The world of digital accessibility can be daunting. There are many regulations and ways in which a website can be accessible or inaccessible. Many of us don’t understand what a good or bad experience looks like, and we think we can’t possibly understand people who rely solely on assistive technology to use the web. 

It doesn’t have to be daunting, though. And with anything, the key is to start small. To those who create websites or own/manage one, the first step to understanding accessibility is empathy. If more people used assistive technology, more people would understand the difference between a terrible experience and a great one. Don’t be scared of learning about accessibility tools, because you might already be more familiar with them than you realize.

Have you ever broken your dominant hand and been forced to use a keyboard instead of a mouse or trackpad? Have you tried to complete a payment form really quickly to snag concert tickets, and figured out that using the keyboard can be much faster? 

Have you been in loud surroundings and tried to watch a video? How great are captions? Have you realized that captions are assistive technology? There are alternate modes of consuming content and using a digital product that are beneficial to a much wider audience than the audience it was created for. 

With some instruction, we hope more people feel comfortable using a keyboard to navigate a website. We also hope that more of you are brave enough to try a screen reader as well, or at least watch our video to experience what that experience can be like. 

Video Tutorial

Our video is 37 minutes and we provide a break-down of the different minute-marks below if you’d like to jump to a certain area. (All cookies must be accepted for the video to play. You may also view on YouTube directly.)

Table of Contents

  1. 00:00 — Using a Keyboard
    1. 02:00 — The tab key
    2. 02:20 — A “Skip to Content” link and why that is so useful
    3. 03:40 — “Focus ring” style
    4. 04:20 — An example of an inaccessible drop-down menu
    5. 05:40 — An example of an inaccessible link (no focus ring)
    6. 07:40 — Common article card patterns and how they work with a keyboard
  2. 10:45 — The Screen Reader Experience
    1. 11:10 — Invoking VoiceOver with Command F5
    2. 12:35 — Tabbing through interactive elements
    3. 12:54 — Skip to Content link
    4. 13:07 — Company logo
    5. 13:55 — Projects link
    6. 14:31 — Topics
    7. 15:55 — About Us link, inaccessible to keyboard users
    8. 16:16 — Reading of non-interactive elements with Control Option arrows
    9. 16:50 — Reading content, Headings, links
    10. 18:50 — Visually hidden heading but screen reader accessible
    11. 19:55 — Alt text image examples
    12. 20:06 — Kittens, no alt tag present
    13. 21:06 — Doggos, empty alt tag
    14. 23:00 — Squirrels, descriptive alt text
    15. 23:48 — Article content examples
    16. 23:53 — Article 1 example, too many links
    17. 25:37 — Article 2 example, too much content
    18. 26:32 — Article 3 example, hidden content
    19. 27:44 — Article 4 example, alternate pattern
    20. 30:02 — Voiceover’s Rotor Feature, control option U
    21. 30:15 — Headings menu
    22. 30:55 — Empty heading element
    23. 31:50 — Other Rotor menus
    24. 32:18 — Non-visited Links menu
    25. 33:01 — All Links menu
    26. 33:40 — “Click here” and “Read more” link text
    27. 35:09 — Landmarks menu
    28. 35:25 — Form Controls menu
  3. 36:06 VoiceOver off and wrap up

For those who want to learn a little more, below we collect a few keyboard command cheatsheets for navigating a webpage or using VoiceOver on a Mac. Links to additional resources for setting up and getting started with VoiceOver are also included.

More Resources

Keyboard User Cheatsheet

VoiceOver Cheatsheet

These key commands reflect the default set-up for Mac OSX — I have not made any modifications. Of course, power users will modify these commands to fit their needs. 

The default VoiceOver key command combination is ^Control ⌥Option. This combination is used to ensure key combinations do not conflict with other quick key commands through the OS and Apps.

Many key commands for navigating a webpage are the same as a Keyboard user. Return, Spacebar, and Arrow keys all work the same.

Additional Resources to Start Using VoiceOver

Conclusion

With some practice, we hope you might find that using a keyboard to navigate can be your superpower. When filling out forms, for example, I use the keyboard almost exclusively to quickly move from one field to another and to find my state in a long drop-down list. Unless, of course, I run into another poorly coded form that is not accessible. Lucky for me, I can go back to using a mouse. But some do not have that option, and for them, our empathy should turn into empowerment and we shall demand better from our design and development practices.

For questions or to discuss how to make your next project more accessible, please contact us anytime.


More in Our Accessibility Series

Notable articles from the Accessibility category:

You may call your site audience your “users,” but ultimately, they’re just people. Imperfect people with imperfect lives — sometimes to an extreme degree.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a massive rise in domestic violence. This type of violence can take many forms, including technical abuse, where technology is used to control, harass, or intimidate someone. It can look different in various situations, from an abuser constantly sending phone or text messages to controlling the sites or devices their partner can access. Even sharing a store rewards phone number can have unintended consequences. The range of opportunities for abuse is endless.

In the book Design for Safety,” author Eva PenzeyMoog cites an NPR survey that found “85 percent of shelters they surveyed were helping survivors whose abusers were monitoring their activity and location through technology.” This is an alarming statistic. Domestic violence prevention isn’t something that is taught in schools — how would people know how to protect themselves before it’s too late?

As professionals creating digital products, it’s our responsibility to create “for good.” How can we be advocates for safety in design? According to Design for Safety, as an advocate, you must “support vulnerable users to reclaim power and control.” A website could have an easy-to-use interface but still provide pathways for users to experience abuse from domestic perpetrators. Ultimately, this leaves victims vulnerable while giving them a false sense that they have more control than they genuinely do.

During the website creation process, you should aim to design for safety. A key step is to identify “ways your product can be abused, then ways to prevent that abuse.” For example, to help address any abuse or harassment captured while on a call, Google Meet has the function to “report abuse.” You can attach a video clip when you report, and they will investigate and then take action on their end. By proactively planning around safety, your organization can deepen trust with users while doing your part to prevent domestic violence.

