and materials. But why stop there? To scale and adapt fast, companies also need a new approach to how they resource skillsets. One of our clients, PRECISIONxtract, did just that. By taking a just-in-time approach to their shifting skillset needs, the company was able to scale up fast — and minimize risk — in a changing business environment. A right-fit-first approach PRECISIONxtract’s transformative healthcare market access solutions offer patients and providers unprecedented connection to the right medication and resources in clinical settings. To bring that vision to life, PRECISION could have found a series of single-skill vendors or taken the time to recruit and onboard new employees. Instead, they looked for a cross-functional partner that would be a seamless fit with their company culture and that had the right mix of scalable skills. They found that fit with Fusion Alliance. Fusion quickly became an integral part of PRECISION’s team, assembling a group of more than 20 strategy, data, and technology experts to deliver responsive support for a growing set of initiatives. Boosting surge capacity across disciplines Knowing that their flagship product, Access Genius, needed design and functionality upgrades, PRECISION called on Fusion to assess and modernize the application without disrupting the existing business. To avoid downtime and increase speed to market, our team used an Agile process and a model-driven design, in which models from the source code informed modernization efforts. Streamlining the overall architecture not only saved development time, but also made Access Genius easier to deploy to PRECISION’s clients. And, to make the product easier to maintain and cheaper to run, we applied containerization through a microservices model and moved Access Genius to a distributed cloud hosting framework. Our solution provided real-time customer insights that were delivered across a variety of digital channels, in lieu of a people-driven process. This helped take Access Genius: From a complex, cumbersome, legacy monolith into a lightning-fast, distributed, cost-effective, cloud-native solution From a user-driven, database-centric format to a distributed API-based framework, enabling immediate data updates for important cost and coverage changes From a time-intensive customer engagement portal to an intuitive, streamlined, automated process Equipped with a modern, stable, extensible platform, PRECISION was free to explore opportunities for more radical innovation. Disrupting the market with frictionless access to timely data Although Access Genius successfully broke down barriers with data, the solution’s interface required users to navigate a complex dashboard with manual clicks and drop-downs. For pharma teams with limited time to connect doctors to information, seconds count. Working with PRECISION’s product team, Fusion technology experts analyzed the friction point of manual navigation and explored ways to make Access Genius more seamless for the user. Drawing on deep expertise deploying cutting-edge technologies into highly regulated spaces, Fusion suggested exploring a shift away from a traditional web-based interface to an AI-enabled voice functionality that would connect users to the most relevant data and messaging right in the flow of conversation. Changing the way pharma enablement tools go to market At the same time, other Fusion consultants were hard at work rethinking the way PRECISION’s products reached, empowered, and retained customers. We brought in a range of specialists to bring new strategies to life, including: Instructional designers and training developers created an interactive training platform to equip pharma sales reps with greater confidence in provider interactions by deepening their understanding of the Access Genius tool. RESULT: Access Genius IQ, a new training tool that helps PRECISION customers see faster ROI for their Access Genius investment Brand experts, visual designers, content strategists, and web developers elevated visual brand elements and created websites, editorial content, and outreach campaigns. RESULT: New website architecture, design, and content; long-form lead generation content; prospect cultivation email marketing Digital marketing strategists, creative designers, and ad teams implemented innovative ad campaigns in rapid succession as PRECISION had more time to develop and roll out new products. RESULT: LinkedIn ad campaigns generating 3X leads, including 100 qualified leads in the first 90 days Read more about the success of Fusion’s marketing partnership with PRECISION >> Reimagining the skillset supply chain Partnering with Fusion gives PRECISION access to a huge team of experienced consultants with a wide range of skillsets — allowing the company to surge and scale as their business needs and market realities shift. With Fusion bringing in the right people at just the right time, PRECISION saves valuable time and resources, enabling them to be more innovative, more agile, and more impactful for their customers, healthcare providers, and patients. Ready to explore how Fusion skillsets can help your team succeed? Our ongoing work with PRECISIONxtract is just one example of how we help companies build momentum for a digital-first world. We bring big-picture thinkers, technology-minded creatives, data scientists, and technical experts to work alongside our clients, providing a force-multiplying effect that leads to scalable, future-focused solutions for the most complex challenges. Ready to get started? Let’s talk.
