The Brief

Simplifying Complexity without Losing Power

The biggest challenge as Oomph acclimated to the RSI world was rapidly learning enough about the complex regulations and requirements of municipalities in the tax collection industry to provide sound advice and recommendations. We started by examining their systems — the workflow of documenting and planning new product features and adding them to the roadmap, of designing the UX of those features, and of leveraging their in-house design system to build and support those features. 

RSI’s main products, revX and revX Online Services, are highly customizable and configurable. Every single screen has options that would display depending on the authenticated user’s role and privileges and the tenant’s own back-office processes. User stories included many requirements based on permissions and configuration. This added challenges when imagining potential interface solutions that need to accommodate growth in multiple directions. 

Oomph’s purposefully used our outside perspective to ask many questions about RSI’s processes. We took our years of experience designing interfaces for a wide range of consumers and applied them here. In this typically archaic and slow-to-evolve space, a user-focused experience coupled with RSI’s technical expertise would revolutionize tax collection as a friendlier, more intuitive, and highly customizable experience.


Our Approach

Maintaining Consistency in a Rapidly Evolving Product

Our findings and recommendations indicated previous UX teams did not create a rulebook that governed their decisions, and so, the system lacked consistency. Quality Assurance reviews would suffer from this lack of governance as well. Therefore, the first thing we did was to establish rules to design by: 

Entity Summary screen Before
Entity Summary screen After

Ultimately, these rules are flexible and have served well as a starting point. Any new screen can adhere to these rules, and when we find cases where these rules are preventing users from completing their tasks or are frequently confusing users, we revisit them to make updates or clarifications. Oomph has continued to consult on new screen design and UX workflows after more than a year of working together.

A sample of components from the revX application

The Results

Setting a New North Star to Align Our Compasses

To continue to move the product forward without increasing UX and technical debt, the teams needed a well-defined shared understanding for the user experience. Internal teams were moving forward, but not always in the same direction. Within the first month, our teams agreed upon a playbook and then continued to expand it during our engagement. We met twice weekly with product owners across the company and became a sought-after resource when teams were planning new features.

A sample of screens from the revX application

During our time together, we have celebrated these outcomes:

As Oomph moves into our second year collaborating with the RSI teams, we plan to fully investigate user personas on both the admin and taxpayer side of the platform, add more context and governance to the project designs, and provide quality assurance feedback on the working application. We value our partnership with this unique team of experts and look forward to continuing the tax software revolution.


The Brief

New Drupal, New Design

Migrating a massive site like healthdata.org is challenging enough, but implementing a new site design simultaneously made the process even more complex. IHME wanted a partner with the digital expertise to translate its internal design team’s page designs into a flexible, functional set of components  — and then bring it all to life in the latest Drupal environment. Key goals included:


The Approach

The new healthdata.org site required a delicate balance of form and function. Oomph consulted closely with IHME on the front-end page designs, then produced a full component-based design system in Drupal that would allow the site’s content to shine now and in the future — all while achieving conformance with WCAG 2.1 standards.

Equipping IHME To Lead the Public Health Conversation

Collaborating on a Comprehensive Content Model

IHME needed the site to support a wide variety of content and give its team complete control over landing page layouts, but the organization had limited resources to achieve its ambitious goals. Oomph and IHME went through several rounds of content modeling and architecture diagramming to right-size the number and type of components. We converted their full-page designs into annotated flex content diagrams so IHME could see how the proposed flex-content architecture would function down to the field level. We also worked with the IHME team to build a comprehensive list of existing features — including out-of-the-box, plugins, and custom — and determine which ones to drop, replace, or upgrade. We then rewrote any custom features that made the grade for the Drupal migration.

Building Custom Teaser Modules

The IHME team’s design relied heavily on node teaser views to highlight articles, events, and other content resources. Depending on the teaser’s placement, each teaser needed to display different data — some displayed author names, for example, while others displayed only a journal title. Oomph built a module encompassing all of the different teaser rules IHME needed depending on the component the teaser was being displayed in. The teaser module we built even became the inspiration for the Shared Fields Display Settings module Oomph is developing for Drupal.

Creating a Fresh, Functional Design System

With IHME’s new content model in place, we used Layout Paragraphs in Drupal to build a full design system and component library for healthdata.org. Layout Paragraphs acts like a visual page builder, enabling the IHME team to construct feature rich pages using a drag and drop editor. We gave IHME added flexibility through customizable templates that make use of its extensive component library, as well as a customized slider layout that provides the team with even more display options.

You all are a fantastic team — professional yet personal; dedicated but not stressed; efficient, well-planned, and organized. Thank you so much and we look forward to more projects together in the future!