Case Study

This past year, Oomph worked with a nonprofit website, which helps the general public understand their legal issues, to perform a user experience discovery and redesign. The site provides individuals with low incomes and limited English with local laws written in plain English. Users visit the site for legal information on various topics, including evictions, government benefits, domestic violence restraining orders and family law. A subsection of the audience uses the website to look for resources dealing with domestic violence.

When designing for this audience, we needed a way to support users who may need to exit a page quickly if they are interrupted by a potential abuser while scrolling through sensitive information, such as divorce or domestic violence resources. The site had previously utilized an “Escape” button on pages that dealt with those sorts of topics. When approaching the redesign, we wanted to ensure this button would always appear but wouldn’t interfere with other audiences, such as someone looking for information about traffic tickets. It had to walk a fine line between in-your-face and too subtle to be helpful to ensure users could see and interact with it.

When dealing with “trauma-informed” design, designers must “prioritize comfort over technological trends” (Design for Safety). Our challenge was amplified by a lack of standards for a quick exit button’s function, especially for a site with multiple audiences. Since these buttons are a relatively new best practice and little research on them exists, we were careful in our strategic approach. A quick exit button is not ingrained in a user’s mental model, making its intended action new to most people. Those who feel they might need it have to recognize its function as soon as possible.

Approach to the Quick Exit Button

While designing the quick exit button, we considered its placement, colors, and typographic style to ensure that:

Our first wireframe called the button “Quick Exit.” When we tested the prototype, all five participants did not understand what the exit button meant. This emphasized how important the language on the button is. For those who have dealt with domestic violence, even the word “escape” could be harmful to hear. Additionally, since audiences view the website in different languages, we wanted to ensure that the button’s translation would not adversely affect the layout.

The top of the first mobile wireframe depicts our first attempt at the quick exit button.

On our next iteration, we tried using the term “Exit” with the icon globally known for “external link.” But this still wasn’t clear enough for our users: Where would the exit bring you? To a page called “Exit”?

The second version of the quick exit button.

We needed to explain exactly what the button did, so we opted to use the universal external link icon with “Exit Site” as a label to best communicate what the button would do. Although it does not describe where you will end up, it clearly explains that you will leave the website.

The third version of the button language based on user testing.

To further help users understand what the button was for, we then created a pop-up at the start of the user’s journey that educates people on the button’s purpose:

An example of a pop-up message upon entry to the site.

Overall, there was a delicate balance we had to achieve in managing all audiences that typically view the site. We wanted to ensure that we were educating all users but not preventing users from getting help for other topics, such as information about the right to an education or disability. The pop-up, however, had additional considerations we needed to weigh as well: What if their abuser sees it upon landing? What if the user who needs it ignores it?

An alternate approach focused more on domestic violence victims is the California Victims Resource Center’s (CVRC) website, 1800victims.org. When landing on the site, visitors are first educated with a pop-up, which includes reading the website’s Terms of Use and agreeing to the terms before they can enter.

Entryway pop-up on 1800victims.org.

Additionally, when the user clicks the escape button (or uses the keyboard short-cut “Delete”), they are brought to a new tab that displays ABC News. The 1800victims site is changed to Netflix — with all traces of the CVRC gone. According to Columbia Health, this follows best practice because “a blank history can raise suspicion from your abuser.” This would be the safest approach for users.

Designing for Safety

We must consider how users dealing with domestic violence may feel when they are visiting a site with sensitive content. By including information to educate users upon landing, we can help more people understand how to use a quick exit button if they find themselves in a situation where they need to swiftly leave a website. As an advocate for user safety and domestic violence prevention, you can proactively create a safety net for others by starting to review your work through the lens of how it may be abused prior to releasing it into the world.

This article is just one look at how organizations can design for safety using a quick exit button. By talking about these issues and advocating to protect users in your own design process, we can all take a step toward helping prevent domestic violence. Even if one person is helped or informed by Oomph’s quick exit button design on the website, it will be a success in our eyes.

Need help incorporating safety-focused design into your website or mobile apps? Let’s chat about your needs.

In good times and bad, healthcare is deeply ingrained in our lives. From the beginning to the end, our providers monitor our growth, treat our illnesses and injuries, and keep us as healthy as possible.

But healthcare organizations can no longer take that provider-patient dynamic for granted. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more patients than ever distrust the healthcare system. The healthcare industry is also working to recover from the $206.2 billion hit it took in 2020, driven largely by forced delays in preventative care and elective surgeries.

As the healthcare sector finds its footing post-COVID, providers have a tremendous opportunity to build stronger patient relationships than ever before. In 2022, 83% of healthcare consumers said they wanted to make their health and wellness a priority again, while another 37% said they wanted to be more engaged with their healthcare. So where should providers start? With a laser focus on user experience (UX).

As telehealth and retail disrupters like CVS and Amazon gain momentum, it’s easier than ever for patients to get a flu shot or a test for strep throat – a convenience that patients love. These healthcare disruptors also have a leg up in the virtual world, since they’re powered by the modern digital platforms that patients have come to expect.

To find a way forward, traditional healthcare organizations need to focus on creating a strong UX and digital presence that can both compete with disruptors and satisfy the regulatory requirements unique to healthcare (we’re looking at you, HIPAA).

Why Your Patients Expect Better UX

Once upon a time, patients believed that doctors knew best. They went to the healthcare provider down the street and trusted that the provider had the expertise to resolve their health woes.

In 2023, patients are informed consumers. 60% of patients research online before choosing a provider, many of whom consult the healthcare organization’s website. If this isn’t reason enough to revamp your digital footprint, 40% of patients also say they prefer to book appointments online.