A content management system (CMS) is the tool that companies use to manage and display content marketing. Depending on where you are in your digital transformation — and, more specifically, in your digital marketing journey — you might think of a content management system (CMS) as the place you put the copy for your website or the platform you use to launch email campaigns. If you’re like most people, you think of a CMS in narrow terms of what you’ve seen one do before. That view might have served your company well for years. It might work today. But, as you think about the ways your company might scale or shift over the next several years, in a digital world that changes more and more rapidly, it might be worth giving your CMS another look. Why your CMS matters >> Choosing a CMS: 8 things to bear in mind Whether you’re in the market for a new CMS to support an upcoming initiative, or you simply want to make sure your current solution is still serving your goals, we’ve identified eight key factors to think through as you identify the best CMS. 1. Content complexity Because the primary job of your CMS is handling your content, be sure that the platform you’re using or choosing can handle the complexity of your content landscape — both current state and where you’re headed in the near-term. Part of the CMS selection process includes envisioning where you want to be in the future. Technology advances fast, and customer expectations are not far behind. As your target audiences incorporate technologies like wearables, voice assistants, and AI-enabled interfaces, your content may need to evolve to reach them. While your content may not be complex today, will that direction remain sustainable for your business? If your content primarily exists on a single website, you may be able to use a simpler CMS. But if you use content across multiple interrelated sites, reuse content across digital properties, or support video, audio, or other media, you might need a more robust system. Planning ahead for a flexible, scalable solution may make more sense in the long run. Get help with your content marketing strategy >> 2. Storage needs Another factor to consider when choosing a CMS is storage. Once again, the types of content you need to support and the diversity of platforms where you need to display it play a critical role in this decision. If your internal policies or regulatory requirements require the CMS to be your system of record for auditing purposes, your solution will need more capacity than if storing legacy content archives elsewhere is a possibility. Depending on use cases, volume, and user experience needs, some media-rich content such as videos could be stored on an external channel like YouTube or Vimeo. Be sure to get internal input before making that decision, however, as UX for embedded video may be compromised depending on how your digital properties are structured. For organizations that rely on printable content, such as brochures, one-pagers, and other PDF content, interfacing a document management system with the CMS might make more sense than storing a large content library directly in the CMS. Storage needs can also be influenced by your organization’s cloud strategy. Where your business intends to host the CMS — on-prem, in the cloud, or with a SaaS provider — matters when it comes to your storage decisions. Cut through cloud complexity >> 3. Workflow automation Regardless of the size of your IT and marketing teams, smart workflow automation can be a force multiplier. As you evaluate your current CMS and move toward choosing the right CMS for your business, think through how that tool may impact existing workflows. If your content creation, editing, review, and publication process has many steps, automating some parts of the workflow probably makes sense. Some CMS solutions can handle step-by-step hand-offs, which frees your team from the need to shepherd pieces through to publication — and eliminates the risk of a task being dropped or forgotten along the way. 4. Ease of use When it comes to CMS selection, functionality requirements balance against ease of use. If you don’t have on-team resources who can handle in-the-moment development or ongoing maintenance, you might need to opt for more of a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) content editor so that your marketing team has the flexibility to create needed assets in a timely manner. To weigh your needs for self-service content creation, think about which team members might be entering, editing, and approving content, and what skillsets might be required to use and maintain your chosen CMS. How your team is structured, existing competencies, and the ability to upskill or cross-skill those team members can also be important factors in your decision. 5. Ease of integration While there may be an edge case or two of a CMS operating as a sole solution within a business, chances are you need one that can function as part of an existing or evolving tech stack. As you choose the right CMS for your business, take the time to map out all of the other marketing, sales, project management, and other business-critical technologies you’ll need it to interface with. Some examples of tools you’ll need to interface with a CMS might include: Customer relationship management (CRM) Email systems Social media marketing Marketing automation Project management Forms Analytics and data dashboards Most of these tools will either send data to or receive data from your CMS, so once you’ve identified the tools, systems, and platforms that need to connect with your CMS, you’ll need to determine if APIs are available or if you’ll need custom API development. Different CMS solutions offer different options for built-in integrations, and some make it easier to customize integrations than others. Find out more about API strategy>> 6. Amount of customization required Customization concerns extend beyond API options to encompass everything from the user interface, workflows, security, and functionality of your CMS. When it comes to choosing the best CMS, customization is a Goldilocks evaluation. You don’t want too little or too much. If your CMS requires significant customization or workarounds to achieve basic customization, you may be introducing too much risk. It might be easier to find a CMS that more closely fits your needs. On the other hand, if your CMS restricts code access and doesn’t allow enough customization, you could find yourself locked into a solution that holds you back when you need to scale or change. Instead, look for a CMS that hits the “just right” balance between meeting your needs and allowing creativity and control over the customer experience. 