10 Steps to Creating an Engaging Digital Experience

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first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » April 8, 2017 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read In order to be effective, websites need to be multifunctional in design. They need to be built like a house: protecting against the elements, providing a comfortable living space with ample storage, meeting basic needs, etc. Your website should be designed to improve user acquisition, lift engagement and help you retain customers.It’s science and psychology combined with art. Your team should focus on several different elements to create an interactive experience that directly engages the target audience. Here are 10 steps to follow while refining the user’s online experience.1. Focus on user types, not buyer personasBuyer personas are primarily designed to align marketing messages and ad copy. To create the ideal user experience, you don’t need to know what “customer Lisa” specifically likes or what her pain points are. However, you do need to know the user types you’re targeting and how they browse and shop, which devices they use, and how they find and use your products. Create your experience around those user type segments rather than buyer personas.2. Create simple experiencesCustomers should feel engaged immediately. Keep your interface clean and simple and embrace white space. This invites them to explore your site on their own rather than forcing them to find what they’re looking for among cluttered designs with too many options vying for their attention.3. Design like Fisher-PriceWhen you’re refining the user experience, aim for something that feels like you’re interacting with oversized Fisher-Price toys. This means creating large elements with simplified designs, clear copy that even a child could understand and actionable, concise directions (and calls-to-action).This kind of experience works perfectly on any device, especially on mobile where larger elements make for easier navigation.4. Design for limited real estateAny time you’re creating a user experience, you should ask yourself if this is how you’d want it to function on mobile. How would it look on a smartphone versus a tablet? If you’re designing on a desktop, you have to carefully consider how it might translate in a mobile setting.You can guarantee a better experience by designing for mobile users first, ensuring compatibility and a more engaging experience overall.5. Don’t trust your feelingsNever assume that your user experience has reached perfection simply because you personally think it looks great and it did well when you put it through its paces in a test environment. How you or your team views the experience might be wildly different from a customer who sees it for the first time.Always test the experience with outsiders. There are a number of services that test your user experience with actual consumers. Their comments, responses and activity are recorded during the interaction with your site and/or app so you can review feedback and make necessary changes.6. Mix up your contentPeople are engaged in a variety of ways, and some respond better to certain types of content than others. Through testing, you can find the right balance between deeply engaging video or animations, images and written content on your product pages and blogs.Continue to refine, diversify and test your content with audiences to see how variations in your content change engagement levels. You may discover that static images are less effective, but animation and live video win with your target audience.7. Make the copy singYou’d be hard-pressed to develop an engaging user experience that didn’t utilize copy in some way. Whether you use minimal copy or long-form content, you need to make sure it’s compelling and hooks the user to stay engaged.Every word should serve a purpose by moving prospects through the experience toward a conversion.8. Integrate socialMake it easy for your audience to promote products, contribute content (like reviews and thoughts) and interact with other customers within your funnel. Amazon does this through Q&A segments as well as comment sections. Social proof goes a long way toward improving engagement and conversions with prospective customers.9. Personalize the experienceMake customers feel valuable by directly asking them for feedback while they’re on your site. Rather than slapping customers with an opt-in while they’re trying to leave, consider creating an exit intent survey that asks them to answer a couple short questions on the experience. Use these customer insights to further improve the UX of your site.10. Offer customizationCustomization in any form is a large part of personalizing the user experience to make it more engaging for each customer. This could involve allowing a user to customize the visual experience of the site (such as layout options and dashboard elements within an online community) to customizing the products they purchase. It allows the user to own their part of the experience with your brand, which will encourage them to return to “their space” in the future.last_img

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Ocean City Police Department Activity Report: Nov. 11-17

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Researchers shed new light on schizophrenia