CHRIS ODELL Senior Product Manager: Digital Experience, University of Washington

The Results

Working to Make Citizens and Communities Healthier 

IHME has long been a leader in population health, and its migration to the latest version of Drupal ensures it can lead for a long time. By working with Oomph to balance technical and design considerations at every step, IHME was able to transform its vision into a powerful and purposeful site — while giving its team the tools to showcase its ever-growing body of insights. The new healthdata.org has already received a Digital Health Award, cementing its reputation as an essential digital resource for the public health community.

From code to launch

4.5 mos.

Sites launched within a year

25

Performance improvement

350 %

THE BRIEF

A Fractured System

With a network of websites mired in old, outdated platforms, Rhode Island was already struggling to serve the communication needs of government agencies and their constituents. And then the pandemic hit.

COVID accelerated the demand for better, faster communication and greater efficiency amid the rapidly changing pandemic. It also spotlighted an opportunity to create a new centralized information hub. What the government needed was a single, cohesive design system that would allow departments to quickly publish and manage their own content, leverage a common and accessible design language, and use a central notification system to push shared content across multiple sites.

With timely, coordinated news and notifications plus a visually unified set of websites, a new design system could turn the state’s fragmented digital network into a trusted resource, especially in a time of crisis.


THE APPROACH

Custom Tools Leveraging Site Factory

A key goal was being able to quickly provision sites to new or existing agencies. Using Drupal 9 and Acquia’s Site Factory, we gave the state the ability to stand up a new site in just minutes. Batch commands create the site and add it to necessary syndication services; authors can then log in and start creating their own content.

We also created a set of custom tools for the state agencies, to facilitate content migration and distribution. An asynchronous hub-and-spoke syndication system allows sites to share content in a hierarchical manner (from parent to child sites), while a migration helper scrapes existing sites to ensure content is properly migrated from a database source.

Introducing Quahog: A RI.gov Design System

For organizations needing agility and efficiency, composable technology makes it easier to quickly adapt digital platforms as needs and conditions change. We focused on building a comprehensive, component-based visual design system using a strategy of common typography, predefined color themes and built-in user preferences to reinforce accessibility and inclusivity.

The Purpose of the Design System

The new, bespoke design system had to support four key factors: accessibility, user preferences, variation within a family of themes, and speedy performance.

Multiple color themes

Site authors choose from five color themes, each supporting light and dark mode viewing. Every theme was rigorously tested to conform with WCAG AA (and sometimes AAA), with each theme based on a palette of 27 colors (including grays) and 12 transparent colors.

User preferences

Site visitors can toggle between light or dark mode or use their own system preference, along with adjusting font sizes, line height, word spacing, and default language.


Mobile first

Knowing that many site visitors will be on mobile devices, each design component treats the mobile experience as a first-class counterpart to desktop.

Examples: The section menu sticks to the left side of the viewport for easy access within sections; Downloads are clearly labelled with file type and human-readable file sizes in case someone has an unreliable network connection; galleries appear on mobile with any text labels stacked underneath and support swipe gestures, while the desktop version layers text over images and supports keyboard navigation.

High Accessibility

Every design pattern is accessible for screen readers and mobile devices. Color contrast, keyboard navigation, semantic labelling, and alt text enforcement all contribute to a highly accessible site. Extra labels and help text have been added to add context to actions, while also following best practices for use of ARIA attributes.


Performance aware

Each page is given a performance budget, so design components are built as lightly as possible, using the least amount of code and relying on the smallest visual asset file sizes possible.


THE RESULTS

Efficient and Effective Paths to Communication

The first sites to launch on the new system, including covid.ri.gov, went live four and a half months after the first line of code was written. A total of 15 new sites were launched within just 8 months, all showing a 3-4x improvement in speed and performance compared with previous versions.

Every site now meets accessibility guidelines when authors adhere to training and best practices, with Lighthouse accessibility and best practice scores consistently above 95%. This means the content is available to a larger, more diverse audience. In addition, a WAF/CDN provider increases content delivery speeds and prevents downtime or slowdowns due to attacks or event-driven traffic spikes.

State agencies have been universally pleased with the new system, especially because it provides authors with an improved framework for content creation. By working with a finite set of tested design patterns, authors can visualize, preview, and deploy timely and consistent content more efficiently and effectively.

We were always impressed with the Oomph team’s breadth of technical knowledge and welcomed their UX expertise, however, what stood out the most to me was the great synergy that our team developed. All team members were committed to a common goal to create an exceptional, citizen-centered resource that would go above and beyond the technical and design expectations of both agencies and residents .

ROBERT MARTIN ETSS Web Services Manager, State of Rhode Island

THE BRIEF

While One Percent for America (OPA) had an admirable goal of helping eligible immigrants become U.S. citizens, the project faced a major stumbling block. Many immigrants had already been misled by various lending institutions, payday loans, or high-interest credit cards. As a result, the OPA platform would need a sense of trustworthiness and authority to shine through.