7. Costs When it comes to technology, the sticker price rarely equals the actual cost of the solution. To get a more accurate view of cost when you’re choosing a CMS, factor in: Ongoing subscriptions if you choose a SaaS CMS Licensing fees if you choose a proprietary CMS software External vendor time if you choose an open-source CMS and don’t have a dedicated development and maintenance team Internal team efficiency and infrastructure if you choose to handle maintenance, security, and development in-house 8. Service Related to overall cost throughout your CMS lifecycle, remember to think through your service requirements — both in terms of implementation or upgrade and the ongoing support you’ll need. Your CMS vendor may be a great partner for implementation or might suggest that you choose a third-party implementation team. As you think about implementing or upgrading a CMS, also consider: What kind of data migration support you need The level and duration of support you’ll require for the shift If you need help with cut-over planning The time and resources you’ll need for system testing Training needs On-site support Choosing a CMS: next steps As you consider how to choose the best CMS for your business, remember that well-defined needs make for better-fitting solutions, and don’t try to tackle the requirements, system audit, and vendor selection process on your own. Getting key stakeholders involved early on in the process can help you make better decisions and give you the perspective you need to choose the right CMS. At a minimum, that group should include leaders from IT, marketing, and sales, but you may also want to include customer service, data, and key business units as well. If you have the right people at the table, a half-day workshop could be enough to set your project up for success. Key points to cover in that sort of meeting include: Getting a big picture view of how the CMS will fit into your existing technology ecosystem Aligning goals and requirements across the business Outlining a budget Designating project owners Agreeing on how to prioritize requirements in light of available resources Next, your project team can evaluate potential solutions against the agreed-upon criteria. You might use your organization’s vendor selection matrix, or develop a new one to fit the project. Finally, plan for the transition. If you aren’t sure what that might entail, consulting with a team of experts can make sense — saving you significant time and expense. Ready to get started? We help organizations navigate the process of choosing the right CMS from start to finish, but we’re also happy to jump in with a quick consultation if you’re feeling stuck. Set up a 30-minute consultation >> Learn more about martech strategy >> Find out how a CMS fits into your overall customer data strategy >>
Although Google plans to phase out its Universal Analytics (UA) tool in favor of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in July 2023, if you’re like most companies, making the switch to GA4 isn’t high on your priority list. That might be a mistake. Because UA and GA4 operate from very different frameworks, your GA4 migration isn’t going to be a quick and easy one-for-one shift. Companies will find significant differences in how data is tracked and measured, which will impact existing tags, metrics, KPIs, and reports. These differences take time and planning to work through successfully. Making the switch to GA4 might be something you can handle with your in-house data, IT, and analytics subject matter experts. But depending on the complexity of your current UA setup and the role analytics plays in your digital strategy, you might need a more strategic plan to get the GA4 transition right. How to switch: setting a realistic roadmap for your GA4 migration 1. Audit your current Google Analytics usage and metrics 2. Stand up your new GA4 property 3. Map your previous metrics to new GA4 options 4. Create, customize, and integrate dashboards 5. Train and explain to get your team on board with the change 6. Iteratively improve Step 1: Audit your current Google Analytics usage and metrics Before you start your GA4 transition, you need a clear view of what you’re collecting now, and where and how you’re using your UA outputs today. First, list the metrics you track in UA. Survey business units with access to find out how your organization uses those metrics, particularly where metrics influence KPIs. Your audit should also include the other systems and tools that connect to your UA account, such as Google Ads, Google Search Console, Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio), and the like. Be sure to map functionalities, customizations, or enhancements your organization has developed for your UA instance over time. You may not be able to reproduce them exactly in GA4, but you’ll need to understand the use cases so you can replicate the results. The audit may also be a good time to evaluate the processes your company has in place around tracking, measurement, and analytics in general, as well as the dashboards you use. Any dashboard that relies on UA will shift with GA4, so it makes sense to take the time up-front to identify any other improvements or efficiencies that might advance your business goals. Step 2: Stand up your new GA4 property Google provides detailed instructions for setting up a new GA4 profile and connecting it to your website. Once your profile is established, begin connecting the other systems and tools you identified in Step 1 of this article. You’ll also need to convert your UA goal metrics to GA4. In some cases, this is as simple as figuring out different naming and labeling conventions – for