Together, these statistics illustrate a growing demand among patients for more robust, patient-friendly digital experiences. The issue is that this is exactly what healthcare organizations have struggled to do for years. At Oomph, some of the most common challenges we see among healthcare brands include:

Yet there are exciting examples of innovation across the industry, too. Forward-thinkers like the Cleveland Clinic are proof that healthcare UX can and should be innovative — largely because better digital capabilities enhance the patient experience, fueling stronger relationships that benefit providers and the patients they serve.

Our healthcare team at Oomph works with providers of all sizes to uncover digital solutions that make sense for their size and structure, budget, and patient needs. Here, Oomph UI Designer Alyssa Varsanyi shares best practices they’ve developed in partnership with our healthcare clients.

Our 4 Healthcare UX Best Practices

1. Be Accessible and Inclusive

Accessibility is non-negotiable for any digital experience. It’s even more important for provider sites, which are likely serving people with a wide range of conditions — all of whom need and deserve complete and immediate access to healthcare.

To create a healthcare UX accessible to all, healthcare organizations should:

2. Create a Safe Space

In healthcare, protecting patient data is table stakes. To create a safe space, you have to think not just about patient confidentiality but also about building trust. A thoughtful digital environment with inclusive language can go a long way to helping patients feel seen, heard, and cared for.

Websites like Cedars-Sinai are a great example of how websites can be built around trust. Their platform exemplifies how language can be the foundation for a credible site, especially when paired with supportive modules like sources and testimonials.

To take the same approach to your site:

3. Make Navigation Easy

Many patients come to healthcare systems with an immediate need — a parent needs to find an open appointment NOW for their child’s pre-season sports physical, or a cooking enthusiast needs to locate an urgent care on a Sunday to patch up the new chopping-related cut on their hand.

In either scenario — and countless others that people face daily — it’s critical that patients can easily find the right information at the right time and in the right way.

To make this a reality, healthcare organizations should strive to:

As technical as these tactics are, don’t forget to show empathy, too. It is possible to show compassion online, like how Stanford Health poses the question, “What can we help you find?” Emotional asks like this can illustrate an organization’s genuine desire to be helpful to their patients.

4. Build Responsive Experiences

Healthcare needs don’t wait until patients are sitting in front of their computers. Think about an adult child peeking over their senior parent’s shoulder while they search for a specialist, or a new parent scrolling through their phone at midnight while cradling their sick baby.

Now imagine those people frantically pinching at the screen so they can read the entire text block or find the right button. Stressful, right?

Patients should be able to seamlessly access healthcare anytime anywhere, which means designs must be responsive. Keep in mind:

What does that look like in practice? Consider the Summit Health website. Its simple navigation makes it easy for patients to find what they’re looking for, while the responsive design enables patients to engage on the go.

Healthcare UX Is a Journey, Not a Destination

At Oomph, we’ve seen firsthand how these healthcare UX best practices transformed the patient experience of our many healthcare clients. Even still, it’s important to note that UX isn’t one-size-fits-all. A national network of hospitals may need a very different digital patient experience than an owner-operated group of general practice clinics.

So how do you start building a UX that works for you and your patients? Research and testing.

UX audits, user research, and usability testing are all keys to the lock that is an effective UX strategy. By identifying what’s working and what’s not, what your patients want and what they don’t, you can put your organization on an evidence-based path to world-class UX.

Interested in exploring ways to improve UX for your own patients? We’re here to help.

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!

With low-code and no-code development tools, anyone can be a developer. Right?

Oprah You're a Developer

That depends. While working in low-code/no-code tools may feel like you’ve unlocked the power of the digital universe, there are still many projects that require traditional full-code solutions.

According to Zapier’s recent no-code report, over 50% of no-code users started in the past year, many of whom are self-taught. Industry analysts also expect that by 2025, over 70% of the applications organizations develop will rely on no-code/low-code tools. That’s not surprising, given that these tools lower the barrier to entry – and the cost – of developing new sites and apps.

With a slew of effective low-code/no-code solutions on the market today, the question isn’t whether you should use no-code/low-code tools to evolve your digital footprint. It’s how and when you should use them so that the tools work for your organization, not against it.

What Is Low-Code/No-Code?

There are three ways to build websites or apps: full-code, low-code, and no-code. Developers hold the keys to the proverbial full-code city, but low-code and no-code open the door to people without a coding background.

While it’s tempting to brush off low-code and no-code as “same same but different,” the differences do matter. Understanding what they are and how they work will help you choose the best route for whatever digital property you need to build.

Low-code development

Low-code development uses APIs, drag-and-drop tools, code and process templates, and more to help build websites, apps, and workflows. These tools typically require some coding skills, but nothing like what you’d need to create a full-code solution. That makes it much quicker and easier to create a product using low-code development than writing all of the code from scratch.

No-code development

No-code development uses visual builders and other simple tools that allow people without any coding skills to build digital experiences. Through drag-and-drop, visual flows, and templated plug-ins, you can build something beautiful without having to touch the code at all. They’re one step more accessible than low-code solutions, making them compelling options for organizations that need fast and cost-effective development.

Pros and Cons of Low-Code/No-Code Development

Low-code/no-code tools take a lot of the time, cost, and aggravation out of traditional development – but they’re not a cure-all for your coding challenges. Before you dive in, keep their strengths and limitations in mind.

Pros of low-code/no-code

Cons of low-code/no-code

When Should You Use Low-Code/No-Code Tools?

For simple projects where hitting budgets and timelines is more important than highly customized design, low-code/no-code tools can be a great solve. They’re especially good for:

What Should You Look For in a Low-Code/No-Code Tool?

Before you choose a solution, consider whether anyone on your team has basic coding skills. If yes, low-code tools may be up your alley. If not, consider narrowing your focus to the many no-code tools around.