The platform also had to handle a broad array of tasks through a complex set of workflows, backstops, and software integrations. These tasks included delivering content, signing up users, verifying eligibility, connecting to financial institutions, managing loan data and investment balances, and electronically sending funds to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


THE APPROACH

Given the challenges, our work began with a month-long discovery process, probing deeper into the audience, competitive landscape, customer journeys, and technological requirements for the platform. Here’s what we learned.

The Borrower Experience

Among those deep in the citizenship process and close to finishing the paperwork, many are simply waiting to have the funds to conclude their journey. For them, we designed as simple a workflow as possible to create an account, pass a security check, and apply for a loan.

Other users who are just starting the process need to understand whether they’re eligible for citizenship and what the process entails. We knew this would require smart, in-depth content to answer their questions and provide guidance — which was also a crucial component in earning their trust. Giving away genuinely helpful information, combined with carefully chosen language and photography, helped lend authenticity to OPA’s stated mission.

The Investor Experience

OPA sought to crowdfund capital from small investors, not institutions, creating a community-led funding source that could scale to meet borrowers’ needs. A key innovation is that funders can choose between two options: making tax-deductible donations or short-term loans.

If an investor makes a loan, at the end of the term they can decide to reinvest for another term, turn the money into a donation, or withdraw the funds. To reinforce the circular nature of the platform, we designed the experience so that borrowers could become investors themselves. The platform makes it easy for borrowers to change their intent and access different tools. Maturity dates are prominently displayed alongside “Lend Again” and “Donate” actions. Testimonials from borrowers on the dashboard reinforce the kinds of people who are helped by an investment.

The Mobile Experience

Our research made it clear the mobile experience had to be best in class, as many users would either prefer using a phone or didn’t have regular access to a tablet or computer. But, that didn’t mean creating a mobile app in addition to a desktop website. Instead, by designing a universal web app, we built a more robust experience — more powerful than most mobile apps — that can be used anywhere, on any device.

However, tasks like signing up for an account or applying for a loan need to be as easy on a mobile device as on a desktop. Key UX elements like step-by-step workflows, large touch targets, generous spacing on form fields, soft colors, and easy-to-read fonts produced a highly user-friendly interface.


THE RESULTS

Together with our technology partners, CraftsmanMotionpoint, and Platform.sh, we built an innovative digital platform that meets its users exactly where they are, from both a technological and cultural standpoint.

This groundbreaking work earned us a Gold Medal from the inaugural 2022 Anthem Awards, in the Innovation in Human and Civil Rights category. The award recognizes new techniques and services that advance communities and boost contributory funds.

In our ongoing partnership with OPA, Oomph will continue working to expand the business model with new features. We’re proud to have helped build this impactful resource to support the community of new Americans.


THE BRIEF

A Creative Beacon Sets a New Path

The RISD Museum is the 20th largest art museum in the United States with over 100,000 objects in its collection, including Ancient art, costumes, textiles, painting, sculpture, contemporary art, furniture, photography, and more. The museum occupies more than 72,000 square feet in three historic and two contemporary buildings along Providence’s bustling South Main Street and riverfront.

We often say that a website redesign is more like a collective therapy session — it’s an opportunity to air grievances in a safe space, to think about the future untethered to the present situation, and make decisions that could change the course of the organization. Since many websites are more than just a marketing platform, a redesign can affect the entire organization and the way they communicate their value to their own team and the world.

At the heart of this project were large, existential questions:

What does it mean to be a physical institution collecting physical objects in a digital world?

What do viewers want out of a museum experience in an interactive space?

Can a museum be more relaxed about how viewers will interpret the work?

Open Source the Museum’s Entire Collection

Behind the Museum’s initiative to re-platform the website from a closed system to an open source system like Drupal 8 was another, perhaps even larger, initiative: a plan to “open source” the museum’s entire collection. They will bring all 100,000 objects online (they have a little over 13,000 available prior to launch, a mere 13%) and use a Creative Commons license system that allows visitors to download and repurpose high-resolution images whenever the objects are in the public domain. This was the heart of the revolution upon which the RISD Museum was about to embark.


THE APPROACH

MuseumPlus & Drupal 8 equals Open Access

The heavy lift for our engineers was an integration with RISD’s museum software, MuseumPlus. MuseumPlus needed to continue to be the source of truth for any object, artist, or exhibition. The teams again collaborated extensively to work towards an API that could provide all the correct information

between the two databases, and a system of daily jobs and manual overrides to start a synchronization process. As the online connection grows, these connections will be the critical link between the public-facing object data and the internal records.