example, if you tracked Signups in UA, you’ll set up the same thing as Conversions in GA4 – while in others you might need to create something new in GA4 or add custom functionality. Because GA4 is still evolving, new developments and features are added regularly. Look for ways to replicate the customizations you rely on in UA and be aware that you might need third-party help to identify or develop workarounds. Depending on the complexity of your current analytics, customizing your GA4 account could take considerable time, so be sure to leave enough of an overlap with UA in your roadmap and timeline. Step 3: Map your previous metrics to new GA4 options Allow 3-6 weeks for your new GA4 instance to collect and measure data before you compare it to your UA results. Due to the significant differences between UA and GA4, be prepared to see differences in the type of data collected and the ways key factors are measured. You may not be able to compare the results in a 1:1 fashion, but mapping out the differences can help you to refine your customizations and ensure that you have time after your GA4 migration to mitigate or explain discrepancies. Your team is probably used to analyzing UA data to determine the reasons behind significant changes: launching a campaign, a spike in bot traffic, differences in browser and device use, and so forth. The same factors impact GA4 information. By comparing your metrics over a few months, you’ll be better prepared to understand those impacts when Google sunsets UA. Step 4: Create, customize, and integrate dashboards With a robust internal report builder comparable to more sophisticated third-party tools, GA4 offers more options for business reporting, automated reports, and dashboard creation. While the enhanced functionality will be helpful, you’ll still need to analyze and customize every dashboard and report you rely on, whether basic internal reports or external tools like Looker Studio, to map to GA4 data tracking. Remember that the UA to GA4 transition is not a 1:1 switch. Not all UA measurements are available in GA4 and others can be extracted but require updating and customizing your reports.rs can be extracted but require updating and customizing your reports. KEY NOTE: Since GA4 is still in beta, be sure to keep an eye on the updates Google continues to make to features and functionality. As recently as July 2022, Google announced conversions, bounce rates, and UTM parameter tracking — none of which were originally part of the beta platform — will be a part of the new update although not in exactly the same UA form. At this stage, comparing reports between UA and GA4 for a longer period of time will be helpful. You’ll see measurement differences as GA4 becomes your new source of truth but look for indications that trends or analyses aren’t mapping between your profiles. That could be an indication that you need to do more in-depth work on data collection, goals, and reporting. Because you will not be able to access your historical UA data after December 2023, you must build in time for this comparison sooner rather than later. Once Google officially sunsets UA, you won’t be able to see your UA reports in the dashboard or access your historical UA data via the API. Build in time to do your analysis before the end of 2023 – and consider downloading your UA history to keep as a reference. Don’t rush this step. Being able to trust your data is critical, and while you will see differences in numbers during your GA4 migration, it’s important to ensure that you replicate business reporting requirements so that your metrics yield reliable and actionable insights. Step 5: Train and explain to get your team on board with the change Throughout the process of migrating to GA4, keep your end-users informed. Effective change management requires more than a heads-up about a dashboard change. Your training and communication plan should include: An overview of the timing and requirements associated with the move from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. A tutorial on new vocabulary, especially as it relates to changed metrics. An explanation of how different metrics can be used to find the insights teams rely on. A tour of dashboard changes, with step-by-step instructions as needed. A presentation of the parallel reporting analysis you conducted during Step 4, so that your team understands trade-offs, replacements, what the new numbers mean, and how to conduct their analysis differently in the new GA4 environment. Step 6: Iteratively improve As GA4 continues to evolve, be prepared to continue optimizing your data collection, reporting, and dashboards to be sure you’re collecting accurate information and getting the most out of your data. And since GA4 is still a beta platform, it's important to stay on top of the new add-ons, features, and changes so you can adjust your measurement strategies accordingly. We are monitoring the news and sharing updates as they come. Follow Fusion Alliance on social media and/or subscribe to our Fuse: Marketing newsletter for more. Feeling stuck with GA4? We can help. Wherever you are in your switch to GA4, you can always get back on track. Our team helps organizations with end-to-end GA4 migrations, but we also step in for more tightly scoped problem-solving like custom integrations, dashboard creation, and training. Let us know what you’re dealing with, and we can set up a free discovery call to help you work through it.
