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 Mobility Can Reduce Healthcare Facility Costs

Having a mobile presence is no longer just a “trend,” it is expected from consumers, and more of a need in today’s digital world. By 2020, it is predicted that the revenue from mobile app’s will be around $44.8 billion.

The evolution of mobility for the healthcare space has invited many mobile app development agencies to jumpstart their processes for healthcare software development solutions.

With almost 100,000 mobile applications related to fitness and healthcare in the mobile app store, it is obvious that there is a very high demand for Chicago app developers, especially one’s proficient in healthcare mobile app development.

The real question comes down to this:

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The GSMA reported that by the end of 2017, mHealth and healthcare software solutions will reduce healthcare facility costs by $400 billion in developed countries.

But how?

Time is Money

mHealth can save countless hours, for both patients, and a healthcare facility, and in today’s era, ‘time is money’.

With the assistance of healthcare mobile app development, patients can fill out forms, schedule appointments, request prescription refills, and view treatment history, all via the internet.

Think about it, you can easily spend 20 minutes every time your at the doctor to fill out paperwork, and it can take hours to get ahold of your medical records via your doctor, and not online.

Less Resources Required

If patients are scheduling appointments through an app, requesting refills online, and asking their doctors a question through a web portal, less human resources will be required to run and maintain a doctors office or any medical facility.

Once an organization onboards a healthcare mobile application, a huge amount of time and money will be saved on human resources. What’s the need to have 4 people at the front desk of an office, if they are not being utilized?

It is also important that once an application is onboarded, that it is marketed to their patients so they use this technology to their full benefits.

Electronic Medical Records and Reports

Having access to your healthcare records, anywhere, anytime, allows less of a back-and-forth between patients and physicians. It allows individuals to access their information faster, and without the help of an office representative or a doctor.

Before technology was around, physicians and office-workers would have to enter a room with a lot of paper medical records:

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Not only is time and money wasted in this, but it is extremely inefficient, as this space can be used for additional things. And if you’re looking at it from an eco-friendly point of view, having this much physical paper isn’t very earth-friendly. 80% of Americans obtain some of the health information online; if your healthcare facility doesn’t have a way for your patients to access their records via the internet, you’re behind the technology schedule!

How Codal Can Help

Codal is a team of high-quality, Chicago app developers and user experience designers.

As a UX design company in the healthcare space, we know what it takes to design around HIPAA compliance and regulations, making Codal a great choice for any project that you want to start around healthcare software development solutions.

How Mobility Can Reduce Healthcare Facility Costs

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

UX Design: How to Develop Empathy Toward Your Audience

Using empathy in design is the ability to understand the emotions, feelings and goals of the target market of any digital product. Most UX design companies will utilize empathy in their user experience design process in order to ensure that their design is going to be what a user wants and needs. Using empathy is all about collecting subjective pieces of information, and analyzing it with an unbiased mindset.

One of the best ways to collect this information, is to completely insert yourself in the context of the target market of users, put yourself in their shoes, and start gaining insights into their everyday experiences.

You can start by simply watching how people interact and behave, asking potential users a series of questions, and experiencing various things first-hand. Empathy isn’t something that would be necessarily listed under ‘user experience design services,’ however, it would be used throughout different stages of the design process.

Why is Empathy Important in UX?

Empathy is important because a user experience designer is not designing just a product, they are designing the experience that a user has while they are using a product. Therefore, a UX designer needs to understand various things about their users, not just what they expect from an app.

Instead of just understanding what a user needs to perform a task, it is crucial to learn what the user’s goals are, what they are aiming for, and how they are feeling when they try to reach those goals. In order to learn these things, getting an empathic thought is critical.

You may have experienced an interaction in your life, that later made you feel more supportive or accommodating for someone else. This is similar to empathy in design; empathic design allows the designer to understand the mindset and positioning of the user.

The risks of any product design and development is on the higher side.The rewards of product design are also very high, which is why it’s so important for a UX UI design company or software development agency to utilize empathic feelings during the design research process.