The aesthetics of the site became a structural backdrop for the objects, artwork, and images of people in the physical spaces of the museum.

Gray and white wireframes evolved into a black and white interface that kept information clear and clean while allowing the colors of the artwork to shine through. Language around the site’s architecture was simplified and tested for clarity. An element of time — words like Soon, Upcoming, Now, Ongoing, Past — keeps the visitor grounded around the idea of a physical visit, while open access to objects online serves a whole community of art lovers and historians that may never be able to visit in person.

A bold storytelling idea came out of our collective collaborative process — the homepage experience opens with four videos, a cinematic exterior shot and three interior videos that explore the three main sections of the navigation. The homepage becomes a gateway into the physical space. Choosing a path via the navigation takes the viewer inside to explore the spaces and the objects. Instead of a homepage that assumes a visitor wants to see everything and then choose something to explore deeper, this one introduces them to the content in a way that connects them to the physical space.


THE RESULTS

Site visit patterns have seen significant improvement — sessions per user and pages per session have increased while bounce rate has decreased. Thanks are due in part to the new hosting environment with Acquia, which has provided hefty speed increases and stability — page load times have decreased, server response time is significantly less, and page download time is far less as well.


FINAL THOUGHTS

An Evolving Partnership

As the RISD Museum grows their online collection even further, we have identified a backlog of ideas that we’d love to address, from a more fully featured search, an integrated audio guide, and a more open and collaborative way for users to share back what they have done with the museum’s assets. A new Drupal 8 implementation gives the museum plenty of room to grow virtually. The collaborative relationship between Oomph and the RISD Museum is only beginning.


Want to know a little more? — J. Hogue, Director of Design & UX at Oomph, and Jeremy Radtke, Assistant Director, Digital Initiatives, RISD Museum, gave a presentation at Design Week RI on September 20, 2018, all about the process of the redesign.

Humans encounter thousands of words every day. As a website owner, that means your site content is vying for your user’s attention alongside emails from their colleagues, the novel on their nightstand, and even the permission slip scrunched at the bottom of their kid’s backpack.

How do you cut through the clutter to create site content that people actually want to read?

While you may already be choosing topics that are the most interesting and relevant for your audience, the structure of your writing may not be optimized for how people read. By understanding your audience’s reading behaviors following best practices for readability and accessibility, you can make sure your content works with people’s natural tendencies – not against them – to create a more engaging digital experience. An added bonus: Google shares many of those same tendencies, so content that’s designed well for humans is also more likely to perform well for organic SEO.

As a digital platform partner to many clients with content-rich sites, Oomph often works with brands to redesign their content for digital success. Here’s a look at the basic principles we apply to any site design – and how you can use them to your advantage.

How People Read Online

When we dive into a book, we typically settle in for a long haul, ready to soak up each chapter one by one. But when we open up a website, it’s more like scanning a newspaper or the entire bookshelf – we’re looking for something specific to catch our eye. We quickly scan, looking for anything that jumps out at us. If we see something interesting, then we’ll slow down and start reading in more detail.

Think of it like an animal following an information “scent,” identifying a mixture of clues that are likely to lead to the content you’re looking for. Most people will decide which pages to visit based on how likely the page will have the answer they’re looking for and how long it’s going to take to get the answer.

Users need to be hooked within a few moments of looking at a website or they’ll move on. They need to be able to identify and understand key factors like:

  1. The point of the information and why they should keep reading
  2. Whether they can trust the information and the source
  3. The type of content provided and any action expected from them, like signing up for an event
  4. How visually engaging and readable the content is

The takeaway for brands? Writing with your readers’ needs in mind is a way to show them you care and want to help them solve their problem. It’s also the key to achieving your site goals.

Your site content does more than just convey information – it’s about building trust, establishing rapport, and creating a connection that goes beyond the page. Whether you’re trying to sell a product or promote a cause, crafting content around your audience’s needs, desires, and preferences is the most effective way to compel them to take action. Here are four ways to set your website content up for success.

1. Put your data to work.

If you’re looking to refresh your current site, data can help you make informed choices about everything from your content strategy to your layout and design. Use digital reporting tools to answer questions like:

Google Analytics is a go-to tool for understanding the basics of who is visiting your site and how they’re engaging with your content. You can track metrics like session duration, traffic sources, and top-performing pages, all of which can help you better understand what your audience is looking for and what you want to tell them. (If you haven’t made the switch to Google Analytics’ latest platform, GA4, jump-start the process with our 12-step migration guide.)

Additional tools like Screaming Frog and Hotjar can give you even deeper insights, helping you track content structure and real-time user interactions.

2. Create a simple and consistent content structure.

When it comes to site content, consistency is like the foundation of a house (minus the power tools and hard hats).

