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Imarc Blog



The latest news and insights from Imarc LLC



Last Build Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 12:58:45 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Imarc LLC
 



A Fresh Perspective on the State of Legal Marketing

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 03:59:00 EST

If you're in sales and marketing like me, you are always on the hunt for good content that can help you do business better and push your company forward.  I'm a believer that all organizations can benefit by taking a look at trends and best practices from other companies, especially those outside your industry. For example, we all know Apple has become the company it is today by keeping its eye on the marketplace and what others were already doing... ...But I digress. Paradigm Shift Having recently attended the 2017 Legal Marketing Association's Northeast Regional Conference in Philadelphia, I was delighted to hear the whispers and even some larger discussions about the coming paradigm shift for law firm websites in the legal marketing industry. Intrigued, I pressed folks about what exactly they meant by a paradigm shift. Spoiler alert: the legal industry is starting to catch up with everyone as it relates to how your website should be positioned to set your firm apart and increase ROI.  Most people started to explain to me that their firm was looking for its website to be more than just a nicely designed brochure-ware site that focuses heavily on the practicing attorneys and partners. While the attorneys are certainly an integral part of the legal website ecosystem, legal marketers are recognizing that the website needs to focus on generating and nurturing new business leads and quantifying success. My reaction: WHAT’S TAKEN SO LONG?! Imarc has been crafting digital solutions for forward-thinking brands for 20 years now. We’ve enjoyed relationships with many blue-chip clients such as JetBlue, Starwood Hotels, The Weather Company, numerous technology giants and a host of well-respected law firms.  We’ve been able to develop such strong and long-lasting relationships with these folks because Imarc is not afraid of our clients’ challenges.  In return, we strive to push our clients out of their comfort zone, to think outside the box and most importantly; to put themselves in the position of their ideal persona/customer/buyer/client. It's your target audience - the ones who bring your company revenue - that you need be planning and designing for. So, why all of a sudden is there a paradigm shift coming that will transform the entire legal market industry as we know it?  It is really a paradigm shift, or is the legal industry just finally catching up to what other industries have been doing for a while now? Is it due to a lack of knowledge or an unwillingness to think outside the box because things have always been done a certain way when it comes to legal marketing and legal websites? These are the questions that keep us at Imarc up at night, folks. Our Vast Experience, Makes You Stronger You may be familiar with an old proverb that I think fits perfectly in this situation.  “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  When a client partners with Imarc, our goal is to sharpen their online marketing and we use our depth of experience to do so. We can pull from other industries to make recommendations to help drive results. Often times we’ll have clients come back to us for a redesign asking “What do you think our website should like in 5 years?” Naturally, we love this challenge but we RARELY ever hear that from the folks in the legal industry. What gives? One thing I’ve noticed in my role as a business development specialist and in talking to many prospects in the legal industry is that they seem reluctant to challenge the idea of what is accepted in their industry and push for something unique that permits them to stand out in a very saturated and competitive crowd. That may be because marketing and business development folks simply don’t know what’s possible, or perhaps the partners of the firm are seeking to employ a firm who has "done this many times before". I understand the approach and that it’s a safe decision to sign up with an agency who only specializes in the legal space, but I believe that can lead to digital stagnation within the legal marketing industry.  Fir[...]



Boston Based Digital Agency, Imarc Celebrates 20th Year

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:10:00 EDT

AMESBURY, Mass. (PRWEB) November 03, 2017 -- 

Imarc was founded in 1997 as a digital and brand asset management service provider. In 2000, Imarc benefited from the exponential growth of the Internet and enhanced its mission to design websites and develop web applications. This move supported market demand and Imarc’s expanding list of clients.

Since its founding, Imarc continues to evolve, growing to three offices nationwide. The dedication and commitment of its team has fueled the agency’s prosperity and achievements. “It says a lot to be a digital agency that has experienced the growth, success and longevity since our founding in 1997,” says Dave Tufts, CTO and Managing Partner. “There are not many agencies that can say that they have been around pre-Google.”

As a leader in the digital space, Imarc works with over 300 clients to provide a better experience for their end-users. Imarc takes tremendous pride in the fact that the agency’s first client, Starwood Hotels, remains one of their largest clients today. This has been the founding pillar to the development of the partnerships and relationships that Imarc has nurtured over the years.

With over 125 awards since inception, Imarc has been presented with notable awards such as the 2017 Nielsen Norman Intranet Design Annual Award for its work with JetBlue. Aside from the digital services Imarc provides, Inc. 5000 has also recognized the agency as one of the fastest-growing private companies in 2017. This marks the fifth time the agency has received the award - appointing Imarc into the selected group of companies that are referred to as the “Honor Roll”, an achievement that less than 10% of Inc. 5000 recipients have accomplished. Overall, Imarc’s accolades represent a 3-year revenue growth of 44%, and a 3-year employee growth of 47%.

Today, Imarc continues to exceed expectations and deliver exceptional work to its clients, building and strengthening their ongoing relationships. Imarc’s team is passionate about their work and dedicated to achieving amazing results for their clients. “Imarc has always taken great pride in creating a collaborative workspace that invokes energy and inspiration, but it’s truly the employees that make Imarc such a digital powerhouse,” states Nick Grant, CEO and Managing Partner of Imarc. This testimonial is solidified by employee survey responses attesting to Imarc’s competitive corporate benefits and supportive, creative workplace.

The future of Imarc is bright as they continue to grow, expanding their offerings to better serve their clients and acquiring top talent to achieve incredible results.

To learn more about Imarc visit imarc.com.

About Imarc 
Imarc (http://www.imarc.com) is an adaptive full-service digital agency with a strong focus on web, mobile and custom application solutions. Since 1997, the agency’s team of experienced strategists, user experience engineers, designers, developers and business and marketing experts has been helping over 300 clients do business better.

The award-winning agency is proud of its many long-term client relationships across different industries. Imarc is a premier digital agency that attracts top talent by adding new services and capabilities to better support its clients.

Imarc Contact 
Ashley Langlands 
Digital Marketing Manager 
ashley@imarc.com

Press release originally published via PRWeb.com.




Social Responsibility Reflected Through Visual Data

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 02:08:00 EDT

Recently honored as an "industry champion" for the 2017 Champions of Toxics Use Reduction Awards, Mark Richey Woodworking supplies 100% of its own renewable energy for its 130,000 square foot facility.

Owner Mark Richey was determined to power the facility on renewable energy. The company has made tremendous efforts to create its own energy sources, including a biomass boiler, wind turbine and a 500-kilowatt solar array.

This dedication to sustainable energy is a cornerstone of the brand. It only made sense to share these results with visitors to the website and to the production facility.

As Mark Richey Woodworking made the most of its energy consumption, we were asked to take that impressive data and develop a next-gen dashboard.

A Renewable Champion

All the locals know Mark Richey Woodworking for the turbine – it's huge and can be seen throughout Newburyport! What they don't know is that since the installation of the solar panels and the biomass furnace, Mark Richey can now operate on 100% renewable energy.