Most people take websites for granted. They pay bills, book flights, and download white papers online with relative ease. But not everyone assumes that digital tools are designed with them in mind, and that’s a failure for everyone. One in four U.S. adults report having a disability that impacts major life activities. That’s 61 million friends, neighbors, and family members who deserve a digital experience that is just as user friendly as anyone else’s. Integrating website accessibility into your design process and culture is a step toward addressing this very human problem of exclusivity. And while a sense of justice is enough to move many organizations to act, there is also a strong business case. Offering a user experience that caters to only a select group of users alienates potential brand advocates and carries serious legal risks. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act Title III Regulations, public properties, including public websites, have to adhere to accessibility parameters. In other words, your digital presence must be designed and coded so that people can carry out their desired tasks, from completing a form to making a purchase. This should extend beyond your basic site to search tools, mobile apps, and social media. Organizations often find themselves on the wrong side of this issue. Rather than proactively carving out a path to invite accessibility in as a priority, they are reacting to negative feedback and even lawsuits. These companies are well-meaning but don’t know what to do to ensure compliance. To help keep you up to speed, here are six ways accessibility will impact businesses and website design in the near future: 1. Lawsuits will escalate From 2017 to 2018, the number of website accessibility lawsuits filed in federal court under Title III of the ADA shot up from 814 to 2,258. This trend will likely continue as more users hold noncompliant websites and other digital tools accountable. Recent high-profile lawsuits have called out Winn-Dixie, Beyoncé, Burger King, Rolex Watch, and Amazon. In a particularly unsavory 2019 story, instead of fixing its online ordering feature, Domino’s pizza responded to a blind customer’s lawsuit with a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to quash the case. 2. Standard design processes will change To achieve a more inclusive user experience, designers and developers follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for web standards. It’s part of their process, showing up as captions on videos for people with impaired hearing or spoken versions of site copy read aloud by screen readers. Before accessibility can become an intrinsic part of the website design process, organizations will have to rally their troops and emphasize its importance. In the near future, writing alt-text for images, ensuring all content can be accessed with a keyboard, and making sure text can be viewed at 200% without impairing readability will be second nature. While we aren’t there yet, the additional steps needed to build a compliant site will become standard procedure over the next few years. 3. Know-how will develop fast Remember the 1990s when accessibility ramps were tacked onto commercial buildings like ugly metal afterthoughts, function-rich but design-poor? Today, ramps are architectural features, such as switchbacks crisscrossing wide flights of stairs, and curving slopes that add to a structure’s beauty. In digital, we aren’t working with hammers and drills, and we’ve had 29 years to appreciate the precepts of the ADA. The speed at which website accessibility can and should evolve will be much faster than its brick-and-mortar counterparts. Plus, adherence helps companies compete more effectively for the more than $645 billion of disposable annual income that Americans with disabilities control, creating an additional layer of urgency. 4. Site facelifts will facilitate compliance Organizations regularly upgrade their websites and apps to make them faster, more secure or better optimized for search. Add accessibility to that list. When talking to our clients about site improvements, accessibility is at the forefront of conversations about website facelifts. These are often great opportunities to ramp up (pun intended) inclusion efforts. 5. Someone will own accessibility Who on your team will lead an initiative around accessibility? How will this person develop knowledge and implement more stringent ADA accessibility user testing? Is this a role for design/development or someone in HR/legal? More organizations are asking themselves these questions, and many are looking to outside partners to help them get and stay compliant. Whether it’s handled internally or externally, accessibility will become part of someone’s job description. 6. Audits will head off future legal fights ADA lawsuits and subsequent news stories can burn through an organization’s brand equity, repel customers, and rack up hefty legal expenses. When performed by a trusted digital partner, an audit can bring to light web accessibility infractions so that you can deal with them before they impact your audience. (One caveat: beware of predatory auditors. Scammers have been known to offer auditing services and then threaten to expose noncompliant clients to the ADA if they don’t sign on for follow-up projects.) As organizations take first steps to prioritize accessibility, initial results might look and feel like that ugly ramp from the 1990s. At Fusion Alliance, the growing pains have been worth it to ensure that our user experience offers everyone the same level of respect and compassion. Making accessibility part of your digital design conversations now will better serve every human in the future. Don’t wait to talk to your team. And if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Product design (UX/UI design) is becoming one of the most important roles in the tech industry. Designers are under pressure to accelerate product development and reduce the time, effort, and cost spent. We’ve been there and understand what it’s like. This eight-step process can help you speed up development and achieve all of the above. Use it to understand your product goals and customers, and also to collaborate with the entire team to discover problems, ideate, test, and validate potential solutions. 