GDPR: What It Means For Your Business

If you’re a business owner, you have undoubtedly heard of the passing of the GDPR on May 25th, 2018. As a web development agency in Chicago, Codal has been acutely aware of this legislation and its breadth. Yet, this astronomical legislation was a long time coming- the GDPR’s construction started in December 2015.

The General Data Protection Regulation, or most commonly referred to as the “GDPR,” is a European Union privacy and security law. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How does this impact my business if I am in America and my business is based in the U.S.?

Since GDPR involves any personal data that EU citizens provide, its reach is far beyond Europe. Thus, if your business operates in the European Union, offers services/goods to EU citizens, or essentially accesses any part of the EU- you must be in compliance with the GDPR.

The GDPR is the largest cybersecurity update in the past two decades: giving data control back to the user and limiting the extent that businesses can use this information.

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The price for not complying? Lawsuits and fines galore. Now, that’s scary. And for the sake of user cybersecurity, it’s meant to have that fear factor. As a web application development agency in Chicago, that works with a number of companies that are affected by these laws- I understand the unease that you must being experiencing. However, we are going to delve into this cryptic legislation together and determine what it means for your business.

Taking A Bird’s Eye View

If your business falls under the breadth of the GDPR, the first thing to do would be to take a step back and look at the data being collected holistically. What are you collecting this data for, and are your users aware of these uses?

The GDPR emphasizes that users have control over their “personal data.” Forbes simplifies and lays out what this would encompass: personal identifying data (name, address, date of birth, web-based data (location, IP address, cookies), health/genetic data, biometric data, racial/ethnic data, political opinions and sexual orientation. That’s a lot of data.

If your business is using any of this information, it is pertinent that you check your privacy agreements to be in accordance with the GDPR (Article 7 in the legislation). Are users explicitly agreeing to the following ‘terms and conditions,’ that would allow you to use this data? If the answer is no, your privacy agreement may be due for a facelift. No matter what your answer is, GDPR is a reminder that your privacy agreement could probably use an update.

This is why so many users have been receiving emails asking them to review changes in these privacy agreements. I would recommend following suit: once you update the agreements, let users know of these changes and require them to re-agree.

If you’re looking for an example of GDPR compliant privacy agreements, Google has a good example of their user policy here or here.

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Review. And if necessary, be sure to revise promptly.

Hire A Data Protection Officer

In addition to a potential update in privacy agreements, a business should consider hiring a data protection officer, or a “DPO” for short. A data protection officer ensures that a business is adhering to all aspects of the GDPR. DPOs also work on data protection strategy and the implementation of new security protocols.

Additionally, a DPO has to conduct audits of a business’ security, train other employees about data processing, and more. Depending on the amount of data your business processes, GDPR may require you to hire a DPO.

We recommend taking a look at the GDPR legislation to see how your business fits into this requirement. Who knows, your new DPO might become your right-hand man.

Plans And Records

As the GDPR is put into effect, businesses also need to create a Record of Processing Activities (RoPA). The RoPA includes: information about the data controller, purposes of processing, and the security measures put in place. Article 30 details this portion of the GDPR in further detail.

Another important addition to the GDPR is its policy regarding data breaches. The GDPR requires companies to report breaches within 72 hours of the incident occurring. That’s a quick turnaround.

This short timeline means that companies should create policies on how they might handle a data breach. The quicker breach plans can be implemented, the sooner a business can minimize the damage and lay out its next steps – all while fitting in with the GDPR requirements.

However, if a company fails to report a data breach, they will face hefty fines. Better safe than sorry, make sure your business is in line with the GDPR requirements.

What Next?

The bottom line is that you should get your business to be GDPR compliant as soon as possible. Though the full GDPR requirements are much lengthier than this article, it’s a good starting point to refining your business’ data protocols. This includes advertising and the social media realm! Prevent the excessive fines and lawsuits – get on board with the GDPR.

And while you’re in the mindset of updating your business, get in contact with an eCommerce web design company to help your users find your security policies and privacy changes with ease.