The pre-Imarc website showed basic output from the turbines, but the Silverlight application was outdated, failure prone, and didn’t work on phones or tablets.

After Imarc’s award-winning redesign, Mark Richey knew we could create a new dashboard that would showcase both solar and wind output – and do it beautifully.

The interactive dashboard displays wind speed, direction and of course energy output. Similarly, the solar area incorporates the current weather, which gives context.

All of this data is interesting and accessible, but we wanted to take things one step further. Data tells a much better story when you can equate it to the real-world, so we translate the raw data to something concrete: trees planted and cars removed. This gives a better sense of the positive impacts Mark Richey Woodworking is having on the environment!

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The dashboard lives in the sustainability section of the website, and is also proudly displayed on a massive screen in Mark Richey Woodworking's lobby.

We’re incredibly inspired by Mark Richey Woodworking’s commitment to sustainable energy and environmental responsibility. We couldn’t be more pleased with this addition to the site. Continued partnerships is what we're all about!




How Cybersecurity Companies are Rethinking Their Online Presence

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 04:44:00 EDT

If you take a look at our portfolio, you will quickly notice that we have a lot of cybersecurity clients, and there is definatley a reason for that. As Cybersecurity month comes to close, we wanted to share our latest results! Digital Guardian While Digital Guardian is light years ahead of its competitors, the old site didn't reflect this innovative company. This summer, we took the site to a new level with a redesign that pairs striking visual design and user experience. To support the the buyer’s journey, the site uses a clean and modern look and feel to convey its corporate messaging and highlight the company’s key differentiators. Imarc used imagery, iconography and product screenshots to guide the users and encourage them to learn more.  "We’re so happy with the new DigtalGuardian.com. We had a long list of goals for the site, ranging from brand building to SEO to lead generation and Imarc’s talented team struck the right balance between them all. We now have a beautifully designed site that takes our brand to the next level and is optimized to drive demand which is critical to our continued business success.”- Connie Stack, Chief Marketing Officer at Digital Guardian Earlier this month, Digital Guardian released an infographic focusing on the need for cyber awareness and how this affects users each and every day. NS1 When Imarc kicked off the NS1 website redesign, it began with strategy and planning to ensure that we were making smart, data-driven decisions that would help the company grow. Then we layered in the brand and visual design as a means to seperate NS1 from the pack.   Naturally, we used a holistic approach during the creative process to reimagine and think ahead of the evolving industry trends. We used mood boards to expand the brand color palette and overall look and feel. The result is a smart, modern and confident brand style. "Happy to have a great digital marketing partner in Imarc. They helped us build a fantastic website and create a brilliant brand experience."- Jason Thompson, Former Vice President of Marketing Mimecast For over 2 years we’ve partnered with Mimecast to support its buyer’s journey and we continue to evolve and improve the site over time. As a result, the site has continued to support the Mimecast brand and increase online engagement. In the first 6 months of the redesign, Mimecast experienced a 205% increase in form conversions and 82% increase in direct traffic. Not to mention a W3 Gold Winner. We continue to work closely with the team at Mimecast to improve the site and tackle additional projects as well. Our partnership is a true testament to our ongoing commitment to our clients. Security is at the forefront in our inter-connected world and we know, understand and build secure code. For more information on our technology work, check out our cybersecurity case study.  [...]



The Creative Eye

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 03:35:00 EDT

What we should all know about design. Paula Scher of Pentagram doodled the infamous Citibank logo on a coffee shop napkin during a client meeting back in 1998. That 5-minute logo became a $1.5 million brand identity. What's so noteworthy about this "design-school, motivational" story, is that Scher devotes over 20 years of design experience to that simple napkin sketch. It takes years of trial and error to be able to get something done in only a few minutes. From the outside, it may appear as if Paula performed a miracle. But to designers, we understand that there’s more underneath that 5-minute sketch. As designers, every new project doesn't appear to us as a naked, blank slate of an idea. We've dug deep, collected best practices and noted design trends that guide our direction. We stand on the shoulders of our latest designs (yes, both good and bad) to keep going forward and create something in the future that is better than the last. Each of my website designs may be inspired by a Pinterest board, an Evernote doc filled with benchmarks or a sketchbook full of doodles that I may or may not have drawn during an exciting, hour-long meeting. With each project, I gain a better sense of what works, what doesn't and what will never, ever, ever work again with a client. Needless to say, there’s a lot that goes into creating good design. I'm going to share with you some of my favorite ways to get inspired. 1. The Internet, duh! Aside from a simple Google search, the internet has a lot of killer resources for designers. Pinterest isn't just for DIY crafts. Before I start a design, I'll run through the web for ideas. I also check out Dribbble, Behance and Niice for the latest trends. If you use Chrome as your browser, Panda is an excellent plugin that constantly features new designs every time you open a new tab! 2. Books. There is literally NOTHING like a nicely designed book, and I am a sucker for them. I have so many books, I've lost count! Having a broad range of subject matters to look at keeps you surprised and your design eye versatile. One of my favorite books for inspiration is actually a gig poster book I bought a few years ago. The typography on some of the posters is so unique and avant-garde that, even though I may not mimic them on a tech website, it gives me another direction I might like to explore with some new ways to present typography. 3. Moodboards Moodboards will never go out of style! There are a lot of ways to approach a moodboard for a project and we have a unique way of doing so at Imarc. Rather than tacking up clippings and color swatches, I think about different design potential for the client. We usually will come up with 3 different concepts. Each has unique type choices and imagery centered around particular touchstones. You can see how moodboards not only inspire us, but they will inspire the client to get creative as well! At the end of the exercise we usually will combine our favorite features from each board into one direction for the project. Here are examples of moodboards from our client Diligent's website redesign. 4. Other Industries I'm really interested in fashion and I've found a lot of inspiration comes from places that don't necessarily connect with a current project I'm working on. Some style blogs and even emails from my favorite stores have unique imagery and type combinations. What's really cool about cross-industry design is the ability to introduce a new aesthetic that your client hasn't seen from their competitors. 5. The real world Some may say inspiration hits in the shower, well for me that place was actually a coffee shop. I spied this cute little sign one day and it ended up inspiring a color palette for a current CPA website design! I'm always on alert when I see cool shop signs, window displays or business cards. There is really a lot of great design out there, you just need to keep an eye out for it.  At the end of the day, there are a lot of ways to[...]



New Launch: Vela a Collaborative Healthcare Platform

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:40:00 EDT

We utilize a team-centric approach in everything we do. Whether it’s working across internal teams or partnering with our clients as an extension of their team.

An effective team is made of strong players, who specialize in various "positions" and we focus on bringing the best players for the job. Acknowledging outside strengths, we never shy away from an opportunity to expand our team.

We’ve recently partnered with Mechanica, to deliver the incredible for Seniorlink, a leading provider of innovative caregiver services. We opened our internal systems and worked collaboratively with Seniorlink and Mechanica to develop a microsite to showcase Vela, a collaborative healthcare platform connecting caregivers with care partners.