Getting Started Developing Empathy

Below are four general steps to get you started gathering insights into your users world:
Exploration and Analysis

The first step is to enter the user’s world. If your app development agency is building an iOS app for the workflow of accountants, you may not know what the day-to-day life is like in an accountant’s office. You should then start by checking out the “behind the scenes” in order to get a glimpse of the life of an accountant.

This will get your mind in the zone, and start triggering more curious thoughts.

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Immerse Yourself

The second step is to to start collecting qualitative data while you are understanding what the day-to-day is. Start completely immersing yourself into the user’s work, by talking to an array of employees at the accounting office, taking photos, and diving deeper into what a day in the life of an accounting office is.

As another example, attend a full day of meetings, whether internal, or with clients of the accounting firm to fully immerse yourself in the experiences of an accountant.

This will allow you to empathize with the experience of users, from their point of view

Create Meaning

Now it is time to start resonating with the user, using your own experiences to connect with the user and create a bigger meaning. Sometimes, this will innately happen when you’re collecting the data altogether.

For example, you may discover that the accountants are frustrated with the fact that they all do not have a centralized place to find client documents. This may resonate with an experience you had at a college where Blackboard, or any student portal was non-existent. You begin to remember the feelings this brought you, you are able to recognize the context and have empathic feelings toward the user.

Step Back

Lastly, you need to detach yourself from being a designer and start reflecting on all of your ideas that you have collected. While these empathic insights are extremely valuable, you need to translate these feelings and insights into real ideas.

Being able to empathize with the user, allows you to design a solution experience that will solve the user’s frustrations, as a perfect end-product.

Conclusion

The best way to collect the most relevant information is to completely immerse yourself into the context of the potential users of the project. Getting empathic insights from potential users means that you will be able to design an amazing experience, and overall product. Empathic-based designs will help build a data-driven portfolio for your application development agency.

UX Design: How to Develop Empathy Toward Your Audience

Utilizing Storyboards To Understand The Users World

A lot of research and time goes into the final design that an end user sees. Before all of the pretty colors and typography is added to a website or application, there is an entire user experience process, where your UX design agency begins to understanding goals, gather requirements, and conduct research, to better understand the user, and to design with data and research in mind.

Different UX design companies will use different research techniques, such as interviews and surveys, contextual inquiry, and group workshops. Then, the UX designer will take this data and summarize their research findings into user stories or user flows. This helps the team communicate their findings and solutions to the team, along with wireframes and personas.

Personas are typically created to help the designers understanding who they are designing for, and why, and wireframes help layout the application or website, before adding the graphical aspects. So, where do storyboards come into play?

What are storyboards and why should you use them?

A storyboard is a graphical, linear set of illustrations to portray an entire story of a user completing a task. Stories are one of the most effective and powerful ways of delivering information. In user experience design services, a storyboard is a visual tool that will predict and explore the user’s interactions with the platform, to help understand the flow of someone’s interaction with product over a given time.

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Why storyboards? Well, a storyboard forces the designer to think about the user flow, prioritize what is important, and allows a team to work together to create a very clear picture of what is being designed, and how a user will use it.

It also helps a designer put real people at the heart of the overall UX process. When dealing with data, research and analytics, it can be difficult to put a human face on a handful of numbers. However, storyboards help put the user first.

How to get started with a storyboard

Simply start with a pen and paper, and start mapping out the most simple interactions. You can then break up your story into individual moments, and decisions that the user will make.

If your mobile app development agency is building a mobile app to help consumers diagnose a sickness, the first step might be that consumer feeling sick and staying in bed all day. After you create those first interactions, start adding emotion into the story. How does the user feel when they find the app and create an account? Next, every step, or interaction, can become a frame, emphasizing every moment and the emotions that are felt at that point. At this point, you can start adding visuals to to bring the story to life.

After you have your first draft storyboard, start adding in images and graphics, or even just sketches. Pass this along to your team, and start collaborating on the story. Your UX company or mobile app design company may find interactions that were either missed, our thought of as less-important as it should be.

Your storyboard doesn’t have to be pixel perfect, it just has to tell the story of your user. Once you have the story complete, you will be much more prepared when putting together the wireframes and overall flow of the platform.

Looking for extra assistance with your user experience? Chat with the experts at Codal!

Utilizing Storyboards To Understand The Users World

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?