Whichever route you go, look for these features in both low-code and no-code tools:

When Should You Bring in an Agency To Build a Full-Code Solution?

Sometimes, only a custom or full-code solution will do. The more unique you want your digital property to be, the more likely it is that you’ll need to call in an expert. We also suggest you look for support if:

Get Help Leveraging the Right Tools for the Right Projects

You wouldn’t build a house on shaky ground, would you? Then why build an experience on a platform that might not actually be able to support it?

Though no-code/low-code tools certainly democratize the web development market, they aren’t a silver bullet. If you know that whatever you’re building is simple enough that a no-code/low-code tool and your existing team can support it, we say go for it.

But if you’re even a little uncertain, consider getting an outside opinion on how to lay a strong foundation for your next development project.

Want help deciding whether no-code, low-code, or full-code is best for you? We’d love to talk with you about your needs.

Was this blog written by ChatGPT? How would you really know? And what impact would it have on Oomph’s site if it were?

Yes, we know there are some great AI-detecting tools out there. But for the typical reader, picking an AI article out of a crowd can be challenging. And with AI tools like ChatGPT delivering better-quality results than ever, many companies are struggling to decide whether to hand their content and SEO reins over to the machines.

While AI can add value to your content, companies should proceed with caution to avoid some potentially big pitfalls. Here’s why.

Quality Content Is Critical to SEO

All the way back in 1996, Bill Gates said “Content is King.” This phrase became ubiquitous in the early years of SEO. At that time, you could rank well simply by writing about a search topic, then optimizing your writing with the right keywords.

Since then, search algorithms have evolved, and the Google search engine results page (SERP) is more crowded than ever (not to mention the new continuous scroll). While ranking isn’t as easy as it used to be, content – whether it’s a video, an image, a product, a blog, or a news story – still matters. When content ranks well, it’s an ad-spend-free magnet for readers that eventually become customers and subscribers. What else on your website can do that?

That makes your content special. It also puts a premium on producing a high volume of relevant content quickly. For years, brands have done this the old-fashioned way: with copywriters and designers researching, writing, revising, creating images, and publishing ad infinitum.

Until AI.

AI-Powered Content Generation Changes How We Make Content

There’s no point in denying it: AI will impact SEO. But it’s still up for debate just how deep that impact will be.

The rise of AI-powered language processing tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E makes quick content generation a reality. They can easily produce high-quality content that will likely only get better with time. ChatGPT can produce an article in minutes, not hours, and even suggest keywords for you.

For all those reasons, marketers have embraced these new tools – ChatGPT shattered records when it reached 100 million daily active users in a mere two months. As the saying goes, though, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should – especially if using it means compromising on quality or losing what makes us, well, us.

After all, AI is a tool, not a replacement human. If you’re considering integrating AI into your martech stack, here’s what to keep in mind.

4 Things to Know Before Using AI for Content

1. Google may ding you.

In August 2022, Google released an algorithm update called the “helpful content update.” You can read more on Google’s blog, but what’s important is this: Google prioritizes content by people, for people.


In other words, using AI solely to churn out articles that feed the search engine beast won’t work. You should continue to create content that puts your audience first, is genuinely helpful, and is 100% unique to your brand.


But Google’s stance does beg the question: Will they really know if you used AI to generate your content? Well, they do have a very special set of skills…

Animated gif of Liam Neesen mouthing the words “I will find you” from the movie Taken (2008)

While AI content can be good quality and easy to read, tools like Crossplag’s AI Content Detector and OpenAI’s GPT-2 Output Detector can detect whether something is written by a human or by an AI bot. That comes down, in part, to the fact that AI lacks EEAT – experience, expertise, authority, and trust – which is not just a major factor in SEO, but a major reason why people consume content in the first place.

2. AI isn’t always accurate.

AI culls information from across the web, and it’s remarkably good at it. But aggregating massive amounts of information isn’t the same as fact-checking. AI tools often get it wrong – even with easily verifiable, fact-based questions.

Take the question: What is the largest country in Central America that isn’t Mexico?

AI’s answer:

The largest country in Central America that isn’t Mexico is Guatemala. Guatemala has an area of about 108,890 square kilometers, making it the largest country in Central America by land area. It is bordered by Mexico to the north, Belize to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Source for AI’s answer

Google’s answer:

Nicaragua is the largest country in the subregion, with a total area of over 130 thousand square kilometers, followed by Honduras, with more than 112 thousand square kilometers.

(Hint: Google is right)

This is a problem for your business and for your SEO. Accuracy is an important part of EEAT. It’s especially critical for “your money or your life” (YMYL) content, like financial or medical advice. In these cases, the content you publish can and does impact real people’s lives and livelihoods.

Spotty accuracy has even prompted some sites, like StackOverflow, to ban AI-generated content.

3. You don’t have the rights to your AI-generated content.

AI-generated content isn’t actually copyrightable. Yes, you read that right.

As it stands, the courts have interpreted the Copyright Act to mean that only human-authored works can be copyrighted. Something is only legally defensible when it involves at least a minimal amount of creativity.

We’re all familiar with this concept when it comes to books, TV shows, movies, and paintings, but it matters for your website, too. You want your content and your ideas to be yours. If you use AI-generated content, be aware that it isn’t subject to standard intellectual property rules and may not be protected.

4. AI-generated content can’t capture your voice.

Even if you fly under Google’s radar with your AI content, it still won’t really feel like you. You are the only you. We know that sounds like it belongs on an inspirational poster, but it’s true. Your voice is what readers will connect with, believe in, and ultimately trust.

Sure, AI may succeed at stringing together facts and keywords to create content that ranks. And that content may even drive people to your site. But it lacks the emotional intelligence to infuse your content with real-life examples and anecdotes that make readers more likely to read, share, and engage with your content and your brand.

Your voice is also what sets you apart from other brands in your industry. Without that, why would a customer choose you?