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The reimagined Vela microsite features a clean and modern design that promotes the value of the tool.  Clever micro-animations highlight the sense of collaboration and front-end platform features that Vela delivers to all users.

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Strong call-to-actions (CTAs) throughout the site drives site conversions by elevating the look and feel of the site in a highly responsive, engaging manner that features conversion points throughout the site.

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Vela efficiently addresses multiple audiences at once. It delivers user-focused information to a number of different personas that interact with the solution and are active members of Vela's collaborative care.

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We look forward to the continued success and improvement of the Vela site and continued collaboration with these two great teams!


Need help tackling your web project? Let’s talk!




Joining the Imarc Team

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 04:38:00 EDT

According to a recent survey by Adobe, 70% of American employees say they love their jobs. In my opinion, life is too short not to love what you do every day.

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On my quest for a happy and fulfilled life, I found out that Imarc was hiring for an Office Manager. I immediately started doing my due diligence on Imarc.  In learning that they have won a number of awards for being a leader in their industry, including the Nielsen Norman Group award for their work with JetBlue, they’ve also been named one of the Best Workplaces of 2017 by Inc. Magazine. It didn’t take me long to find out why.

Everyone who works at Imarc is valued

On my first day, I was given the royal Imarc treatment in every way. Whatever I needed to be successful in my role, the team was willing to provide it. The way in which the management team takes a genuine interest in making the employees a group of happy and satisfied individuals is a huge part of what makes our work so successful.

The belief that happy employees are more productive is evident throughout our office. No matter the project or how hard each Imarcian (what we refer to ourselves as!) works, they’re still the happiest group of people I’ve ever met.  

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There are genuine friendships and a mutual respect for each other and their work. I've experienced a variety of personalities throughout my career and think that people can sometimes fall prey to the pressures of “keeping up”. This makes for a great individual contributor, but not always a great person to work with.

That's not the case at Imarc. There are zero egos - just real people.  If you looked up the word “team” in the dictionary, you’d find the Imarc in the definition! To say that I feel fortunate to work here is an understatement. Here’s to seeing what the future holds.  

To learn more about the team and what we've been up to, check out our latest work.




Our Latest Launches: Digital Guardian + Diligent

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 01:50:00 EDT

We're always excited to announce our latest website launches and today is no different. We have a deep client roster of great technology and cybersecurity clients and we are thrilled to consider Digital Guardian and Diligent among them.

Digital Guardian

As a leader in the data loss protection (DLP) industry, Digital Guardian and Imarc collaborated together to promote its products and services, support the customer journey and be light years ahead of the competition. 

The responsively designed Digital Guardian site was strategically developed to guide visitors through the sales process, reflect the company’s corporate messaging and align to its rapidly growing product and solutions.

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Imarc used Mood Boards to capture the Digital Guardian brand. The new Digital Guardian site features user-centric design and a contemporary look and feel that positions the company as the DLP solution of choice. 

Experience the live site for youself.

Diligent

Diligent is the worldwide industry leader known for its secure communication and collaboration platform, enabling executive boards to easily share confidential information and reports. To engage and address its global audience, Imarc and Diligent partnered together to deliver an intuitive, crisp and clear website that guides prospects through Diligent’s solutions on their custom customer journey.   

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We pride ourselves on great collaboration with our clients and it directly correlates with our client's results. We're excited to share our latest work as we forge ahead and create the incredible for our clients.

 




Introducing: Client Services

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 01:18:00 EDT

The recent release of the iPhone X is the perfect reminder that technology is constantly changing and improving. Your sporty 7 Plus with super-artsy-portrait-camera-mode is suddenly old news. You may be able to wait until your next wireless upgrade to indulge in the latest and greatest, but that doesn’t mean your website should! Making smart, proactive updates to your site will keep you from getting left in the dust and extend the longevity of your site. At Imarc we stand behind our sites and are committed to post-launch client support.  ‘Supporting’ the Client Three years ago Imarc took a strong approach to customer support, bringing on dedicated support engineers and designers. As the department grew and took shape, we realized one problem - the word ‘support’. All too often I would follow up with clients who had made requests to their project manager for site updates; and the client’s response would be, “You know, I thought about sending this to support, but nothing was broken. I need a new tool/feature/content updates/etc.” Support carries the negative connotation that something is broken and needs to be fixed. A well-supported site is not just about keeping it up and running, it's about keeping it evolving and improving. That’s when we realized our focus shouldn’t be simply reacting to requests but providing continuous and proactive service that keeps our sites fully optimized. From there, Client Services was born. Taking Advantage of Your Retainer Imarc offers a 1-hour retainer with all of our hosting packages. Each month we offer clients 1-hour of work from any of our departments covered by the cost of hosting. While many of our clients take advantage of this time, many don’t. There’s a variety of updates and upgrades that can be tackled within an hour: new homepage banners, updated content or fresh imagery are quick updates that can make a big difference to returning visitors. The goal is to have your site look and function better than the last time a user visited. Don’t worry, your retainer can be used for more than just site updates! Take advantage of your 1-hour by requesting analytics reports or Content Management System (CMS) tutorials for new team members.  Going Beyond Your Retainer Client Services is here to help you tackle every project, large or small! If you find yourself consistently making copy updates to the same page, we can develop an editor tool. Don’t have a site search, we can add it! There are all kinds of small to medium tasks that can make a big difference: Reorganizing or reducing your navigation can improve your site usability; Updating the look of your homepage will keep you looking current; Or even a new email newsletter template will give your users a refreshed experience. If you’re constantly using a large number of hours each month, a larger maintenance retainer may benefit you. Imarc offers quarterly retainers at a discounted rate in addition to the hosting retainer. We’ll Reach Out to You It’s time for a two-way conversation! We realize all these ideas may sound great, but it’s not always top of mind. We’ve got our pulse on industry trends and what’s hot, and we’re going to bring that to you. For example, we're in the process of auditing all of the sites we host that aren't currently running HTTPS. Come October, Google Chrome - today's most popular browser - will display an insecure warning on all sites not running HTTPS. We'll be reaching out to these clients to inform them of this change, educated them on the different security options available and get them up and running on HTTPS. This proactive approach avoids the alarm on the client end, suddenly seeing that their site is insecure, and most importantly ensures the site appears reputable and trustworthy to visitors. We’ll also be sending quarterly newsletters[...]



HelloJetBlue Continues to Soar

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 10:36:00 EDT

This year has been one for the records! We continue to soar with our award-winning work with JetBlue. Today, we are proud to announce that the redesigned intranet, HelloJetBlue, has won yet another award, the WebAwards 2017 Best Intranet Website award.  

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"We're honored that all of the hard work, dedication and collaboration that went into creating HelloJetBlue has been selected by the Web Marketing Association (WMA) for its WebAwards, Best Intranet Website of 2017. Working with an iconic brand like JetBlue to reimagine its intranet was an incredible opportunity for our talented team. It is our work with amazing clients like JetBlue that allows our team to go the extra mile and deliver successful results." -Nick Grant, Imarc CEO.

Here at Imarc, we're passionate about the work that we create.  The opportunity that we had to work with JetBlue to reimagine its internal intranet was beyond what we could have expected.  