first_imgAs part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and scores of other institutions from all over the world have helped identify more than 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia in what is the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date.The findings, which are published online in Nature, point to biological mechanisms and pathways that may underlie schizophrenia, and could lead to new approaches to treating the disorder, which has seen little innovation in drug development in more than 60 years.Schizophrenia, a debilitating psychiatric disorder that affects approximately one out of every 100 people worldwide, is characterized by hallucinations, paranoia, and a breakdown of thought processes, and often emerges in the teens and early 20s. Its lifetime impact on individuals and society is high, both in terms of years of healthy life lost to disability and in terms of financial cost, with studies estimating the price of treating schizophrenia at more than $60 billion annually in the United States alone.Despite the pressing need for treatment, medications currently on the market treat only one of the symptoms of the disorder (psychosis), and do not address the debilitating cognitive symptoms. In part, treatment options are limited because the biological mechanisms underlying the illness have not been understood. The sole drug target for existing treatments was found serendipitously, and no medications with fundamentally new mechanisms of action have been developed since the 1950s.“This level of cooperation between institutions is absolutely essential,” said Steven E. Hyman, Harvard’s Distinguished Service Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, director of the Broad’s Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, and a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “Because of the genetic complexity of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, we need a large sample size to conduct this type of research. If we are to continue elucidating the biology of psychiatric disease through genomic research, we must continue to work together.”In the genomics era, research has focused on the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia because of the disorder’s high heritability. Previous studies have revealed the complexity of the disease (with evidence suggesting that it is caused by the combined effects of many genes), and roughly two dozen genomic regions have been found to be associated with the disorder. The new study confirms those earlier findings, and expands our understanding of the genetic basis of schizophrenia and its underlying biology.“By studying the genome, we are getting a better handle on the genetic variations that are making people vulnerable to psychiatric disease,” said NIMH Director Thomas Insel, whose institute helped fund the study. “Through the wonders of genomic technology, we are in a period in which, for the first time, we are beginning to understand many of the players at the molecular and cellular level.”In the genome-wide association study (GWAS) published in Nature, the authors looked at more than 80,000 genetic samples from schizophrenia patients and healthy volunteers and found 108 specific locations in the human genome associated with risk for schizophrenia. Eighty-three of those loci had not been linked previously to the disorder.“In just a few short years, by analyzing tens of thousands of samples, our consortium has moved from identifying only a handful of loci associated with schizophrenia, to finding so many that we can see patterns among them,” said first author Stephan Ripke, a scientist at the Broad’s Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School, and a member of the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at MGH. “We can group them into identifiable pathways — which genes are known to work together to perform specific functions in the brain. This is helping us to understand the biology of schizophrenia.”The study implicates genes expressed in brain tissue, particularly those related to neuronal and synaptic function. These include genes that are active in pathways controlling synaptic plasticity — a function essential to learning and memory — and pathways governing postsynaptic activity, such as voltage-gated calcium channels, which are involved in signaling between cells in the brain.Additionally, the researchers found a smaller number of genes associated with schizophrenia that are active in the immune system, a discovery that offers some support for a previously hypothesized link between schizophrenia and immunological processes. The study also found an association between the disorder and the region of the genome that holds DRD2 — the gene that produces the dopamine receptor targeted by all approved medications for schizophrenia — suggesting that other loci uncovered in the study may point to additional therapeutic targets.“The fact that we were able to detect genetic risk factors on this massive scale shows that schizophrenia can be tackled by the same approaches that have already transformed our understanding of other diseases,” said the paper’s senior author, Michael O’Donovan, deputy director of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University School of Medicine. ‘The wealth of new findings have the potential to kick-start the development of new treatments in schizophrenia, a process which has stalled for the last 60 years.”The study is the result of several years of work by the Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC), an international, multi-institutional collaboration founded in 2007 to conduct broad-scale analyses of genetic data for psychiatric disease. One-third of the samples used in the study were genotyped at the Broad Institute, but a total of 55 datasets from more than 40 different contributors were needed to conduct the analysis.The 80,000 samples used in this study represent all of the genotyped datasets for schizophrenia the consortium has amassed to date. The PGC is currently genotyping new samples to further study schizophrenia and additional psychiatric diseases, including autism and bipolar disorder.Core funding for the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium comes from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, along with numerous grants from governmental and charitable organizations, as well as philanthropic donations. Work conducted at the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research was funded by the Stanley Medical Research Institute, Merck Research Laboratories, the Herman Foundation, and philanthropic donations.last_img

County Reports 11 New COVID-19 Cases Since Saturday, None At Fieldbrook Foods

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),With 11 “New” cases reported today 9-21-20 (from over the weekend), There are CURRENTLY ONLY 29 ACTIVE cases………How is everyone recovering? ….. Just a week ago there were over 75 active cases…….There has been 613 confirmed cases in Chautauqua County,once again, currently only 29 are active…..Someone please explain…. there is no vaccine, yet people are recovering, PLEASE report the treatments that people are receiving to recover WNY News Now / MGN Stock Image.MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County officials are reporting 11 new active COVID-19 cases in the county, but none at the Fieldbrook Foods facility in Dunkirk as of Monday noon.The new positive cases include seven in Fredonia, two in Jamestown, one in Dunkirk and one in Falconer, officials said.“There are currently 0 active cases among employees of and three active community contacts associated with Fieldbrook Foods Inc.; 82 people associated with this outbreak have recovered,” officials said.There are currently eight active cases among SUNY Fredonia students with 90 people having recovered. There are 258 cases under quarantine/isolation orders by the Public Health Director and they are being monitored. Not all of those being monitored are confirmed to have COVID-19 but have either shown symptoms, are awaiting results, or have risk factors.There are 28 people under domestic traveler quarantine for having arrived to Chautauqua County from a state listed on the New York State travel advisory and two people remain hospitalized in Chautauqua County as of Thursday.To date there are 574 recovered cases; 10 deaths; 613 total confirmed cases and 41,169 negative test results.last_img

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