AI and SEO Is a Journey, Not a Destination

AI is not the end of human-driven SEO. In reality, AI has only just arrived. But the real opportunity lies in finding out how AI can enhance, not replace, our work to create winning SEO content.

Think about content translation. Hand translation is the most premium translation option out there. It’s also costly. While machine translation on its own can be a bit of a mess, many translation companies actually start with an automated solution, then bring in the humans to polish that first translation into a final product. If you ask us, AI and SEO will work in much the same way.

Even in a post-AI world, SEO all comes down to this guidance from Google:

“If it is useful, helpful, original, and satisfies aspects of E-E-A-T, it might do well in Search. If it doesn’t, it might not.”

If and when you do decide to leverage AI, keep these tips in mind:

At Oomph, we believe quality branded content is just one component of a digital experience that engages and inspires your audience.

Need help integrating SEO content into your company’s website? Let’s talk.

Not a lot of people get excited about creating an annual report. Yay! Let’s dive into last year’s operational metrics! If you and your colleagues fall into that camp, this statement should help stoke a little enthusiasm:


A compelling annual report can make the difference in reaching your goals for the coming year — and maybe even exceeding them.


Your annual report (also known as an “impact report” at many nonprofits) can be pivotal in earning the trust and support of key stakeholders. Read on to learn how a strong story, good design, and the right format can transform your company data into an invaluable outreach tool.

Why the Quality of Your Annual Report Matters

A good annual report communicates more than just financial performance and forecasts. It provides stakeholders with a deeper understanding of what you do, why you do it, and how well you do it — and gives them a reason to trust, invest in, and/or work with your brand.

This is crucial for nonprofits that rely heavily on fundraising or volunteers, or for-profit companies that need to attract and retain investors and employees. In the health and wellness sector, it’s a key opportunity for organizations to show how they’ve followed through on their commitments to contribute to the health and wellness of communities.

With an engaging design and thoughtful content, an annual report can be a powerful tool for fundraising, marketing, and recruiting. Done well, it’s also a good way to strengthen your brand reputation.

By contrast, a poorly done annual report can downplay your strengths and successes. It can also diminish your brand image, particularly if your website and other channels are more thoughtfully designed. In that case, the annual report may feel like an afterthought to readers who rely on its information.

How Your Annual Report Can Engage Key Audiences

While current and potential donors or investors tend to be the primary audiences for annual reports, there are a number of other stakeholders to take into account. Employees, customers, alumni, partners, and community leaders are all part of the ecosystem that benefits from, and drives value for, your organization.

Creating a multi-faceted report with content that speaks to different audiences can help you earn the trust and support of a range of key stakeholders. Here’s how.

Strengthen your investor or donor base

With an easy-to-digest record of accomplishments and impact, your annual report can help convince current and potential donors, sponsors, or investors that your organization is a solid investment. It’s also a great way to recognize those who helped you achieve your goals over the year or to reconnect with disengaged supporters.

Motivate your employees or volunteers

An engaging report can congratulate your team on their wins and highlight the innovation, commitment, and cooperation that underpin your success. By showing people how their work affects everything from stock value to community impact, you’ll reinforce why the work they do every day makes a difference and how they fit into the bigger picture.

Capture more customers or clients

Whether they’re buying your products or receiving the benefits of your services, most people want to do business with brands that genuinely care about them. Your annual report can include stories and visuals that showcase your mission and core values, as well as highlighting initiatives that put customers or clients first.

Enhance vendor or partner relationships

External partners want to know what they can expect from you and what’s expected of them — and just about everyone wants to feel appreciated. Your annual report can leverage data to show your financial strength and longevity while highlighting the level of quality and commitment you expect from vendors and partners. It can also spotlight those who went above and beyond, reinforcing those relationships.

6 Best Practices for an Engaging Annual Report

It’s not easy to distill an entire year’s worth of data into a single report that’s digestible, engaging, and convincing. The best annual reports tend to combine clear and purposeful storytelling with a little creativity.

Choose a unifying theme

One of the best ways to craft a cohesive narrative for your annual report is to choose an overarching theme and create relevant content around it. Centralizing your accomplishments around a main message will keep the report focused and better support your core objectives.

Some organizations anchor their reports by opening with their mission statements. Others use marketing-driven catchphrases like “Poised for the 21st Century.” We love the 2021 annual report from AIDS Foundation Chicago — it’s built around the theme “A Better Normal,” opens with a leaders’ letter, and includes a list of strategic priorities linked to different report sections.

Use visual elements to express impact

It’s easy for a message to get lost if it’s not presented in the right way. Design matters! Use things like photos, infographics, and other visual elements to bring your goals and successes to life. This will also help keep readers engaged with your content. In a nutshell: aim for more visuals and fewer words.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island 2021 Annual Report does a great job of using impactful imagery and colorful visuals to illustrate their mission and key accomplishments.

Make it interactive

At the end of the day, you want people to read what you’ve put together. One of the best ways to keep readers engaged is to create an immersive experience with interactive features. Let your audience click through slides, watch videos, or expand graphics for more information.

TOMS’s 2022 Impact Report combines videos and dynamic visuals with lots of clickable content to cover a ton of info without making readers wade through long blocks of text.

Create a web page, not a PDF

While PDFs are easy to share online or in print, they can be clunky to interact with, they’re hard to read on mobile, and they’re notoriously inaccessible.

Here are some important advantages to building a web page instead:

Plus, since they’re native to web browsers, web pages make it easier for readers to navigate to additional resources or take action. And, well, PDFs just aren’t as much fun to scroll through as the 2020 Mailchimp Annual Report.

Employ data visualization

Numbers alone are easy to skim right over. Visual representations of data, however, get readers to think about the content in a more constructive way, like identifying trends or significant changes. Visualizations also help transform complex data into easy-to-understand information that’s more enjoyable to read.