Throughout the project our team was able to really push the digital limits of web design and development, delivering an intranet that far exceeded expectations.

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HelloJetBlue is a valuable tool designed to engage, educate and connect JetBlue’s global staff or “Crewmembers” to inform them about key news and resources. This mobile optimized intranet is designed for JetBlue’s remote staff and is an integral component of the organization which is designed to build a sense of community. HelloJetBlue features news, tools, alerts and resources to support the day-to-day operations of the airline.  Imarc reimagined JetBlue’s previous intranet, with users in mind, to craft a tool that employees would want to engage with.

The redesigned intranet incorporates the iconic brand’s identity through animation, tone and even its use of puns, such as “That’s Fly” when a user “likes” content featured on the site. The new HelloJetBlue gives Crewmembers a means to connect in ways that they couldn’t before by communicating important company news, personal travel experiences and mentioning and sharing content with fellow Crewmembers.

The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 and is the standards-defining competition that sets industry benchmarks for the best websites based on the seven criteria of a successful website.

Interested in learning more about our award-winning work? Let's talk!

 




Website Personalization – It’s Not Just for B2C Anymore

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 02:00:00 EDT

Amazon has set the bar high when it comes to personalization; whether it's recommending products, highlighting your recent orders or reminding you of your top 5 categories. But personalization is no longer just for e-commerce. It’s important for the B2B market as well. According to Monetate, in-house marketers that are personalizing their web experience are seeing an average 19% lift in sales (source).

Any marketer would be thrilled to deliver 19% more qualified leads to the sales team. So how do you do it?

Step 1: Know Your Audience

To deliver an effective personalized experience, you first need to know your buyers. Start by creating personas that identify your user types. Use that information to map out content to those specific users and use it to guide their journey.

Need some tips to get you started on your personas? The Hubspot Academy provides some good insight on how to craft them.   

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Step 2: Make Sure You Have the Right Tools

There are some great tools out there that you can use to deliver targeted content to your users based upon their demographic or industry or based on which content that they are engaging with. Optimizely and Triblio are effective tools that deliver content based upon whether your website visitor is a prospective or current customer, what industry they are in and their geographic location. By using these tools you can hone in on these visitors and deliver the right message to the right users.

Step 3: Map Your Content to Users

Matching content to users and anticipating their interests is known as content mapping. It's a key technique for using the customer journey to provide the information visitors are looking for, when they are looking for it. Not doing this will have a negative impact on your website performance. 74% of users feel frustrated when the website content is not tailored to their needs or interests (source)

Don’t make a negative impression on your prospects. Deliver a customized experience that aligns with his or her needs.

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We get it, creating a personalized customer journey can be a challenge! Let us help you get started and turn your website into a Lead Gen Machine! Let's Talk!




Imarc's Redesign of Digital Guardian Website Selected as a 2017 Acquia Engage Awards Finalist

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 11:42:00 EDT

AMESBURY, MA – August 28, 2017 – Acquia recently announced the finalists for the 2017 Acquia Engage Awards. Imarc's redesign and development of the Digital Guardian website has been named a Finalist in the High Technology Category. The Acquia Engage Awards recognize the innovation and creativity of sites and digital experiences that are created on the Acquia platform by both customers and partners. This year's finalists demonstrate an advanced level of visual design, functionality, integration and overall experience. “We’re thrilled to be selected as a finalist for this year’s Acquia Engage Awards for our recent work with Digital Guardian," said Dave Tufts, CTO of Imarc. "The hard work and collaboration that went into creating the project definitely paid off as the new site effectively positions the company for success.” Digital Guardian’s products and solutions take a data-centric approach to protecting an organization from insider and outsider threats. With deep data visibility, real-time analytics and flexible controls, Digital Guardian’s Data Protection Platform stops malicious data theft and prevents inadvertent data loss. The DG platform performs across corporate networks, traditional endpoints, mobile devices and cloud applications to make it easier to see and stop all threats to sensitive data. “We’re so happy with the new DigtalGuardian.com,” said Connie Stack, Chief Marketing Officer, Digital Guardian. “We had a long list of goals for the site, ranging from brand building to SEO to lead generation and Imarc’s talented team struck the right balance between them all. We now have a beautifully designed site that takes our brand to the next level and is optimized to drive demand which is critical to our continued business success.” Throughout the process, Acquia provided valuable insight into performance optimization and security. Acquia was very invested in a successful launch and ongoing support. The platform allowed Imarc and DG's internal developers to collaborate seamlessly. Acquia was very involved in auditing the actual development – pointing out opportunities to optimize performance on the Drupal platform. “Acquia’s partners and customers are setting the benchmark for orchestrating the customer journey and driving the future of digital. Organizations are mastering the art of making every interaction personal and meaningful, and creating engaging, elegant solutions that extend beyond the browser,” said Joe Wykes, senior vice president, global channels and commerce at Acquia. The 2017 Acquia Engage winners will be publicly announced at this year’s Acquia Engage event in Boston taking place October 16-18, 2017. About Imarc Imarc (http://www.imarc.com) is an adaptive, full-service digital agency with a strong focus on web, mobile, and custom application solutions. Since 1997, the agency’s team of experienced engineers, UX engineers, designers, strategists, and business and marketing experts has been helping over 300 clients do business better. The award-winning, 32-person, nationwide agency has sustained steady growth since its inception and is proud of its many long-term client relationships across different industries. Today Imarc continues to be a premier digital agency that attracts top talent and creates smart solutions for forward-thinking brands. For more information, contact Imarc at hello@imarc.com. About Digital Guardian Digital Guardian provides the industry’s only threat aware data protection platform that is purpose built to stop data theft from insiders and outside adversaries. The Digital Guardian platform performs across the corporate network, traditional endpoints, mobile devices and cloud applications and is buttressed by a big data security analytics clo[...]