A well-structured site not only helps users navigate and understand your content more easily, but also enhances the visual appeal and flow of the site. Think of it like a dance floor – you want your users to be able to move smoothly from one section to the next, without any awkward missteps.

That means focusing on shorter sentences, bullet points, and clear subheadings, all backed up by engaging visuals that serve as resting points for the eye. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to declutter your content — users don’t want to wade through a sea of unnecessary words just to find the nuggets of gold.

Ask yourself: Does this content flow smoothly, is it easy to scan, and does it make my key messages stand out? If the answer is yes, then you’re on your way to successful content.

3. Make sure visuals and content play nicely together.

When it comes to enhancing your content with visuals, the key is to strike a balance between style and substance. Your design should complement your content, not compete or distract from it.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, well-designed visuals are important for creating a sense of credibility with users. Think back to the concept of information scent: If your design looks sloppy or inconsistent, users are less likely to trust the information you’re presenting. So make sure you’re using design elements wisely, creating ample white space, and avoiding anything that makes your content feel like a sales pitch.

4. Focus on accessibility.

When it comes to site content, accessibility can’t be ignored. Content should be engaging and informative and also conform to the , Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Tools like SortSite can help identify these issues and guide you toward accessibility success.

There are a number of things all sites need to consider:

Designing Engaging Content Doesn’t Need To Be a Full-Time Job

If you already have a library of content, auditing the content that already exists can be daunting. And sometimes, you need a little help from your friends. That’s where third-party experts (like us!) come in.

During our website discovery process, we use strategies like content and analytics audits, UX heuristics, and user journey mapping to help position client sites for success. We’ll help you identify areas for improvement, highlight opportunities for growth, and guide you toward achieving content greatness.

Ready for a fresh perspective on your content? We’d love to talk about it.

Have you ever tried to buy tickets to a concert and experienced the frustration and eventual rage of waiting for pages to load, unresponsive pages, unclear next steps, timers counting down, or buttons not working to submit — and you probably still walked away with zero tickets? Yeah, you probably had some choice words, and your keyboard and mouse might have suffered your ire in the process.

As a website owner, you strive to create a seamless user experience for your audience. Ideally, one that doesn’t involve them preparing to star in their own version of the printer scene in Office Space. Despite your best efforts, there will be times when users get frustrated due to slow page loads, broken links, navigation loops, or any other technical issues. This frustration can lead to what the industry calls “rage clicks” and “thrashed cursors.” When your users are driven to these actions, your website’s reputation, engagement, and return visits can be damaged. Let’s dig in to discuss what rage clicks and thrashed cursors are and how to deal with frustrated users.

First of all, what are Rage Clicks?

Rage clicks are when a user repeatedly clicks on a button or link when it fails to respond immediately — the interface offers no feedback that their first click did something. This bad user experience doesn’t motivate them to return for more. These clicks are likely often accompanied by loud and audible sighs, groans, or even yelling. “Come on, just GO!” might ring a bell if you’ve ever been in this situation. Rage clicks are one of the most frustrating things a user can experience when using a website or app.

Rage Clicks are defined technically by establishing that:

  1. At least three clicks take place
  2. These three clicks happen within a two-second time frame
  3. All clicks occur within a 100px radius
rage-click

Similarly, what is a Thrashed Cursor?

A thrashed cursor is when a user moves the cursor back and forth over a page or element, indicating impatience or confusion. Various issues, including slow page load times, broken links, unresponsive buttons, and unclear navigation, can cause users to exhibit these digital behaviors. It can also indicate the user is about to leave the site if they cannot find that solution quickly.

Thrashed cursors are defined technically by establishing that:

  1. There is an area on the page where a user was moving their mouse erratically
  2. An established pattern of “thrashing” occurs around or on specific elements or pages
  3. Higher rate of user exits from the identified pages

Why do Rage Clicks and Thrashed Cursor happen?

Common reasons rage clicks and thrashed cursors happen are:

  1. Poor Design: Poor design is one of the most common reasons for rage clicks and thrashed cursors. If the website has a confusing layout or navigation structure, it can be frustrating for users to find what they’re looking for. Or, they may assume an element is clickable; when it’s not, it can be irksome. Underlined text is an excellent example, as users often associate underlines with links.
  2. Technical Issues: Technical issues such as slow loading times, broken links, or non-responsive buttons can cause rage clicks and thrashed cursors. Users expect the website to work correctly; when it doesn’t, they can become annoyed or frustrated. If they click a button, they expect the button to do something.
  3. Lack of Clarity: If the website’s content is unclear or poorly written, it can cause confusion and frustration for users. They may struggle to understand the information provided or find it challenging to complete the intended action. Content loops can be a good example of this. Content loops happen when users repeatedly go back and forth between pages or sections of a website, trying to find the information they need. Eventually, they’ll become frustrated, leading to this user leaving the website.
IT Crowd Monitor Throw

How do you resolve issues that lead to Rage Clicks and Thrashed Cursors?