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GDPR: What It Means For Your Business

How Color Can Affect UX

Using color at a mobile app design agency is a lot more strategic than many people think. Individuals tend to believe that the designer chooses the color that they think is the most aesthetically pleasing, or would match their industry or brand best. While many designers do have to follow a UI or branding kit, the use and strategy of color should never be overlooked.

Colors have a huge impact on a users behavior, thoughts, emotions, and mood. The success of both a digital or physical product could depend on the choice of color. Common English phrases even sometimes use colors to describe a mood, like the phrase “feeling blue.”

Research that was conducted by Colorcom shows that it does not take very long for someone to make a judgement about a product; only 90 seconds. Within those 90 seconds, majority of the judgement is based on the color. Therefore, using color theory can advance the usability and conversion rates of the product.

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Blue

Blue is an extremely common color when it comes to design. This color gives off an emotion of safety, trust, happiness and friendliness. While different shades of blue can give off different meanings, almost all shades of blue will still give off a feeling of trust. Many large enterprises use this color in their branding, such as Chase, United Airlines, Charles Schwab.

Pink

The color pink gives off a feeling of joy and playfulness. While many people think that this is a feminine color, it may not be as much as you believe. Many times, pink is used for candy, sugar-based products, often associated with innocence and youth.

Black

Black typically represents power, and is used on more serious and formal digital products. However, it is a unique color that should be used with care. Although it is powerful, it can also be used to be perceived as mysterious or frightening, but sometimes sophisticated. As a UX design agency, we know that this is a color that every design teams needs to use with caution.

Check out Chase Bank’s logo below. It includes both black and blue colors, representing power and trust, which is exactly what they want their customers to perceive.

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Green

For fairly obvious reasons, green is typically related to all things earthy and natural, and related to the environment. Many healthy food companies use their color to grab a person’s attention, white most consumers understand what this color relates to.

Since this color is pretty natural to the eye, many calls-to-actions on websites and mobile applications are green so that the user is directed right to that button. As an app development agency, we always have to strategize where calls-to-actions should be places, and how they should look in order to increase conversion rates.

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Red

Similar to black, Red should also be used for carefully. It typically will represent aggression and importance. While red can represent both love and war, it is a proven color to raise awareness, whether it is good or bad. A little bit of red can go a long way.

Any company that you hire who offer’s UI design services, or even just strictly UX services, will be able to help you strategically choose your brand colors, and choose the best places on your digital product(s) for certain colors.

How Color Can Affect UX

4 Ways to Boost Engagement on Your Mobile App

Creating a mobile application that keeps users engaged takes more than just an interesting app idea. Along with having an application that is actually useful to the user, you need to entice the user to interact with the app.

The more engagement you can create around your app, the more users that you could potentially gain. As a Chicago mobile application development company, it is mission-critical for us to understand how to keep users engaged.

Push & Local Notifications

While there are many misconceptions of push notifications, push & local notifications are one of the best ways to boost engagement and overall increase user retention. Notifications like this will allow you to also reach users when they are not only using the application.
A push notification can display any message that you want, play a sound to get the user’s attention, and provide different actions that the user can take, without even opening up the app.

SiriKit

If your iOS mobile app falls into the below categories, then you can use SiriKit to allow your mobile app to converse with your users via Siri.

  • Messaging
  • VoIP Calls
  • Payments
  • Ride Sharing + Ride Booking
  • Workouts
  • Photo Search

Allowing your users to talk to Siri to engage with your app, is just another way to increase overall engagement on your app. Your iOS development company will absolutely be able to assist you in integrating SiriKit with your app.

Social Media

As the years go, social media continues to dominate users time they spend on their smartphones. Embracing the culture of social media in today’s world can only increase engagement, as social shareability is absolutely critical to user engagement.

While you should not be intrusive and should not interfere with the overall user experience, social shareability is important and can bring your business a handful of new users every day. If you’re working with a user experience design agency, they can conduct UX research services to validate the fact that your target users will want to engage on social media websites.

Deep Linking

Another way to increase user engagement is to employ deep linking to your mobile application. This is the practice of using a within-app linking structure to direct your users to a specific screen in the app, instead directing the user to the app’s homepage.