Lessons from Hollywood: How to Solve Problems as a Team

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 12:46:00 EDT

My brother-in-law is a screenwriter. One of the things he says he’s learned about Hollywood is “When there is a problem, it feels really good to be the one to ‘save’ the project. Everyone wants to be the person that saved it.” Man, is that familiar or what! Something isn’t working. You think of a fix. You tell the team to make it so, and they do. Boom! Done. It’s so satisfying. But… was that the best solution? Often, the answer is no. Great artists aren’t great in isolation — they have colleagues who influence them, who question their work, who challenge them to do better. Greatness is a group achievement. As the client or project leader, what you should do is identify the problem, then ask your team to solve it with you. Here are five guidelines to help your team solve your problem, whether it’s a flawed script or a flawed website design. 1. Be humble When you’re a subject matter expert, it’s easy to assume you have all the answers. Unfortunately, expertise isn’t transitive. A movie director knows how to work with actors to get a great performance, but as Quantum of Solace showed, that doesn’t mean that same person can write a tight, gripping script. For that web page, remember that you are the product expert, but that your team has expertise ranging from user psychology to visual design to copywriting. If you let these people work together and with you, instead of issuing solutions, you’ll get their very best creative problem solving. 2. Be goal-oriented What is the goal we’re trying to get to? Let’s say in that hypothetical movie script, the bad guy will team up with the hero in the third act, and we need the audience to buy it. That’s the first goal: belief. In our web page, we want to get the visitor to want to talk to one of our sales team. Again, that’s the first goal. A reasonable next goal to set would be the good old fashioned “Request a Demo” button. 3. Be clear on the problem “This isn’t working for me” is useless feedback. It provides no information on the problem to solved. Before anything else, you have to understand the problem. Don’t jump ahead and start defining solutions yet, either. Make sure your entire team knows – and agrees on! – what the problem is. Bad movie feedback: “Mister Badguy should tell some jokes.” Good movie feedback: “Mister Badguy is untrustworthy.” Bad web feedback: “Make the ‘Get a Demo’ button brighter.” Good web feedback: “We want the visitor to click ‘get a demo’.” Great web feedback: “I want the visitor to ask us to call them.” 4. Be challenging Being humble doesn’t mean to roll over and accept whatever your team says without question. If your writer adds a clever quip for the bad guy, go ahead and ask how that makes Mister Badguy more sympathetic. They’d better be able to tell you exactly how their change will solve the problem. (Because it might not. It might just make Mister Badguy even more unlikable.) When your web designer (or, say, me) tells you to change the copy on your button, they should be able to explain how the change will affect the user’s behavior. 5. Be wrong This is the tough one. Sometimes, the thing you identified might not be a problem at all. Perhaps Mister Badguy is supposed to be unlikable, because the hero is kind of a jerk and needs someone even worse for contrast. And maybe the “Get a Demo” button shouldn’t be important, because what you really want the visitor to do is watch a video, or tell a colleague about you. Challenge your own assumptions about what you’re doing, and whether you’ve even picked the right goals. Not only will this force you to be clear about the problem, I guarantee it will increase your team’s respect for y[...]



Best Practices for Healthcare Usability

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:07:00 EDT

Healthcare has become a big topic in design recently, and for good reason; the field is calling for innovation. Recent studies have shown that hospitals that offer better patient experiences actually increase their profits.

As the market becomes more consumer-driven and patients are increasingly shopping around for their healthcare services, delivering a top-notch digital experience will help you stand out against your competitors.

Here are some tips to help you give your patients the best experience possible.

Design for complex users

Keeping your users top of mind is always important, but users of healthcare services often face unique challenges. For most people, dealing with their health is not something they look forward to. There’s a good chance they’re looking for health services because they already have an issue that needs addressing; your users may be sick, scared, hesitant or upset. These less-than-ideal conditions may decrease your users’ patience. Be sure they’re able to easily navigate for the information they’re looking for.

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Additionally, you'll need to address multiple users' needs and the various tasks they need to accomplish. Patients, caregivers, visitors and job seekers will all be performing different tasks; be sure your website addresses all of the use cases for your audiences.   

Be inclusive

The design of your digital experience should be accessible to everyone. Users of your website will be of varying ages, skill levels and ability levels; every visitor to your site should be able to access the same information.

Ensuring things like proper contrast of text, background colors and compatibility with screen readers will help your users get to the content they need.

For more information on inclusive design, check out the accessibility section of Imarc’s handbook.

Earn your users’ trust

Asking someone to trust you with their health is a huge undertaking. You should appear trustworthy and professional but friendly and approachable as well. A surefire way to gain a user's’ trust is by making your digital experiences as user-friendly as possible. After all, if they can’t easily navigate your website, why would they trust you to help them navigate their healthcare?

(image) Deliver a great mobile experience

At this point everyone should pay attention to their mobile experience, but it is of particular importance for healthcare websites. Patients may use their phone to look for information such as emergency room addresses, visiting hours, phone numbers or other content they may need in emergencies or on-the-go. A responsive website and a well-thought out mobile experience will ensure that your website is easy to use when patients need it most.

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Imarc Named one of Inc. 5000’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies of 2017

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:00:00 EDT

  AMESBURY, MA (August 16, 2017) -- Inc. Magazine recently released its 36th Annual Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies. Imarc is thrilled to be included on the list, and be considered among the top 10% of companies that have been featured on the list for a total of 5 times. The Inc. 5000 list is ranked based on the percentage revenue growth over a 3-year period, along with being a U.S.-based, privately held and independent organization. Being named to the 2017 list, makes it 5 times that Imarc has received this award; now a part of a select group of companies that are referred to as the “Honor Roll”. An honor that less than 10% of Inc. 5000 recipients ever achieve. This year’s inclusion on the list represents a 3-year revenue growth of 44% for Imarc, and a 3-year employee growth of 47%. "We’re honored to be named to the 2017 Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies’ list.  As a past honoree, we have seen the caliber of companies that have been awarded and featured by Inc. 5000. To be a part of this group, for the 5th year, is a huge honor for Imarc," says Nick Grant, CEO of Imarc. Since being named to the list in 2012, Imarc has seen many great accomplishments: Office headquarters expansion to Amesbury, Massachusetts and the inclusion of a 3rd location in Dallas, Texas; Imarc announced 2 promotions to the company’s senior management team. This includes naming Katie Desmond to Chief Business Development Officer & Partner and Patrick McPhail to Chief Operations Officer & Partner; A 2017 Nielsen Norman Group Intranet Design Annual Award naming JetBlue’s Intranet as one of the Top 10 Intranets worldwide; Growth of its client services team to proactively deliver recommendations and support to continue to meet and exceed its client’s objectives. 20 years after its inception, Imarc continues to exceed its clients expectations, deliver exceptional work and strengthen its client relationships. When such passionate people are working together, the work becomes more than just a project but an extension of the team. That passion is what drives Imarc and its clients’ success. Learn more about Imarc by visiting imarc.com. About Imarc Imarc (http://www.imarc.com) is an adaptive, full-service digital agency with a strong focus on web, mobile and custom application solutions. Since 1997, the agency’s team of experienced engineers, UX engineers, designers, strategists and business and marketing experts has been helping over 300 clients do business better. The award-winning, 32-person, nationwide agency has sustained steady growth since its inception and is proud of its many long-term client relationships across different industries. Today Imarc continues to be a premier digital agency that attracts top talent and creates smart solutions for forward-thinking brands. For more information, contact Imarc at hello@imarc.com. About Inc. Media Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today's innovative company builders.  Winner of Advertising Age’s “The A-List” in January 2015, and the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 40,000,000 today.  For more information, visit inc.com.[...]



