Insights by Jason Smith

Three Things Software CEOs Don’t Get About User Experience Design

November 20, 2014

User experience and design are nebulous practices for many software CEOs. They know they want to improve the look of their product, but they don’t know who to hire or what to do to achieve results.

Some CEOs hire freelance visual designers who ultimately don’t quite understand the business and produce beautiful designs that are hard to execute. Others hire consultants with an IT focus and UX speciality, but these guys don’t make it beautiful.


The Prospective Undergraduate Customer Journey

November 13, 2014

Over the past 7 years, we've interviewed, surveyed, and run focus groups with hundreds of prospective students. We've learned how they research and engage with colleges and universities. We've also tracked and documented their customer journey from first point of contact through application, admission, and matriculation.

In this video, I'll quickly cover the basic journey and digital touchpoints through the campus visit. The findings can be applied to any typical, residential undergraduate program. In our research, the needs for this persona are amazingly consistent.


How to Design Graduate Degree Program Webpages

November 13, 2014

Based on 7 years of research with prospective students, we've developed a clear set of features and functions that prospective graduate students are looking for on degree webpage. We've also designed and tested these pages across devices and generated a list of best practices. In this super quick video, we'll layout the highlights of this research and best practices. For a great example, check out the program pages at Norwich University Online or read up on their strategy.


Real-Time Website Content Personalization: What You Should Know Right Now

October 21, 2014

Remember when websites were a ‘one size fits all’ experience? We’ve come a long way since then, now embracing tools that allow for the creation of websites that offer personalized experiences for each visitor.


Top Problems Implementing iBeacon Marketing Solutions

October 02, 2014

We recently surveyed 35 of the top beacon CMS and hardware providers who are on the front lines of implementing this emerging technology and leading the push toward proximity marketing. Collectively these firms have deployed more than 3,000 beacon solutions to businesses around the world. Our survey dug into their top concerns about beacons, user experience and deployment.


Over 50 Companies in the September 2014 iBeacon Ecosphere

September 12, 2014

The September 2014 iBeacon Ecosystem is out with over 50 companies now offering hardware and CMS platforms for managing proximity campaigns. We're also starting to see more deals being signed for the rollout of beacons in stores across the US, including Simon Malls and GameStop.

We've begun an exhaustive research survey of companies providing hardware and CMS platforms for beacons. With about 20 firms responding, here's a read out of some of the preliminary findings:


3 Big Ideas Higher Eds Must Know About Their Prospects

August 19, 2014

We’ve just completed some independent website user research with high school sophomores to understand how they research and create a short list of colleges. Over the past five years, we’ve spoken with hundreds of high school students, but it’s been a while since we interviewed high school sophomores at the very start of the college selection process. There were a number of actionable data points from the user research, but three big ideas emerged.


What's Missing From the U.S. Digital Services Playbook (And What They're Getting Right)

August 13, 2014

This week, the U.S. government launched the U.S. Digital Service to improve the federal government’s digital interactions with citizens. Headed by an ex-Google executive, the Digital Service published a fantastic manifesto of 13 digital plays to guide their creation and development of new online systems.


U.S. Digital Services Playbook Embraces User Research, Will Your Business?

August 13, 2014

The U.S. Federal Government officially got on board with user testing for digital experiences this week with the launch of the U.S. Digital Service. Their mission is to improve the federal government’s digital interactions with citizens.

User Research in The U.S. Digital Services Playbook

The Service announced 13 guiding points in their playbook. These will guide all projects and initiatives. The top three plays are rightly focused on user experience:


The Emerging iBeacon Ecosystem – August 2014

July 31, 2014

Just over 1 year since it's introduction, Apple's iBeacon and other Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) products, hardware and CMS platforms are hitting rapid growth. We have identified over 45 different hardware and platform providers. We are seeing the fastest growth in CMS platforms for managing iBeacon campaigns. These are platforms all businesses use to upload creative and manage which beacons send out which content. These platforms also manage the range of the beacon and trigger actions for distributing the content.