Now that we know what rage clicks and thrashed cursors are and why they happen, how do you resolve it, you may be asking. Here are a few things an agency partner can help you with that can significantly reduce the risk of your users resorting to these behaviors.

Use Performance Measuring Tools

By employing performance measuring, you can analyze the data collected, gain valuable insights into how users interact with your platform, and identify areas for improvement. For example, if you notice a high number of rage clicks on a specific button or link, it may indicate that users are confused about its functionality or that it’s not working correctly. Similarly, if you see a high number of thrashed cursors on a particular page, it may suggest that users are struggling to navigate or find the information they need.

Tools that support Friction or Frustration measurement:

  1. Clarity (from Microsoft)
  2. ContentSquare
  3. Heap
  4. HotJar
  5. Mouseflow
  6. Quantum Metric

Conduct User Experience Exercises and Testing

Identifying the root causes of rage clicks and thrashed cursors can be done through a UX audit. An agency can examine your website design, functionality, and usability, identifying areas of improvement.

  1. User Journey Mapping: User journey mapping involves mapping the user’s journey through your website from a starting point to a goal, identifying pain points along the way, and determining where users may get stuck or frustrated.
  2. Usability Testing: Usability testing involves putting the website in front of real users and giving them tasks to complete. The tester then looks to identify issues, such as slow loading times, broken links, or confusing navigation.
  3. User Surveys: User surveys can be conducted in various ways, including online surveys, in-person interviews, and focus groups. These surveys can be designed to gather information about users’ perceptions of the website, interactions with the website, and satisfaction levels. Questions can be designed to identify areas of frustration, such as difficult-to-find information, slow page load times, or confusing navigation. It’s wise to keep surveys short, so work with your agency to select the questions to garner the best feedback.
  4. Heat Mapping: Heat mapping involves analyzing user behavior on your website, identifying where users are clicking, scrolling, and spending their time. This can identify areas of the website that are causing frustration and leading to rage clicks and thrashed cursors.

Focus on Website Speed Optimization

A digital agency can synthesize findings from UX research and performance-measuring tools and work to optimize your website for quicker page loads and buttons or links that respond immediately to user actions.

  1. Image Optimization: Optimizing images on your website will significantly improve page loading times. An agency can help you optimize server settings and compress images to reduce their size without sacrificing quality.
  2. Minification: Minification involves reducing the size of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files by removing unnecessary characters such as white space, comments, and line breaks. This can significantly improve page loading times.
  3. Caching: Caching involves storing frequently accessed website data on a user’s device, reducing the need for data retrieval and improving website speed.
  4. Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN is a network of servers distributed worldwide that store website data, improving website speed by reducing the distance between the user and the server.
  5. Server Optimization: Server optimization involves optimizing server settings and configurations, such as increasing server resources, using a faster server, and reducing request response time. Website owners frequently skip this step and don’t select the right hosting plan, which can cost more money through lost users and lower conversions.

Resolve Technical Issues

A web agency can help resolve any technical issues that may be causing frustration for your users. These issues may include broken links or buttons, 404 errors, slow page load times, and server errors. Technical issue resolution can involve various activities, including code optimization, server maintenance, and bug fixes that work to ensure that everything is working correctly and address any issues that arise promptly. The resolution of technical issues will improve website performance, reducing the likelihood of user frustration and rage clicks.

Next Steps

User frustration can negatively impact user satisfaction and business outcomes. Partnering with a digital agency can be a valuable investment to mitigate these issues. Through the use of tools, UX audits, user surveys, website speed optimization, and technical issue resolution, a digital agency can identify and address the root causes of user frustration, improving the overall user experience — leading to an increase in user engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty, which means improved conversion rates, higher customer retention, and ultimately, increased revenue for your business.

If your customers are hulking out, maybe it’s time to call us!


THE BRIEF

Connecting People and Planet

NEEF’s website is the gateway that connects its audiences to a vast array of learning experiences – but its existing platform was falling short. The organization needed more visually interesting resources and content, but it also knew its legacy Drupal site couldn’t keep up.

NEEF wanted to build a more powerful platform that could seamlessly:


THE APPROACH

Strategy is the foundation for effective digital experiences and the intuitive designs they require. Oomph first honed in on NEEF’s key goals, then implemented a plan to meet them: leveraging existing features that work, adding critical front- and back-end capabilities, and packaging it all in an engaging, user-centric new website.

Information architecture is at the core of user experience (UX). We focused on organizing NEEF’s information to make it more accessible and appealing to its core audiences: educators, conservationists, nonprofits, and partners. Our designers then transformed that strategy into strategic wireframes and dynamic designs, all of which we developed into a custom Drupal site.