Another Look at Web Accessibility

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:56:00 EDT

In June, I headed to Watertown, Massachusetts to attend a website accessibility workshop, hosted by Perkins School for the Blind. Staff members in attendance spoke knowledgeably about the challenges in making websites accessible for those impaired. It was for sure a humbling experience, and my  notes from the day shed some light on today’s need for accessible technology. Assistive Technologies Popular assistive technologies (AT) include screen readers and screen magnifiers. Apple includes both of these, out-of-the-box, with VoiceOver and Zoom features. And these are just the first one of many accessibility tools that Apple provides. Comparatively, Windows users rely on JAWS (paid) and NVDA (free). The moderator who led the  screen reader segment of the workshop prefers the JAWS solution, as they  find it’s more robust than Apple’s VoiceOver. Screen readers I was able to observe a blind moderator use a screen reader. The moderator’s common workflow when visiting a page was: listen to how many links there are on the page. Listen to how many headlines exist (headlines can be used as a navigational tool!). Search the page for a link containing text, relevant to their visit. The use of ‘skip to content’ links are a good accessibility technique, however was not a feature that this visitor utilized. Screen magnification A second moderator, partially blind, heavily leveraged Apple’s Zoom feature in order to read a web page’s navigation labels. This instance is separate from using browser-specific zoom (which is also very helpful). Here, a comment that I noted for myself was that “Placing the navigation in a conventional place helps a lot”. Miscellaneous Helpers Some users will invert or grayscale the color on your webpage to help with contrast. Have you tested for this? Browser zoom hotkeys allow users to quickly and easily zoom on page; Resizing the browser can help users re-flow content into more digestible and simpler layouts (responsive design). Policy Honestly, this was a little fuzzy to me and others in attendance. While, companies are not required by law to make their websites accessible, they can still be sued, and often will agree to settlements. There is no set standard the Department of Justice follows, but they do endorse the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA Guidelines (which is now 10+ years old). It’s good practice to try to make your site achieve as much compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA as possible. In the end, as the moderators told the audience, you will never, ever be “fully compliant” or “fully accessible”. Simply make it a priority and do the best you can. WCAG The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a globally maintained technical standard guided by the W3C. Meeting the outlined criteria can help direct your website to being more accessible to users. Section 508 I have seen this in many Request for Proposals (RFPs) but it doesn’t really apply to the private sector. Section 508 was an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, requiring federal agencies to ensure that technologies they develop, utilize, procure and maintain are accessible to federal employees with disabilities. The amendment included only high-level standards, some of which are irrelevant today. In 2008, the content was reviewed and “refreshed”, but essentially says “just use WCAG 2.0, thanks”. General Accessibility Tips Throughout the workshop, I noted many tips. Some are old hat but some were new to me. Here’s a run-through of what stood out in my mind: Carousels are an accessibility nightmare. They’re keyboard traps. Users focus in but cannot get out of them. AV[...]



Bringing Home 3 dotCOMM Awards

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 05:23:00 EDT

We're always proud of the work that we create. Today, we're especially proud to share our recent award-winning work, bringing home 3 dotCOMM awards.

The dotCOMM Awards (administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals) is an international competition honoring excellence in web creativity and digital communication. The competition spotlights the role of creativity in the dynamic, constantly evolving web industry.

Winning 3 dotCOMM awards is a testament that our work is among the best in the industry.

American Renal Associates

Gold - Healthcare Website Redesign

American Renal Associates (ARA) partnered with Imarc to design and develop a sleek, responsive site to showcase its  state-of-the-art clinics and reflect ARA’s deep commitment to patient care. The redesigned site provides a streamlined user experience, delivering useful and pertinent content to potential patients, families and physicians.

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Sugarman & Sugarman - Gold

Gold - Legal Website Redesign

Imarc recently collaborated with Sugarman & Sugarman, Boston's leader in Personal Injury Law, to redesign the firm’s website. Recently, the legal marketing space has evolved and it was crucial that the redesigned site hit on the three key areas; SEO, humanization and the buyer’s journey. 

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Montana Society of CPAs - MontanaConnection

Honorable Mention - Landing Page

Imarc designed a hyper-targeted media campaign for the Montana Society of CPAs focusing on millennials in 5 regional cities, promoting the work-life balance that Montana has to offer. 

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The design speaks for itself, the landing page features an enticing landscape and color palette, attracting millennials to see Montana for the life it can deliver. The digital marketing campaign resulted in a .2% conversion rate.

We're Thrilled

It's truly an honor to be recognized for our recent work and great collaboration with our clients. We're a result-driven, award-winnin' team that constantly looks to innovate, create and collaborate to deliver the next incredible work for our clients.

Interested in kicking off your next award-winning project? Let's Talk!




Imarc Highlighted as a Top Boston Web Design Agency by Clutch

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:49:00 EDT

Clutch is a research firm that ranks thousands of companies in a multitude of industries and markets to help business buyers find the right partner for their IT or marketing needs. The firm’s evaluation considers a number of factors, including ability to deliver, services offered and client feedback.

We’re proud to announce that they’ve recently named us among the best web design agencies in Boston! 

Since 1997, we’ve defined excellence in the web, mobile and custom application fields. Through our expertise and high standards, we were able to place very high on Clutch’s list. With a diverse team of engineers, designers, strategists and business experts, we can adapt to any problem a client needs solved. These skills, combined with our strong sense of integrity, makes sure we will always deliver on our promises.

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Some of our clients talked to Clutch analysts, and they couldn’t have been happier with the  partnerships that we’ve established.

Senior manager of web operations at a large e-commerce provider, was impressed by our work ethic as we conducted a blog revamp for an e-commerce platform, adapting to a minimally supported CMS. “Their responsiveness is impressive...These guys are part of my team. I’m so comfortable with them at this point that I don’t really think of them as an outside agency. They’re a seamless part of our working group.”

Another client, the VP of Marketing at Magnitude Software highlighted our aptitude in our field, saying “There are a couple of factors which stand out in my mind…. Imarc’s ability to represent data-based opinions and recommendations, while still being malleable in terms of coming to a decision that makes sense for the intended outcome.”

We always take a personalized approach to our projects based on our clients’ needs to ensure client satisfaction. We’re proud to be featured as leaders among such great companies and look forward to more client feedback.




Fourth: Year One Recap

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:39:00 EDT

Our most successful projects are the ones that we stay engaged with post-launch as we continue to grow and nurture the site.  In our eyes the work always continues whether we enhance SEO, focus on marketing activities or conduct A/B testing. With that in mind, we’re excited to take a look back at the first year of the redesigned website for the hospitality software company, Fourth.com. What We Did In July of last year, we launched the Fourth website. The task on hand: reimagine the corporate website to focus on the buyer’s journey, enhance its global presence and deliver a more modern experience. Page Content and Search Engine Optimization To satisfy 2 target markets in the U.S. and U.K., the localization of the website was vital to the site’s success. Imarc focused on the user experience to align the language and culture of each country to support Fourth’s  business development efforts. In order to design  a site that would satisfy 2 regions, it was crucial to focus on the tone and consistency of the content, all while writing for 2 different audiences. The language as well as product offerings were tailored to each regional variation of the site. We also focused on search engine optimization, providing a keyword strategy to aid in the development of content. Extensive research identified commonly searched keywords used by targeted prospects within the hospitality sector. In depth SEO analysis was incorporated into the full site content organically, ensuring that the new site content would have the maximum discoverability. How We Helped We’re proud to say that the site is performing incredibly well. Beyond its new look and feel and strategic call-to-actions, the Fourth site has seen impressive results that include: 47% increase in sessions - meaning more and more visits on the site; 51% increase in pageviews - people are really engaging with the content and viewing multiple pages; 14% increase in organic search traffic - people have reached the site from searching keywords that are found throughout site. What We’re Working on Now We pride ourselves on the the work that we accomplish for our clients. Our result-driven approach keeps our clients coming back for more. We’re constantly suggesting improvements and recommendations to continue to elevate their digital presence. One year after launch, we continue working with the Fourth team to evolve their digital experiences for their prospects and clients. A few of enhancements we’ve worked on this year are: Designing and developing an event and webinar tool; Improved upon the user experience for the the blog; Continue to enhance Search Engine Optimization; Redesigned Careers section. It’s great to look back on our past launches.  The relationships built, the results and the on-going support is a true testament to our team and the work that we create. We’re honored to be an extension of the Fourth team and continually looking ahead to the next best thing when it comes to website innovation.[...]



