Rapid Digital Solutions for COVID-19 Response

It would be an understatement and incredibly obvious to state that a lot has changed in the past 6 months — for our client teams and our own. Our clients saw their needs radically shift from long-term, strategically-planned projects to communication efforts and new tools that needed to go live as quickly as possible.

For some projects, the first deliverable was rather bare-bones. It was more important to deliver something small but useful and then iterate from there. Perfection would have to wait.

Virtual replacements for in-person experiences

Virtual campus visits

This spring was tough for colleges and universities. All of a sudden, those currently enrolled had to go home and those in the middle of choosing their school had to postpone their travel plans. Schools had to quickly spin up a way for these young folks and their parents to get virtual tours and as much of that in-person experience as possible.

Through a quick collaborative process, our team and Web Services at Saint Anselm College brainstormed ideas that were both quick to implement and had high value. We then built a version of these ideas in 2 weeks to deliver a new Campus Tour site for the Admissions Department. It was a stand-alone, static HTML/CSS/JS site with no CMS — but it was quick to implement and easy for our developer to make content updates. Parents and prospective students had the access they needed for virtual campus visits.

Virtual student art exhibitions

For art students, senior year exhibitions are the culmination of all their hard and an opportunity to celebrate together with teachers, peers, and family. This year, that could not happen.

To give students an opportunity to showcase their portfolio, an online exhibition experience needed to be created. To do this, the Rhode Island School of Design was able to build upon a project Oomph had created for the RISD Museum late last year. Again, through some quick brainstorming sessions, our team was able to plan additions to the existing platform that could make it the perfect tool to support graduate and undergraduate student exhibitions. These additions were made in a 6-week turnaround, including the time it took for Museum staff to assist department heads and students in creating 270+ graduate and 450+ undergraduate exhibitions.

On launch day, the departments hosted virtual opening parties and the hosting environment from our hosting partner Acquia handled the load with ease — thousands of attendees from 60 countries. In some ways, the opening events were more widespread, reaching families, friends, and strangers that may not have been able to travel to an event even before the pandemic hit.

Virtual open enrollment

In the healthcare space, this fall presented a challenge for a leading national health insurer who needed to inform its Medicare customers about their plan updates and options. The high risk group of people 65 years and older are eligible for Medicare, so in-person services that had been available in previous years could not be used. Not only would their new-found Facetime skills be used to keep in touch with friends and family, they would now help them sign up for Medicare as well.

The client team and Oomph began to map out how to support this population with a redesign of online tools and user journeys. Our team had to quickly gain an understanding of their multichannel efforts to drive traffic via email, radio, TV, and transportation advertising, as well as direct mail and email to existing customers.

We prototyped an experience quickly, iterated on it, had many parts of their organization weigh in on the proposed solution, and assisted in the build process. In just 8 weeks from discovery to launch, we had a functioning experience guiding customers through affirming their current plan, making changes according to their needs, scheduling video calls with support and sales staff, and attending virtual town hall events to get a better understanding of which plan is right for them. The tool launched October 1, so results are preliminary, but early engagement, retention, and sales volume metrics are very positive.

Ready for the unknown, ready for the unexpected

This pandemic has separated the flexible and adaptable organizations from the rigid and the slow to change. Those that have the vision to release an imperfect but working product to the world while constantly iterating and improving are the ones that will continue to succeed. We have worked diligently to support these organizations — we share in their goals. we care about the communities they serve, and we want them to succeed. We are proud to support our family of lifetime clients.

Related tags: Acquia


More about this author

Chris Murray

Founder & CEO

Hey, I’m Chris. I started Oomph what feels like many moons ago, back in 2007. It’s been quite a journey and I have been lucky enough to assemble an amazing team that keeps me energized and ready to tackle each new day.

My main focus as CEO is making sure Oomph is a great place to work, setting the vision and goals for the future of the company, and supporting the team to get us there. I also love getting to know and strategizing with our clients and seeing the positive impact technology can have on their business.

Before founding Oomph, I ran the Boston office for an early web development agency where I led a team that guided digital strategies for clients like Polaroid, Reebok and Stonyfield Farm. We also brought a content management system to market with both open source and SaaS offerings.

I am an active member of the Entrepreneur's Organization and live in Dartmouth, Massachusetts with my wife and three daughters.