This form of engagement will keep your users in the app for as long as possible. Taking your user to a new page that they may have not seen before will keep them interested and more likely to keep browsing through the app. This is something that your iOS or Android app design company can help you strategize.

What now?

If you need assistance with your mobile app, reach out to Codal to discuss what you may need to do in order to gain more users. Adding a few simple integrations, or redesigning a few new screens can really change the way in which users interact with the app.

4 Ways to Boost Engagement on Your Mobile App

How Does a Persona Fit Into the UX Design Process?

Persona’s have been in place for decades, and are not only used in the user experience design field. A persona is synthesized individual that represents a significant amount of people.

More specifically, a user experience design agency would use a persona in order to focus on the target market that they are designing for. Each persona in UX should represent a user type of the application or web platform and should represent the needs that a larger group of people have. Below is what an example of a persona looks like (created by Chicago UX design company, Codal).

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Most personas will have an image, description of who they are, and most importantly, their frustrations, goals, values, and preferred solutions. Personas are something that is included in most UX design services, and will be conducted by the UX UI research team.
So, where does it belong in the UX process?

Personas are typically created in the very beginning of the user experience design phase, but should be referenced throughout the entire process, even into the mobile app design and development phase.

Finding Focus on the User

When designing a website or mobile application, it can be very easily to get lost in the rut of different, unique concepts. You cannot design something just because you like it as a designer. The platform is likely not being designed for you. Personas will keep you focused on the types of people that you’re designing for.

For an example, an older generation may not understand how to use the gestures on SnapChat, yet every millennial does. When SnapChat was being designed, the target persona was most likely a millennial and not a mother of 5 kids.

Design End Goals

A persona is a very goal-driven tool. The purpose of it is almost to ensure that all of the user goals have been met. Therefore, use your personas to reference check that every goal that was determined in the beginning of the project has been met.

Functionality

It is important for these personas to stay present through the software development cycle, and that your design transfers into the functionality that you were hoping for. If it doesn’t, what was the point of the UX research services that you utilized?

Defend your Decisions

If you’re a designer, I’m sure you have been asked “why does this look like this, why is the button here, why is the navigation menu like this?” Well, personas are a great way to back up the decisions that you make as a designer. You designed it a certain way because that is how “persona X” would expect it to be.

Conclusion

Personas are an extremely effective tool for every stage in the user experience and interface design process. Ensuring that your design is user-centered should be one of your main priorities as a UX designer. Interested in learning more about user-centered design? Contact Codal!

How Does a Persona Fit Into the UX Design Process?

Improving Your Mobile Checkout Process

In upcoming days and months, it is time to start thinking about the holiday rush of shoppers. Although halloween hasn’t even hit, and it is only a few days into September, it’s time to start optimizing your website for the holiday season.

Optimizing and improving your mobile checkout process is a great way to start. It is said that 54% of emails are opened on a mobile device. This means that if you’re sending email campaigns for your eCommerce business, not only the email, but your website, and even checkout process has to work perfectly on mobile.

Reduce the Number of Fields

Your form should include the bare essentials of questions and fields to fill out. While a question like “Where did you hear about us?” might help the vendor tremendously, you could lose customers if the form appears to be too long to fill out. UX and UI research will show that shorter forms will equal more conversions, especially when talking about mobile!

During the holiday season, users are making very frequent purchases, on many different websites. Customers should be given the option to checkout as a guest for this very reason. How many accounts are they going to make in such a short amount of time?

Put simply, a user is much less likely to go through the process of purchase if they have to create an account. Most mobile app design companies will also make this suggestion to their clients.

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Show Progress of Checkout

Users will be much happier knowing how many steps they have to take to complete a purchase. A simple visual design to show how many steps are left, keep the user informed. Any individual or company that offers UI design services can help craft a beautiful design that not only is visually appealing, but will be very informative for your customer.

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Take Advantage of Third Party Services

PayPal, Amazon, Apple + Google Wallet should be your best friends. Why would you force your users to pull out their physical wallets, and type in their credit card number when they don’t have to?

When a customer utilizes one of these services, their information is typically auto-populated, making the checkout process as easy as it possibly can be. Not only is it easy, but these platforms are extremely trusted by customers.