Start Network’s 2019 Annual Report shows how to use color, graphics, and animation to bring life to your data.

Connect the data to real people

This is especially important for nonprofits and for-profit social enterprises, where it’s crucial to convey the impact of your work. You can humanize facts and data — and make an emotional connection with readers — by including stories and images showing how your product or service impacted the lives of real people.

For a wonderful example of how to incorporate real stories, check out Fairtrade Foundation’s 2019 Annual Report.

Why It’s All Worth It

Think about all the marketing and outreach methods your team uses to attract support for your organization. Of all those methods, the annual report provides a unique chance to showcase the full breadth of your value and impact. To unabashedly brag about yourselves, if you will.

For health and wellness organizations in particular, an annual report is a great opportunity to share community impact over the past year and highlight important investments or initiatives that impact the health and lives of the individuals they serve.

Is it a significant investment? It can be. But if you invest in making your annual report as engaging and compelling as possible, it can pay for itself by helping to fulfill your fundraising or recruitment goals — and spotlighting the crucial role your organization plays in the world at large.

Need help crafting your next annual report? Reach out to us today.

There’s a phrase often used to gauge healthcare quality: the right care, at the right time, in the right place. When those elements are out of sync, the patient experience can take a turn for the worse. Think about missed appointments, misunderstood pre-op instructions, mismanagement of medication… all issues that require clear and timely communication to ensure positive outcomes.

Many healthcare organizations are tapping into patient engagement tools that use artificial intelligence (AI) to drive better healthcare experiences. In this article, we’ll cover a number of use cases for AI within healthcare, showing how it can benefit providers, their patients, and their staff in an increasingly digital world.

Healthcare Consumers are Going Digital

Use of AI in the clinical space has been growing for years, from Google’s AI aiding diagnostic screenings to IBM’s Watson AI informing clinical decision making. But there are many other touchpoints along a patient’s continuum of care that can impact patient outcomes.

The industry is seeing a shift towards more personalized and data-driven patient engagement, with recent studies showing that patients are ready to integrate AI and other digital tools into their healthcare experiences.

For instance, healthcare consumers are increasingly comfortable with doctors using AI to make better decisions about their care. They also want personalized engagement to motivate them on their health journey, with 65% of patients agreeing that communication from providers makes them want to do more to improve their health.

At the same time, 80% of consumers prefer to use digital channels (online messaging, virtual appointments, text, etc…) to communicate with healthcare providers at least some of the time. This points to significant opportunities for digital tools to help providers and patients manage the healthcare experience.

Filling in Gaps: AI Use Cases for Healthcare

Healthcare will always need skilled, highly trained experts to deliver high quality care. But, AI can fill in some gaps by addressing staffing shortages, easing workflows, and improving communication. Many healthcare executives also believe AI can provide a full return on investment in less than three years.

Here are some ways AI can support healthcare consumers and providers to improve patients’ outcomes and experiences.

Streamline basic communications

Using AI as the first line to a patient for basic information enables convenient, personalized service without tying up staff resources. With tools like text-based messaging, chatbots, and automated tasks, providers can communicate with people on the devices, and at the times, that they prefer.

Examples include:

Remove barriers to access

AI algorithms are being used in some settings to conduct initial interviews that help patients determine whether they need to see a live, medical professional — and then send them to the right provider.

AI can offer a bridge for patients who, for a host of reasons, are stuck in taking the first step. For instance, having the first touchpoint as a chatbot helps overcome a barrier for patients seeking care within often-stigmatized specialities, such as behavioral health. It can also minimize time wasted at the point of care communicating things like address changes and insurance providers.

Reduce no-show rates

In the U.S., patient no-show rates range from 5.5 to 50%, depending on the location and type of practice. Missed appointments not only result in lost revenue and operational inefficiencies for health systems, they can also delay preventive care, increase readmissions, and harm long-term outcomes for patients.

AI-driven communications help ensure that patients receive critical reminders at optimal times, mitigating these risks. For instance:

Close information gaps

Imagine a patient at home, alone, not feeling well, and confused about how to take their medication or how to handle post-operative care. Not having that critical information can lead to poor outcomes, including readmission.

Delivering information at the right time, in the right place, is key. But multiple issues can arise, such as:

By providing consistent, accurate, and timely information, AI-enabled tools can provide critical support for patients and care teams.

Minimize staff burnout

Burnout and low morale have contributed to severe staffing shortages in the US healthcare system. The result is an increase in negative patient outcomes, in addition to massive hikes in labor costs for hospitals and health systems.

AI can help lighten the burden on healthcare employees through automated touchpoints in the patient journey, such as self-scheduling platforms or FAQ-answering chatbots. AI can even perform triage informed by machine learning, helping streamline the intake process and getting patients the right care as quickly as possible.

This frees up staff to focus on more meaningful downstream conversations between patients and care teams. It can also reduce phone center wait times for those patients (often seniors) who still rely on phone calls with live staff members.

Maximize staff resources

When 80% of healthcare consumers are willing to switch providers for convenience factors alone, it’s crucial to communicate with patients through their preferred channels. Some people respond to asynchronous requests (such as scheduling confirmations) late at night, while others must speak to a live staff member during the day.

Using multimodal communication channels (phone, text, email, web) offers two major benefits for healthcare providers. For one, you can better engage patients who prefer asynchronous communication. You can also identify the ratio of patients who prefer live calls and staff accordingly when it’s needed most.

Leverage customer feedback

AI provides fast, seamless avenues to gather and track patient satisfaction data and create a reliable, continual customer feedback loop. Tools like chatbots and text messaging expand the number of ways patients can communicate with healthcare providers, making it easier to leave feedback and driving not only a better digital customer experience but potentially leading to better satisfaction scores that may impact payment or quality scores.

