Financial service providers typically fall into one of two buckets: legacy brands and disruptors. Legacy brands are what you typically think when you think “bank;” large, established brands, often with physical locations, that provide a range of financial services. Disruptors, on the other hand, are innovative and digitally focused, pioneering new ways to simplify finance. 

As the finance industry continues to be disrupted by new technologies and innovations, keep an eye out for these three digital-first trends on the rise. 

A focus on financial literacy will improve consumer relationships with finance

Banking and finance are critical to our everyday lives, yet many individuals struggle with understanding basic financial terms and concepts. Many FinTech companies make it a priority to educate their consumers with content marketing on how to make healthy financial decisions and gain a more holistic understanding of their relationship with money. 

Some leading FinTech startups are specifically targeting the younger generation, making it a goal to establish healthy financial habits early on around debt, budgeting, and investing for the future. Startups like FamZoo make learning finance basics fun, positioning parents as “banks” and children as “customers”. This metaphorical language encourages children to take out “loans” from their parents and earn allowances. Understanding how the loan process works from an early age removes the intimidation that can often accompany personal finances. 

Promoting financial literacy in creative ways will continue to be a priority in the coming years as startups vie for a share of the digitally-focused finance consumer pool.

Microservices allow for agile and customizable solutions

The advent of microservices is one of the key reasons innovators have been able to disrupt legacy providers, releasing many of the constraints that have previously kept legacy institutions one step ahead. Microservices add a flavor of personalization, a proven marketing trend across multiple industries. Emerging technology enables FinTech companies and consumers alike with the ability to customize their solutions, adapt to real-time problems, and provide on-the-fly solutions. 

Traditionally, legacy institutions have offered uniform solutions with many interdependencies, making it difficult to evolve and innovate without impacting the entire architecture. While large financial institutions can be innovative, it often takes much longer to introduce and establish new technologies. 

Conversely, microservices serve as independent applications, allowing for the speedy development, testing, and deployment of updates. This model allows FinTech companies to work on many different solutions simultaneously, and, with fewer dependencies, quickly deploy service and product updates. The ‘a la carte’ concept is attractive to consumers, as they can select the specific services they want without relying on a full-service solution.

Check out how Bluetext client Paya is serving end-to-end, seamless, and innovative payment solutions specifically suited to their customers’ needs.

Paya Website in a Variety of Devices

Predictive Analytics provide FinTech companies with a competitive advantage

Still a relatively new arm of data science, predictive analytics studies current and historical data to make predictions about future events, playing a central role in the FinTech space. Predictive analytics is especially relevant in this space because FinTech disruptors focus on developing technology that simplifies our long-term relationship with finance. Wouldn’t finance be a lot simpler if we had tools to predict future behavior? 

Predictive analytics comes in handy for FinTech innovators for a variety of reasons, from cybersecurity and identifying employee value-add to customer experience. The ability to monitor and measure customer behavior across platforms allows FinTech innovators to provide the best possible experience for their consumers. Companies are now able to measure purchasing patterns, loyalty, and even feedback to tailor their services individually. This personalization will become even more important as the burden shifts to financial institutions to simplify finance.

As FinTech companies continue to evolve and level the financial playing field, keep an eye on how these three trends will serve key players in the FinTech space. Are you a company in the FinTech space looking to take your brand to the next level? Contact Bluetext.

The COVID pandemic has put a pause on many personal and business practices, with one stand-out exception. In the midst of COVID, digital transformation hasn’t slowed; instead, it’s actively accelerated as we try to keep up with today’s digital customers. “Digital transformation” has become a powerful buzz-word that has executives signing checks left and right. Many companies are investing heavily in digital, and while these investments continue to grow, the expected results often fail to materialize. But why? Technology and unsuccessful efforts to scale are often the first things we look to blame, but the real issue may be more deeply rooted. 

Digital Transformation Requires a Culture Shift 

In order to successfully execute a digital transformation, change must be driven from the top down. Beginning with management, the company as a whole must not only understand the goals and reasons for changing, but also the urgency for doing so to successfully prepare for a more digital future. 

Companies are getting 50% more business and leads online than ever before, and this number will only continue to grow. To capture this ever-expanding market, it’s important to understand that the tactics and processes that got you to this point need to be an ongoing initiative. Digital transformation is often not one and done, it will not be sustainable without the future introduction of more digital practices.

How Can You Avoid Digital Transformation Failure? 