The New NEEF: User-Centered Design

A Custom Site To Fuel Connection

NEEF needed a digital platform as unique as its organization, which is why Oomph ultimately delivered a suite of custom components designed to accommodate a variety of content needs.

Engaging and thoughtful design

NEEF’s new user experience is simple and streamlined. Visual cues aid in wayfinding (all Explore pages follow the same hero structure, for example), while imagery, micro-interactions (such as hover effects) and a bold color palette draw the user in. The UX also emphasizes accessibility and inclusivity; the high contrast between the font colors and the background make the website more readable for people with visual impairments, while people with different skin tones can now see themselves represented in NEEF’s new library of 100 custom icons.

Topic-based browsing

From water conservation to climate change, visitors often come to the NEEF site to learn about a specific subject. We overhauled NEEF’s existing site map to include topic-based browsing, with pages that roll resources, storytelling, and NEEF’s impact into one cohesive package. Additional links in the footer also make it easier for specific audiences to find information, such as nonprofits seeking grants or teachers looking for educational materials.

NPLD-hosted resources and event locator

Oomph refreshed existing components and added new ones to support one of NEEF’s flagship programs, National Public Lands Day (NPLD). People interested in hosting an event could use the new components to easily set one up, have their own dashboard to manage, and add their event to NEEF’s event locator. Once the event has passed, it’s automatically unlisted from the locator — but archived so hosts can duplicate and relaunch the event in future years.


THE RESULTS

Protecting the Planet, One User at a Time

Oomph helped NEEF launch its beautiful, engaging, and interactive site in May 2023. Within three months, NEEF’s team had built more than 100 new landing pages using the new component library, furthering its goal to build deeper connections with its audiences.

As NEEF’s digital presence continues to grow, so will its impact — all with the new custom site as its foundation.


THE BRIEF

Three Organizations Working Towards One Goal

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) have been commissioning The Harris Poll to conduct a bi-annual, nationally representative survey of adults in the U.S. to understand the public’s beliefs and attitudes about mental health and suicide.

This year, 2022, all three suicide prevention organizations teamed up with Oomph to take that data and distill it into a microsite for easy consumption among professionals and the general public who visit the site.

The data from the poll shows that progress has been made, but there is still more to do. We all must continue to learn more about suicide and mental health, particularly through increased research efforts, teaching everyone how to help prevent suicide and strengthen mental health, and advocate for improved access to care and robust crisis services.

Oomph made sure our approach to information design, branding, and messaging came across effectively and clearly. How could we use data to show people which actions they could personally take to affect positive change?


THE APPROACH

Design Sprint to E-Learning Microsite

Our initial idea of the audience was more public facing rather than a specific audience. We started our design approach to be stylized and playful.

Taking a step back, we regrouped and determined that the audience was more academic and administrative, therefore it was to lean towards a professional tone. A new idea clicked — we could present this microsite as an e-learning experience.

The new design direction features four key chapters: the Introduction, Learn About the Data, Know How to Help, and Advocate for Change. By implementing a tab-like navigation, it allows for users to hop to each section they may be most interested in, and reads as if it is an eBook.

Each section is color coded, and the navigation has a gradient that brings in all of the sections together in unity to showcase that message throughout. Each section follows a similar pattern: an introduction, data from the Harris Poll, an opportunity to find resources about the chapter, and shareable resources to help spread the message on the viewer’s own social channels. We hope that by the end of the microsite, the user is ready to inform themselves further by finding resources or sharing about the current perceptions of suicide.


THE RESULTS

Ongoing Public-education Impact

While Suicide Prevention Now is just one step of many, we hope that this project will help more people to become an advocate, or help spread awareness about suicide prevention. We hope it helps to save lives.

While working on this project, we became aware of a national suicide hotline number that is quick to dial and easy to remember, just like 911. Dial 988 to be connected to a friendly and helpful advocate if you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide.

Working with Oomph was a great experience all the way around. From exploration to delivery, Oomph provided excellent guidance, and the quality of the final site is fantastic! I look forward to working with the team again in the fu

JONATHAN DOZIER-EZELL Director of Digital Communications,
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

“Inclusive design” may sound like vague, trendy, technical jargon. But inclusive design isn’t a trend — it’s the world catching up on the kind of digital experiences that should have been part of the web from the beginning.

Inclusive design is a crucial part of nearly every digital platform, be it website, app, or intranet.

Inclusive design as a concept and practice is broad and deep — this article barely scratches the surface, but will help you understand the mindset required. We’ll cover what it is, why it matters for your business, and some ways to assess whether your digital platform could be more inclusive.