1: Understand the product and set up a strategy Familiarize yourself with product vision and strategy Your first step is to understand the product’s “big picture” and the vision behind it. You’ll need to answer the following questions: What problem the product is solving? What value is it delivering? Who are the users? Who are the competitors? Who are the partners? Conduct stakeholder interviews In order to answer the questions above, you’ll need to meet with project stakeholders. In your interviews with them, ask for the following: Mission statements, strategy documents, organizational or team structure charts, etc. KPIs (key performance indicators) − to help you understand the most important features in the product by understanding what success looks like. Previous research they’ve conducted − including user research, market research, competitor analysis, etc. Create a roadmap Roadmaps facilitate team collaboration and clarity around priorities. Create a roadmap to help your team better understand: What is the ideal state of the product? What is the current state of the product? What steps need to be taken to meet the end goal and how should you prioritize them 2: Conduct user research User research is one of the most important steps in the product-design process. All of your team’s hard work, time, and money will be worthless if you end up making a product that no one wants to use or that can’t compete in the market. Here are some research methods to help you better understand your users and competitors: Establish user personas: A persona is a hypothetical character created to represent a major user group that might use your product in a similar way. Create user personas to better understand your product’s users and their needs, goals, and pain points. To create user personas, use the data you gathered in stakeholder interviews, conduct surveys, interviews, ethnographic research, etc. Create a user journey map: A user journey is the path a user takes through your product to achieve a certain goal. User journey maps show users’ thoughts and feelings while using the product or going through that journey. This makes it easier for you to identify areas for improvement since you see when your users are annoyed, confused, or happy. Develop your user journey maps using the feedback received through user testing, observations, data received from the support team, etc. Conduct a competitive analysis: Conduct market research or a competitive analysis to learn what other similar products or companies are doing and analyze how their problem/solution could map to your own problems. 3: Define your information architecture Information architecture helps you organize and structure the content of your product in a way that your users can find what they are looking for easily without having to go in circles. Create this structure for your product through any of these methods: Site maps Flow charts Card sorts 4: Discover problems Discovery is an important phase that allows designers to work with the entire team to define and research problems identified in steps 1-3, as well as gather enough information and initial direction on what to do next. Discovery will help you frame problems with all the evidence you need before moving to the ideation phase. 5: Ideate The ideation phase moves you from learning about your users and the problem to coming up with potential solutions. In this phase, gather together and come up with as many ideas as possible. The focus is on quantity, not quality. Some ideas may surface as the potential solutions to your problem. Others will end up in the reject pile. If carried out properly, an ideation session can lead you to find that groundbreaking solution that you and your users are looking for. 6: Perform user testing User testing gives you the opportunity to evaluate and validate your ideas with the users. At this stage, you’ll be able to gain deep information about your users’ behavioral patterns, preferences, and suggestions. Testing early during the design process allows you to prevent future re-design costs and to launch a user-friendly product. 7: Finalize the design With the usability testing complete, you can start updating the design according to the feedback you received. You will now design what the screens will actually look like and create the final UI through high fidelity wireframing and prototyping. 8: Communicate and collaborate Your last step is to share the design with developers and walk them through the entire user flow to give them the opportunity to review what needs to be implanted and raise any questions or concerns. Once the development starts, you might need to do any of the following tasks: Support developers : Provide guidance and answer questions about how things should look or work. Update: If there are technical limitations with implanting the design or new issues arise, get more user feedback and update the designs again. Review and desk check : When the development is completed and pushed to the test environment, review the work to make sure everything matches with your design. The benefits If you follow this process, you’ll be able to develop products with: More efficiency: Time, effort, and cost will be reduced by discovering and testing different ideas early in the process and moving forward with the solution that works best for both customers and the business. Higher customer satisfaction: Continuous research helps you understand and respond to users’ needs so that you are more competitive in the market, which helps you increase customer satisfaction remarkably. Accelerated development: Providing high-fidelity design and working closely with developers throughout the process prevents them from making changes and fixes that are avoidable (such as when mocks are not detailed enough or when they make the wrong assumptions), resulting in faster development. This high-level overview is a great starting point, but every organization and product has different needs. If you’d like to talk about how to improve your current product development process or how to establish a new one, contact us today.
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