AI offers another benefit, too: the ability to identify and respond more quickly to negative feedback. The more swiftly a problem is resolved, the better the consumer experience.

A Few Tips for Getting Started

First, find a trusted technology partner who has experience with healthcare IT stacks and understands how AI fits into the landscape. The healthcare industry is distinctly different from other verticals that might use tools like chatbots and automated tasks. You need a partner who’s familiar with the nuances of the healthcare consumer experience and regulatory compliance requirements.

Next, start small. It’s best to choose your first AI applications in a strategic, coordinated manner. One approach is to identify the biggest bottlenecks for care teams and/or patients, then assess which areas present the lowest risk to the customer experience and the greatest chance of operational success.

Finally, track the progress of your first implementation. Evaluate, iterate, evaluate again, and then expand into other areas when you’re comfortable with the results.

Focal points for iteration:

Above all, remember that successful use of AI isn’t just about how well you implement the technology. It’s about the impact those digital tools have on improving patient outcomes and increasing patient satisfaction with their healthcare experience.

Interested in exploring the specific ways AI can benefit your care team and patients? We’re here to help! Contact us today.

Digital customer experience (DCX) is fast becoming a key factor in how consumers choose whom to do business with. Every digital interaction contributes to an overall feeling about your brand — which means digital touchpoints like apps and chatbots can play a big part in what customers think of your company.

What story do you want those interactions to tell? What kind of experiences do you want people to share with others?

This article covers five ways to assess and improve your digital customer experience so you can attract, delight, and retain your target customers.

But First – What IS Digital Customer Experience?

Customer experience, or CX, is the perception that customers form based on all of their interactions, in-person or online, with your brand. If CX is about carefully and consistently meeting your customers’ needs, Digital Customer Experience is the online expression of those efforts.

Digital customer experience is the part of your CX journey that involves digital interactions via your website, mobile app, social media accounts, digital kiosks, etc. Wherever your customers are engaging with your people, products, or services through the internet, it’s a digital experience.

DCX is their perception of those moments.

Brands with a great DCX provide a personalized and consistent online experience throughout the customer journey. Whether someone is considering becoming a client, placing an order, or searching for information, every digital interaction has to be easy and enjoyable.

5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Customer Experience

Technology is a wonderful tool for improving the customer experience, whether mining data for customer insights or leveraging AI for personalization. But technology alone can’t deliver an exceptional digital customer experience. Your DCX strategy must include a human component — one that focuses on customer care through empathy and authenticity. Here’s how to ensure your digital customer experience lives up to your users’ expectations.

Know your target audience

To deliver the kind of digital experience your customers will love, you have to know what they want. Who’s buying your product, and why? When they visit your website or app, what are they hoping to accomplish?

Delighting your customers requires knowing their goals, understanding their pain points, and providing interactions that meet their specific needs. The upshot? 68% of customers will spend more money with a brand that understands and treats them like an individual.

Here are three crucial steps:

  1. Use qualitative and quantitative analyses to learn about your audience. The more you understand their preferences and behaviors, the better you can create an experience that meets their needs.
  2. Apply a user-centered design process, which relies on deeply understanding your audience to craft usable, accessible digital interfaces.
  3. Incorporate personalization techniques to adapt the digital experience for individual users. More than anything else, this will help make the customer journey smooth and enjoyable.

Adopt an omnichannel mindset

Customers expect seamless interactions from brands throughout their journey, whether through digital or non-digital channels. In fact, brands with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, in comparison to 33% of companies with weak strategies.

Knowing that today’s consumers often jump from channel to channel as they browse, buy, or get in touch, DCX leaders embrace an omnichannel strategy. Note that this is different from a multichannel approach, where customers access multiple channels in separate interactions. An omnichannel approach integrates all digital touchpoints to create a seamless, personalized experience.

Multichannel: Some or all channels available but no data syncing between chgannels causing a disconnected customer experience. Omnichannel: All channels available with data syncing between channels providing a seamless customer experience.
Image sourced from Zingle.com

Here are a few key ways to create personalized experiences that resonate across all your digital channels:

Get help from experts

Expert assessments can remove the guesswork around optimizing your digital customer experience. A digital CX audit, for instance, will show you what’s working and what could be better, as well as providing actionable insights and a prioritized roadmap.

CX specialists will look beyond the basic digital experience (clunky design, system bugs, etc…) to assess whether your digital channels are effectively serving your customers’ needs. A professional audit can help determine things like:

Make customer feedback easy

Most companies know that customer feedback is crucial for improving the customer experience. But many fall short in providing easy, effective options for people to reach them.

Offering multiple, easy-to-use communication options across your digital channels is one more way to delight your customers. Help people engage with you via the medium of their choice, so they can communicate through the interface they’re most comfortable with.

That could be a chat function or contact form on your website, or the commenting and messaging features on your social profiles. Or, maybe it’s good old-fashioned phone calls and emails. Whatever the avenue, make it easy to find and intuitive to use.

One more thing: when someone does reach out, respond quickly. The faster a problem is resolved, the better the experience.

Plan for the post-launch reality

You might design and launch an amazing new website, app, or service that delights your customers and sends revenue through the roof. But, without a long-term plan to keep it effective and relevant, your digital CX will likely diminish over time.

To maintain the quality of customer experience across all your digital touchpoints, apply a measurement framework based on the principles above:

Remember, too, that new technological trends are going to keep emerging and influencing consumer expectations. Be prepared to evolve what digital CX looks like for your business, especially if it means extending your digital services to new platforms or devices.

Putting the “C” in Digital CX

Technology has made so many things possible for today’s consumers that, ultimately, the power is in their hands. As digital capabilities continue to evolve, people may become increasingly selective about which brands earn their trust and business — and companies will need to make the digital customer experience more beneficial for both sides.

As you can see from the steps above, the key is putting your customers’ needs above all else.