  1. What does “inclusive design” mean?
  2. What are the benefits of inclusive design?
  3. How are inclusive design and accessibility different?
  4. How can you make your platform more inclusive?

What does “inclusive design” mean?

The Inclusive Design Research Center defines inclusive design as “design that considers the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference.” Adding to that, Nielsen Norman calls it creating products that “understand and enable people of all backgrounds and abilities,” including economic situation, geography, race, and more.

Essentially, you’re aspiring to create interfaces that reflect how people from all walks of life interact with the world.

Inclusive design allows people to use a digital platform with ease, whatever their needs or point of view. Looking at characteristics like race, abilities, or geography helps us identify key areas where friction can occur between humans and the web.

In the end, it’s about designing for everyone.

What are the benefits of inclusive design?

Inclusive design isn’t just about recognizing and accommodating diversity; it also creates business advantages for organizations that are willing to invest in an inclusive approach. Here are a few key areas where inclusive design can give your digital platform an edge:

Grow your customer base. By understanding the best way to connect with a wider target audience, your team can create digital experiences that attract the most possible users.

Increase user engagement. Engagement goes up when platforms are welcoming and easy to use. Inclusive web design removes barriers and creates motivation for people to engage with your brand.

Spark innovation. Inclusive solutions have a history of spawning innovation that goes beyond the initial intended audience (think closed-captioning-turned-subtitles on Netflix). Sometimes, when you aim to solve a specific usability issue, you end up creating an entirely new market solution.

Motivate your team. The way a digital platform is designed affects all audiences, even employees. Designing with inclusivity in mind can also have a positive influence on your own team. Engaging employees in your efforts to build an inclusive digital platform can help create a sense of shared purpose — one many people are likely to rally around.

How are inclusive design and accessibility different?

You may have heard these terms used in similar contexts. While they overlap in meaning, they’re not the same thing.

By definition, accessibility focuses on accommodating people with varying physical and mental abilities. Accessible websites are measured by their conformance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which pertain to things like auditory, cognitive, physical, and visual disabilities. Accessibility tests typically cover code-level issues that can be fixed in the source code of a site.

Inclusive design is about accommodating the entire spectrum of human diversity. It involves a variety of viewpoints, including those of people with disabilities. Inclusive solutions can involve anything from back-end coding to the way headlines are worded.

In a nutshell: An accessible site is one of the outcomes of an inclusive design, whereas inclusive design is the overall approach to creating accessibility.

Consider these examples:

Sample non-inclusive form presents the statement I identify my ethnicity as, with three choices of Black or African, Caucasian or White, and Hispanic or Latino
Note: This is a terrible example of inclusion. People who identify as biracial, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Native American (just to name a few) need to choose from experiences that do not match their own. Simple user research can uncover a variety of choices that would make this form more inclusive.

While both issues are addressed by inclusive design, the first issue relates to ability and can be fixed within the code, while the second relates to diversity and will take additional measures to address.

How Can You Make Your Platform More Inclusive?

The ethnicity example raises some interesting questions, such as:

Mainly, this raises a bigger question: how do you maintain an inclusive site when there are so many important and broad variables (ability, language, culture, gender, age, etc.) — especially when that list of variables continues to grow and change?

The best way to get started is to arm yourself with knowledge and create a plan.

1. Identify the problems to solve.

Start by identifying opportunities for improvement in your current user experience (UX) by collecting quantitative and qualitative research with tools like UX audits, user interviews, user recordings, and heatmaps. Keep an eye out for areas where users seem confused, backpedal, or struggle to complete tasks. The more information you gather, the better!

2. Determine the best solutions.

Your user research will likely uncover many possible paths to change. This may include adding more categories to a list, creating an “Other” field users can type any answer into, or adding options to gather additional information.

Note: It’s common for areas that need improvement to hit on sensitive topics, things you may not fully figure out through data and research. Remember that the goal is understanding. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for their thoughts and opinions.

3. Measure the results.

Some measures of success are easy to determine from user data in Google Analytics or changes in heatmaps and user recordings. Further data can come from users via surveys asking how your audience feels about the changes. The key is to stay continuously informed and aware of what your users are experiencing.

Note: One helpful tool for checking whether your design is, in fact, inclusive is Cards for Humanity. It offers a fun way to make sure you’re not missing anyone or anything in the spectrum of inclusivity.

Remember that the process of creating an inclusive design doesn’t end with implementation. Inclusive design is a work in progress. As a field, inclusive design is always evolving and requires continuous research to develop best practices.


We can’t predict what kind of mismatched interactions users will face in the years to come. But, with an open mind and a desire to learn and grow, we can continually adapt to meet them.

We’ve only scratched the surface of inclusive design! If you have any questions about inclusive design, we’d love to chat. Contact us anytime.