UPS Shipping Plugin for Craft Commerce

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:04:00 EDT

Today, Imarc Labs is open sourcing a plugin for Craft Commerce integrating with UPS's shipping API to pull back shipping prices. Available here: https://github.com/imarc/craft-upsshipping Craft Commerce's Built-In Shipping Logic Craft Commerce is an e-commerce platform for Craft CMS. It provides product, promotion and order management, supports 20-30 different payment gateways and basic analytics. Out of the box, Craft Commerce provides a lot of configuration options for shipping. You can specify a base rate as well as cost based on each product's quantity, weight, and/or price. You can specify all of these based on shipping location as well as minimum and maximum order quantities, prices and weights. For example, you could offer a two day shipping option like this: For orders over $25 being shipped within the United States, shipping is free; For orders over $25 being shipped internationally, charge $5/lb being shipped, minimum of $10; For orders under $25, charge $10 for shipping. And a cheaper, slower shipping option like this: For orders being shipped within the US, shipping is free; For international orders, charge $2.50/lb being shipped, minimum of $5. Bottom line: Craft Commerce's built-in shipping cost configurations offer a lot of flexibility. UPS Shipping Plugin for Direct Cost Lookups In certain cases, sellers may want to rely on explicit shipping quotes directly from UPS. That's why we developed a Craft Commerce plugin for UPS for connecting to UPS's Shipping API to pull back shipping estimates. The plugin uses gabrielbull/php-ups-api, and can pull back prices for shipments via UPS Ground through UPS Next Day Air Early AM. It's integrated into Craft Commerce so these shipping methods show up just like any of the others. Limitations and Recommendations However, UPS's Shipping API has some limitations. For example, it requires the dimensions and weight of the package being shipped. We chose to default all estimates to be based off of UPS's standard shipping. Our plugin does not take advantage of UPS’s flat rate boxes or shipping envelopes. Craft Commerce doesn't provide practical packing logic; this plugin provides some basic logic, but still overestimates sizes. If you have specific products you're selling in branded packaging at known sizes and weights and you need real UPS estimates, this plugin may be useful to you. For most ecommerce, I'd recommend using Craft Commerce's built in configuration to define shipping policies that make the most sense for your business. Download Download the UPS Shipping Plugin for Craft Commerce on our GitHub. Also check out Imarc's other GitHub repositories or follow @imarclabs on Twitter.[...]



The 3 Key Questions for Choosing an Intranet

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 11:28:00 EDT

So, you’re in the market to upgrade your organization’s current intranet – or maybe create your first one.  Your company has gotten large enough that an intranet would do your employees good. Early on in the planning process there are some necessary steps that will help to get you on the right track: like creating an internal project team and outlining your goals and objectives. Inevitably, the question “what software to use?” will be staring your team directly in the face. Depending on the size and experience of your project team, this question can be hard to answer with confidence. (I’m sorry, I don’t have the magical answer for you.) The question you should ask is “what solution is best for us?” Don’t worry – I’ve outlined the three basic issues you’ll need to investigate and answer. How easy is implementation? Regardless whether you choose a custom approach, or a more well-known entity like the "Sharepoints of the Internet", there’s a level of commitment needed from your team during implementation. A lot of times companies choose an out-of-the-box system hoping to save time and money – but rarely it does. There’s still a level of customization needed even with intranet products marketed as “everything you need” and “out-of-the-box”.  Inevitably, as the team starts getting their hands dirty with implementation, they’ll realize they wish they could customize features or options a bit more. No matter how badly we like to box up companies into similar industries, services or customer base, all organizations run in their own unique way. The value of having an intranet is not about it being a repository for all the boring yet necessary company documentation. It’s not about being an archive. It’s about collaboration.  You need to give your employees a solution that is intuitive and stimulates active communication among employees, rather than stifling it. How is the user experience? Which brings us to user experience (UX).  For your intranet project, engaging your employees through a great UX is imperative. An easy-to-use system will be used. A confusingly complex one will not. It’s that simple. Now that we’ve started thinking about the cost of implementation in terms of manpower, we need to also consider how the intranet will be administered day to day – and by whom? Having administrators that are familiar with the system will go a long way in providing a personalized experience for your employees.  Your Intranet is a solution that your employees will be using every day. Fresh and targeted content – from news and events to corporate communications and resources – that are relevant to their job and interests will keep them coming back and re-engaging with the platform. Another big trend we’ve seen in the intranet space is the integration of social functionality. Blogs, chat, “Like” buttons, digital workspaces and video conferencing are all great social tools that increase collaboration and productivity.  Much like your favorite social media network, intranets are including features to allow employees to create profiles, share their work and provide updates on current initiatives. We’ve learned that these techniques really do encourage employees to engage better with co-workers. One last point on personalization and UX: take extra consideration for how your intranet will work on mobile devices. More and more employees are accessing their work remotely or on-the-go – whether or not you want them to!  Your intranet sh[...]



The Digital Patient Experience

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 02:30:00 EDT

Recently, we had the privilege to work with the team at Anna Jaques Hospital (AJH) on its  website redesign. Aside from updating the content management system (CMS) and making it responsive, our team spent time making sure the relaunch would be a valuable resource and user-friendly for its patients.

Healthcare sites are often used by individuals in distress; therefore, usability is a key factor. When thinking about users, a hospital’s website is more than a marketing site. The site needs to help users accomplish specific tasks and access the information quickly and easily.

To further AJH’s success, the site includes a carefully designed navigation, tools to find the right doctor, retrieve medical records, view classes and support groups, access payment information and retrieve directions.

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The common thread among all of these tasks: a keen user experience using (UX) best practices. 

Good UX should answer the following questions:

  • How are you bringing new patients through the door?

  • Are the hospital’s services front and center?

  • How consistent is the site’s user experience?

  • Does your site carefully and strategically place important links?

In many cases, a website is the first experience potential patients will have with a hospital. What may be common sense as a healthcare professional may not be so easy for an outside user.

Working with the AJH team, we were able to strategize the design of its new website. Imarc focused on the needs of its primary users to ensure a seamless and positive user journey.