You can start by making sure your team is on the same page regarding what tactics and strategies will make your business successful in the digital age. One method many companies are using to enter the digital space is through digital briefing centers and virtual events. Engaging the entire leadership team as well as your customers in the virtual space is a great way to lead a digital transformation in a world where fewer interactions are in person. Digital briefing centers also have the ability to be available at any time of day, allowing prospects to access your content at their convenience, not yours.

In today’s virtual world, differentiation through digital engagement is critical. Take a look at Bluetext’s work in the Digital Briefing Center space and find out how you can recreate the in-person experience. 

Watch Bluetext founder, Jason Siegel, discuss the ways you can avoid digital transformation failure with Travelocity Founder and keynote speaker Terry Jones in this week’s Virtual Marketing Minute.

A content management system (CMS) is a software application that allows users to build and manage a website without having to code it from the ground up. The kind of content management system a site uses depends on the company’s content goals and the nature of the content itself. Since content management systems must meet so many different goals and needs, both internally and externally, the number of dedicated CMS platforms continues to grow, with many new and highly targeted systems aimed at meeting very specific needs. 

So how do you know which CMS is best suited for your company’s needs? To start, let’s have a quick introduction to two of the most common open-source CMS players: Drupal and WordPress.

WordPress

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system. Initially launched as a blogging platform in 2003, WordPress now powers 39% of all websites. Examples of WordPress sites designed and developed by Bluetext include Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, Clarabridge,  and Perspecta.

Drupal

Drupal was launched in 2000 and claims 2.5% of the market share. Some examples of Drupal sites designed and developed by Bluetext include CACI, HughesNet, and George Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

While a website design and development agency will help you determine which platform best suits your needs, you can start by understanding each content management system’s commonly known advantages.

Benefits of WordPress

  1. Ease of use: WordPress is significantly more user-friendly, especially for non-developers or users who do not come from a technical background. 
  2. Extension integrations: WordPress’ plugin communities mean it is easy to extend your CMS’s functionality without the need for custom development.
  3. Cost: Because WordPress is a set of open-source code files that can be installed on just about any hosting platform, it does not require a purchase or subscription like many other CMS’s.
  4. Support: Due to its prevalence and large market share, WordPress users and platform creators are constantly keeping the platform updated and secure, providing a multitude of resources for both new and experienced users to get round-the-clock support.

Benefits of Drupal

  1. Customizability: While WordPress does provide some flexibility with custom post types, most users consider Drupal’s custom content types the most flexible.
  2. Data management: Drupal’s taxonomy system is more elaborate and flexible than the WordPress system, which is a major plus when handling extensive amounts of content. 
  3. Permissions flexibility: While WordPress offers five basic user types, Drupal has a built-in access control system where you can create new roles with individual permissions, which is especially useful in large organizations where many users need access to the CMS.
  4. Security: Drupal is mostly well-known for its safety. With their unique centralized model, all add-ons have additional coverage of Drupal’s internal security programs. While this can complicate the creation of modules and skins, it also makes it much more difficult to smuggle in malicious code.

While both Drupal and WordPress have their own unique features and advantages, both are great platforms to support your website needs. Contact us to find out which CMS best fits your needs!

So you’re a top technology company who wants to be seen as modern and ever-evolving — much like the rest of the industry! To stay ahead you’ll need a modern, eye-catching design.  Perhaps you want to redesign your logo… Where do you start?  A memorable logo can ensure your brand stays top of mind and up to par with big-league competitors. Updating any aspect of your corporate visual identity can be intimidating, especially when making changes to one of the most identifiable features. There are many considerations: How can you establish or maintain your brand identity and form a strong connection with your audience? Do you want to fit in or stand out? How can you modernize your existing design?

One way to begin the process of redesigning your logo is by identifying some “zigs” and “zags” in your industry. Digital branding agencies define “zigs” as companies that follow industry standards and recent trends when designing and marketing their brands and “zags” as designs that opt to stand out in the crowd by moving against the latest trends. 