While these types of integrations may seem like they could be difficult, it would be a piece of cake for any mobile app design and development company.

Improving Your Mobile Checkout Process

Maximize on the Potential of Your eCommerce Website

Most user experience and visual designers can spot a templated design from a mile away. Surprisingly, a large number of eCommerce websites use templates for their design. Why? Probably because it is cheap, and quick to launch. However, if you really want to maximize the potential for your eCommerce business, hiring a company that offers UX design services would be highly recommended.

Some of the things that matter most on websites that sell products are conversion rates, bounce rates, branding, and seamless path to purchase.

A UX design agency that also offers web and app development services is probably just what you need. Here’s how a UX design agency can help you optimize your site for maximum conversions.

Analysis of Current Customer Data

Many UX research services begin with an in-depth audit of the typical buying journey, from the customer’s first visit to the checkout process. By dissecting the current conversion funnel, a design agency can identify areas for improvement in the process, and leverage research-driven design strategies to make improvements on the website.

Seamless Path to Purchase

All businesses have a unique path to purchase.The buyer’s journey should be as simple as possible. By reducing the overall number of steps it takes for the user to make a purchase, your eCommerce will most likely see a reduction of drop-off rates. Many templates path-to-purchase is already completed, and was not thought through for your specific, unique business needs.

Journey Map All User Types

Chances are that your business has multiple buyer personas. It is important that each of those buyer personas are accounted for. A UX design agency will map out every user type to ensure that the website is user-friendly and seamless for all user’s to use.

Marketing Driven Conversion Testing

Before launching any website, it is important to test it first, before it’s live in the market. This is especially true for eCommerce websites, where the website itself generates money without the help of a sales team or outside personnel.

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Testing an eCommerce website focuses on the checkout process, product pages, cross selling, up selling, navigation and product search-ability. Here at Codal, our conversion testing strategies are designed to mitigate shopping cart abandonment and decrease bounce rate.

So What?

Using a template will not fix current pain points of the website, it also will not take into considering your unique business needs, and all of your different customer types. If you hire a UX and UI design agency, they will take the time to understand your business and make recommendations based on that. One template does not fit all!

Maximize on the Potential of Your eCommerce Website

Google Play Versus Apple’s App Store

As a mobile application design company offering iOS development services, it is critical to stay on top of trends and statistics on both Apple’s app store and Google Play.

Apple App Store: The Numbers

appleIn 2008, when Apple’s app store was launched, here were only 500 mobile applications available. Within 5 years, the number of apps in the store skyrocketed to a million. Just this past January, the app store reached 2.2 million apps.

In 2016, the app store recorded a bit over 25 billion downloads. In quarter 4 of 2016, the App store reported that they generated $5.4 billion.

Google Play: The Numbers

androidThe Google Play store was also launched in 2008, the same time as Apple’s App Store. However, this past January the total number of apps in the store was over 2.7 million.

In 2016, the Google Play store recorded over 75 billion mobile app downloads.

So, while there are more downloads and more apps in the Google Play Store than Apple’s App Store, Apple was still able to generate more money from mobile applications within that time period.

But, Why?

Are there more Android app design companies than iOS development firms? Do more people have Android phones than iPhones? Are Android app development services less expensive than iOS?

Not particularly. One large factor of this is that Apple has a lot larger of a quality control process than Google does. A mobile app development company that releases both an iOS and Android app will have two different waiting periods to get approved. Typically, Android approves their apps a lot quicker than Apple does.

While it completely depends on the features of an app, an Android app can be approved within a day of being sent for review. This is rarely the case with Apple, as it seems that they spend more time reviewing the app’s and have completely different guidelines than Google.

Apple is all about quality and quality control. They are much stricter about what types of mobile app’s are allowed to be available to download, and they have a lot more guidelines for approval/rejection. For example, if your app needs a code update, Apple will let you know; and if you don’t update it, they’ll take control of the situation and remove it from the app store.

If you’re looking for an agency that offers iOS development services or Android app development services, get in contact with Codal, and let the UX design and development agency bring your idea to life!

Google Play Versus Apple’s App Store