In the end, we redesigned a site that satisfies both its users’ needs and fulfills its business objectives, serving AJH for years to come. The takeaway - if users can’t navigate a site easily to find what they’re looking for, the website won't succeed.

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If you're interested in learning more about this project, our UX process or need help with your healthcare website, let’s talk!

 




Our Latest Launches: Anna Jaques Hospital and The Wells Reserve

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 04:17:00 EDT

We strive to deliver the incredible to our clients and test the limits of our imagination on all of our projects; and we’re excited to announce the latest additions to our portfolio, The Wells Reserve and Anna Jaques Hospital. 

The Wells Reserve

The Wells Reserve, a National Estuarine Research Reserve, recently partnered with Imarc to reimagine the organization’s website. The redesign is an effort to increase exposure and showcase the reservation’s commitment to visitors, educational programs and stewardship.

Developed on the Craft CMS, the site is optimized to deliver a seamless user experience. The redesign includes strong cross-linking throughout the site and a redesigned blog to easily share content. During the redesign, Imarc focused on a persona-based approach, creating a navigation that was crucial to delivering an unparalleled experience for the four primary visitor types of the website and the reserve. 

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Anna Jaques Hospital

User experience is becoming a rising priority in the healthcare industry. Hospitals are looking to bring the high-quality patient experience that they deliver to the online experience. After several successful years, Anna Jaques Hospital (AJH) returned to Imarc to redesign and reimagine its site to align with their patient centric approach.

The responsively redesigned AJH site features an intuitive navigation that gives users quick access to popular tools, such as Find-A-Doctor filtering and patient guides. Classes and support group pages offer on page registrations, allowing users to sign-up quickly and easily. Also built on the scalable Craft platform, this site will continue to serve AJH for years to come. All content can be edited through the user-friendly CMS.

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Our diverse clientele gives us the opportunity to bring innovation across multiple industries, resulting in unique, optimized solutions. We  always enjoy collaborating with brands that are ready to take the next step in evolving their brand and what they have to offer their end user.


 




HTTPS. Get it. Got it. Good.

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:01:00 EDT

HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is an internet protocol that allows your computer, smartphone or any other internet connected device to securely connect to a website. HTTPS was once only recommended for websites that transmitted sensitive information, such as user logins or credit card data. Nowadays, there's a push to secure the web by implementing HTTPS on as many websites as possible, big or small, no matter the functionality. Many of the top websites use HTTPS by default and if you have a website, yours should too.  Security HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, which is a protocol that your web browser uses to transfer data when communicating with websites. The internet is built on HTTP, but it's also inherently insecure. Any other computer in the middle of these communications can see the data being transferred and can access it, read it and modify it. This can range from a malicious user trying to steal your information to your ISP trying to insert ads into the websites you’re browsing. HTTPS helps keep your data private and secure by encrypting web communications between the browser and the website, making sure nobody else can access it. This is very important when transmitting sensitive data that you don't want other to see, especially on insecure networks like public wifi, where anybody on the same network has the ability to access your browsing data if you're visiting a website that doesn't use HTTPS. To know if you're browsing a site using HTTPS, just check the url in the web browser. If using HTTPS it will start with https://. Most browsers also display some sort of lock or secure icon to let you know you're browsing a secure website. You can click on the icon to get more information about the site as well. Moving away from HTTP In recent years, there has been a big push in the internet community to move away from HTTP and secure all web traffic by using HTTPS. The US government has required every public facing government website to run over HTTPS. Google has been transitioning all of its products and services over to HTTPS and many of the top sites on the internet have been moving to HTTPS as well. The next version of HTTP that’s built into web browsers, known as HTTP/2, will only support secure connections and HTTPS enabled websites will actually load faster in HTTP/2, so moving to HTTPS will help future proof your website. There are obstacles in moving to HTTPS, including the cost of obtaining a secure certificate and the complexity of getting your site up and running with HTTPS enabled. To help alleviate these issues, in 2015 the Electronic Frontier Foundation launched Let's Encrypt, a certificate authority that provides free identity certificates and an automated solution to renew these certificates, greatly reducing the barrier of entry for running a secure website. Google Chrome, the most popular web browser today, is doing its part in notifying users when they are browsing insecure websites. Currently Chrome shows a warning when entering in passwords or credit card information on sites only using HTTP. Starting in October 2017, Chrome will start displaying the warning when entering in any data on any website not using HTTPS, whether the information is sensitive or not. SEO A website's SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, affects its placement in search results from internet search providers such as Google and Bing. Having solid and comprehensive SEO on your website[...]



Turning Up the Heat with Hot Topics from UXPA Boston

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 10:44:00 EDT

I recently attended the 16th Annual User Experience Conference, UXPA Boston 2017. The event was was a great way to check out what our peers are up to and see what’s going on in the industry. This being my first UX conference,  I was pretty pumped to find my seat and take notes (I’ve always been a great note taker) and dive into the discussion topics, ranging from accessibility to process to metrics.  Here are some of the hot topics that were mentioned at this year’s conference and how Imarc may bring them into our own practice.  Accessibility With the growing pool of lawsuits related to ADA compliance (Americans with Disabilities Act), the vast majority of companies are focusing on making its websites and products accessible. For websites, the focus is mainly on those who are visually-impaired and hard-of-hearing. Here are some top methods on testing a website’s accessibility: Use a contrast checker to make sure all of the text is readable and images are easy to view Provide transcripts or captions for any videos included Test with a screen reader, especially on forms Keyboard testing to make sure a user can tab through the navigation easily I should mention that it’s nearly impossible to make a website 100% compliant, but reading up on the standards and following the steps above should help you reach a broader, more diverse audience. Throughout the conference, there was also a lot of talk about companies starting to focus on accessibility early-on during projects, tackling it in a phased approach and adding in accessibility requirements for all new projects. Our UX team has already taken an initiative to research further, approaching accessibility in smaller components and adding it to our process so it becomes a standard with all of our websites. Development Processes Another big topic at UXPA Boston was related to different development processes. I attended a session that discussed using the Agile process in a busy development environment. This company releases new features monthly, and UX often becomes the bottleneck since their small UX team supports 18 development teams. To help streamline the process and keep UX focused, they created a “bat-signal” for JIRA stories that indicated when UX was needed. UX would review these stories daily, and decide whether or not a UX member was needed or a designated member from the development team could handle it using a pattern library.    While we do some agile projects we do mostly use the waterfall method at Imarc, so we have longer sprints that are not as iterative. It works very well for us and our overall process. Their process particularly intrigued me, though, as we have been working on a component library ourselves that will be worked into Imarc’s boilerplate (more on our components soon!). We’ve got our own engineers working with it and hope to continue expanding usage as we build out the library. We’re even working our components into our custom OmniGraffle (our favorite wireframing tool) stencil set to speed up the wireframing process and maintain consistency. Measuring the Value of UX One of the most common topics at UXPA Boston this year was the value of UX and why every product should involve UX, whether it’s a website, mobile app or physical product. The Imarc UX team is comprised of 6 individuals who handle tasks from strategic research, sitemapping, wireframing to building out a website[...]