Tech Industry Zigs

Gradient

Using gradients in web design emerged as a hot trend as early as 2016 and has since grown in popularity with no signs of slowing down. There are several companies that have successfully incorporated this trend into their CVI, for example, Stripe, an economic infrastructure technology company. Stripe’s gradient style has become incorporated throughout the brand and website, creating an ethereal and futuristic feel to its services,  Instagram can be seen as one of the OG trendsetters, debuting gradient design into their mobile app icon in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimalistic

Another recent trend has been the simplification of logos and website design. Many brands have adopted this trend to streamline their CVI. This branding trend aims to provide a clean and clear brand vision, which is ideal for smaller screens as users continue to shift to mobile browsing. As we shift away from decorative and intricate details that look great on a billboard but cluttered on a mobile device, simple logos stay relevant and readable for modern consumers.

Many major global tech brands have already opted to use multiple iterations of their logo design – DropBox, Atlassian, and Android all now include a single image or letter logo option within their design range. 

Illustrative

One way to establish a connection with your audience is by designing a unique illustration to accompany your wordmark. A key advantage to this trend is that when done successfully, brands can use the illustration as an identifier without the wordmark. Take Mailchimp’s Freddie as an example. In 2018, Mailchimp simplified their mascot’s design and gave him an established spot next to the logo. 

Tech Industry Zags

Fine Line Detail

While many tech companies are moving in the direction of simplification, some are going against the grain. One example is cloud migration software company Cloudreach, whose finger-print-like logo detail denotes security and reliability at first glance. Using fine detail has its advantages. Detailed designs can speak volumes about your brand value and tone. Especially in the technology industry rich with complex products you may want your logo to symbolize unique detail and features of your products. In contrast, simplified designs may be preferred to make complex technology more approachable to everyday consumers.

Anti-Marketing

Most technology-oriented marketing campaigns inspire the target audience to use the advertised product or service as much as possible. This statement holds true for most companies looking for customers to download and use their mobile apps. This is also where you can differentiate your campaign to stand out amongst the rest. For example, the newest campaign from the popular dating app, Hinge, inspires it’s the target audience to delete their app. Yes, you read that right. That may sound counterintuitive, however, it guarantees a different approach from their dating site counterparts, who focus on their service being the best at finding love for its users. Hinge’s campaign, instead, inspires its users to find love and delete the app. 

Of the campaign, Hinge CMO, Nathan Roth, said “It’s quite common for apps to optimize for time in-app, whether it’s to maximize subscription or advertising revenue. We are purely focused on our users’ success and that’s helping them find someone worth deleting the app for. That’s our single focus,”

Interested in learning more about the zigs and zags of the technology industry? Contact us.

 

 

 

Your website acts as an essential business tool — used across every industry for a diverse number of functions.  B2B companies rely on their websites to generate leads, phone calls, or physical location visits. No matter what function your website serves, there is one universal goal every business wants to accomplish with its website: leveraging it to create more growth.

There are several ways to increase your leads, sales, and revenue without investing in a complete redesign and rebuild. A great website will enable your team to work smarter, not harder. Here are tips that you should consider trying — while simple, they can help your business grow significantly.

1. Responsive Design

Mobile accounts for over half of global website traffic; if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you may be losing valuable leads. In the coming years this number will only increase, and ensuring a mobile-friendly design may be crucial to your future success. A responsive website design (RWD) adapts to fit any screen in a way that makes all pages, features, and actions accessible to users. Making sure that your website can support traffic on any browsing device ensures that users are not dropping off your site because they cannot access what they’re looking for.

2. Simplify Your Navigation

In order to increase conversions, you need to keep users on your website. When a user lands on your website, they should be able to quickly and intuitively navigate to relevant content, allowing them to find the information they need without losing interest. The first step to keeping a user on your site is maintaining a simple and intuitive navigation. Too many options will likely overwhelm your user; it is important to have a clear path for users to the action you would like them to take as well as the information they are looking for. Otherwise, they may look elsewhere.

3. Avoid Clutter and Complex Noise

While incorporating animation and motion on your website adds visual interest for users and helps your site stand out, it’s important to be aware of the balance between unique design and overly-complex noise. Too much movement can be overwhelming for your user and may detract from what they originally came to your website to achieve. A complex design can also negatively impact your site speed, potentially increasing bounce rate and affecting your SEO score. While finding a middle-ground between these two extremes can be difficult, it’s important to ask if new design elements will add value to the end-user.

4. Don’t Go Crazy With Your Fonts

While fonts are an easy way to enhance your CVI and bring visual interest to your website, they may also be difficult to read for some users or on some devices. Using a Sans Serif font for your website’s body copy and making sure the font size and color meet accessibility standards is crucial in getting your message across to users. If they are not able to read the content on your site, they definitely won’t be converting.