If you’re not sure where to start, you’re not alone! We’ve helped dozens of clients dive into customer research, omnichannel strategies, and strategic planning for digital platforms. Reaching out to a digital CX expert (like Oomph) can help you do things right the first time, saving you time and money and, most importantly, building a foundation to get results.

Excited about crafting an exceptional DCX? So are we. Check out our DCX audit service to learn how we can help set you up for success.

“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.

Since the early days of Oomph, we’ve worked with clients to create a variety of online educational experiences. Platforms to practice Buddhism. Platforms for cardiologists to be better informed. For teachers to be better prepared for the classroom. For high-tech product users to become more proficient.

Here’s the process we’ve seen work:

  1. Define the purpose of the platform.
  2. Identify students’ needs and expectations.
  3. Choose the learning tools that best achieve your objectives.

…and here’s what we’ve seen too many folks do: skip the purpose and dive right into posting videos on something like Teachable. While that might work for some business models, it’s not effective for most others.

By understanding what is at stake for the learner, you can understand how to support their learning

As online learning continues to grow, we need a different way of thinking about how people learn via online systems. By considering what’s at stake in a given situation — in other words, how important is it that students learn the material — we can identify four primary categories of learning purpose. Once you know which category your platform falls into, you can design it with the tools and features that best achieve your learning objectives.

Let’s explore those four purpose categories and how they shape the online learning experience.

1. Entertainment (or “No Stakes”) Learning

Entertainment learning is driven purely by curiosity. Students might see this type of learning as truly fun, maybe even as an alternative to other forms of entertainment (like watching a movie).

In this case, there are no stakes — no real consequences for the student who gives up mid-way through a class. As for the educator, the only risks are related to losing viewers and market share. An example of this type of learning platform is Masterclass, which has mastered the art of marketing entertainment learning. Masterclass doesn’t really care if you learn the material, as long as you’re enjoying the experience.

Most entertainment learning is delivered through polished content designed to sell as many courses to as many people as possible. Neither the platform nor the student are truly invested in the learning.

What’s the purpose?

As an example, let’s say Sam the Student is intrigued by sailing. They may never actually do it, but they wants to know what it involves. In this case, Sam is simply consuming the content.

What’s needed:

Successful entertainment learning platforms focus more on user acquisition and user retention versus how well users absorb and apply the content. Such platforms benefit from:

  1. Good content production quality
  2. Celebrity and well-known “expert” instructors
  3. Effective marketing (like compelling trailers)

2. Student Stakes Learning

Like entertainment learning, student stakes learning is also student-driven. The difference is that there are real consequences, which means the student has a purpose beyond simply consuming the content. But the consequences apply to the student, not the educator. Think about studying for a driver’s license test — if you don’t pass, you don’t get your license. DMV isn’t responsible for helping you learn; they’ll just re-administer the test.

What’s the purpose?

To continue the boating example: by this time, Sam has become a frequent sailor and wants to learn how to forecast off-shore weather without needing a computer. In this case, retaining the content is essential, so they can put it to use.

What’s needed:

Student stakes learning needs to incorporate content retention techniques. It also helps to hold students accountable for their learning. Content should be shorter and focus on comprehension. Student stakes learning platforms benefit from:

3. Educator Stakes Learning

In this kind of learning, there are consequences for the student, but the stakes are higher for the educator. Think of higher education at colleges and universities, where a school’s reputation is at stake. This could also apply to a management training program, which can impact overall company performance, or to a business trying to educate users on a topic in the hopes they’ll buy a related product.

Comprehension and completion are key in educator stakes learning, which is why it often includes a certificate of completion or an accreditation of some kind, so the educator can verify that the student actually learned the material.

What’s the purpose?

Sam has now decided to become a commercial boat captain, and their potential employer wants them to pass a certification course. Here, Sam’s demonstrating knowledge of the material is highly important to the educator.

What’s needed:

Because educator stakes learning hinges on comprehension, it’s important to focus on helping students both retain course material and sufficiently demonstrate their knowledge of it. These kinds of platforms often include:

4. Broad Stakes Learning

Broad stakes learning impacts the student, the educator and often society in general, and knowledge of the material must be refreshed on a regular basis. Consider a warehouse that trains its staff on the proper use of heavy equipment. For an employee, their job is likely on the line; for the company, the safety of their workforce and their reputation is at stake; and for all the company’s employees, there are issues of personal safety and trust.

What’s the purpose?

Sam now aspires to become a ferry boat captain, which means they’ll be responsible for passengers, vehicles, and cargo. The local authority requires that they pass a certification each year to demonstrate current knowledge of the material, to ensure they’ll be a safe and competent captain.

What’s needed:

Ongoing retention of content is critical here, along with staying current on new information. So, broad stakes learning platforms generally use bite-sized material with frequent reviews, quizzes, and feedback. Students learn a topic, review the topic, review it again, and take a quiz; if they missed any questions, they’ll likely get additional help and get tested again. Later on, there may be additional communications and usually a refresher course or two.

Learning platforms that support broad stakes learning often use the tools from educator stakes learning, with some additions:


A Different Way of Thinking

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all digital learning experience. That’s why a medical association administering doctor certifications needs a very different platform from, say, an HR department offering manager training. Different industries leverage different kinds of learning, which require different educational tools.

If you’re planning to embark on an online learning initiative, be sure to align your efforts around your core purpose. Without a clear roadmap, well, we’ve seen what happens. Remember how online learning was thrust into the spotlight during the pandemic? One thing became painfully clear: not every online learning platform actually worked.

That’s because many of those platforms were thrown together without regard for basic learning principles. Above all, online learning platforms must be built to serve the purpose behind the educational experience. Like we said earlier: define your purpose, identify your students’ needs, and choose the right tools for the job.

Looking to develop an online learning experience for your organization? We’d love to help you develop the best possible tools. Contact us today to learn more.