User experience is crucial to effective website design, but so is your internal team! Here are some tips to streamline the digital sales process for end-users and internal teams. A positive user experience will directly translate into increased conversions.

Use Call Tracking

If driving users to make a phone call is one of the main goals of your website, it is important to know which page has prompted the user to make the call. You can easily track this information by using unique phone numbers on different pages, allowing you to determine which page is driving the most traffic to your call center. These numbers can easily be configured to route to your main phone line, meaning there won’t be any disruption to the way you’re currently handling phone leads.

Install Live Chat

While live chat may not seem immediately relevant to your business, every website can benefit from this simple tool. Live chat functions to facilitate interactions with your users and enables them to quickly get the answers they’re looking for without spending too much time hunting around the site. Many chat services will also integrate with mobile phones, allowing your business to easily monitor traffic. 

 

To learn more about driving leads via a responsive UX design and how Bluetext can help you increase conversion rates,  contact us today.

 

As the world has changed in the blink of an eye, so has the way we market to consumers. Now, more than ever, your website exists as BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT doorway to your brand and your brand experience. While stores stay shut, and face-to-face interaction is vastly limited, brands will rely on reaching their target audiences via their websites. Therefore, your website is mission-critical to your success.

Website accessibility, or the practice of ensuring websites are available to everyone, regardless of their abilities, has always been a crucial part of website design and development. But as website accessibility gains momentum, meeting and exceeding accessibility standards has become even more top-of-mind. Website design and development agencies have begun to ingrain accessibility standards into their designs; meeting these requirements is no longer a “nice-to-have.”

Accessibility Requirements Are Legal Requirements

According to Dean Schuster, user experience design strategist, “In 2019, the United States Supreme Court upheld the notion that all sites conform to the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) AA standard.” With these requirements now legal requirements, website design and development agencies have upped their game to ensure their websites are readily accessible to anyone who wants to browse. 

ADA compliance is now established legal precedent for U.S. websites. At a high level, accessibility regulations are broken out into four categories: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. In other words, all content must be “POUR”:

  • Perceivable: Users must be able to perceive the information that is being presented. Perceivable guidelines include text alternatives for any non-text content, time-based media alternatives, adaptability, and distinguishability. 
  • Operable: Website components and navigation must be operable. These guidelines include keyboard accessibility, providing enough time for users to read and use content, providing navigable content, and providing input modalities. 
  • Understandable: Users must be able to understand the information and the operation of the user interface. Understandable guidelines include readability, predictability, and input assistance, or helping users avoid and correct mistakes. 
  • Robust: Content must be robust enough to be interpreted by a wide variety of users, including assistive technologies. 

Ensuring your website is accessible can be overwhelming, which is where website design and development agencies come in. Building and maintaining an accessible website starts with the design and development process. 

Meeting Accessibility Standards Begins with Design

 

Ensuring website designs are accessible to all impacts the entire website design process; designers must think long and hard about the limitations of visual formats. Often, we deem the skills we learn within a certain context as “normal.” Increasingly stringent accessibility standards will require designers to step outside of their “normal” and rethink each design through the lens of a website user who may not be as abled as they are. 

The transition from professional website designer to accessibility expert is well underway and this transition will only accelerate as 2020 progresses. 

Website Development Impacts Accessibility at a Foundational Level

 

Website designers are not the only ones affected by stricter accessibility regulations – website developers will also be impacted at a foundational level. Developers must constantly work to maintain knowledge of the continuously evolving standards and best practices, accounting for practical use-cases within the disabled community while using caution when approaching newer programmatic technologies. 

Website designers and developers who stay ahead of this trend and embrace website accessibility are positioned to deliver more accessible products. As standards and best practices continue to evolve, website design and development agencies must continue to meet the criteria necessary to ensure that their websites are accessible to everyone on the internet. 

Use Your Online Presence to Empower the Disabled Community

When translating your business to the digital world, a lot of thought goes into making sure your business is represented correctly; between your corporate visual identity and the messaging that makes your business unique, each of these foundational building blocks come together to create a unified online presence. Your online presence should be accessible to everyone, including the 18.7% of Americans with a disability. Supporting these users and ensuring your website offerings are accessible to everyone on the internet should always be a top priority, regardless of the legal ramifications. 

To learn more about our experience pertaining to accessibility, check out our case study featuring our work with Level Access, the leading provider of accessibility solutions and software.