How to Improve Citizen Experience, Healthcare’s New Ecosystem, and UX Design and Brand Values

Trusting That the Dots Will Connect

As we read and wrote for this issue, a powerful theme emerged: Connectivity. The connections between government employees and citizen experience. Connections among the new Healthcare ecosystem and a patient’s personal healthcare narrative. Connections linking data product development, UX design and branding. As Steve Jobs famously advised, we trust that the dots will connect in our future.

With Marcia Tal’s insightful point-of-view and commentary, Tal Solutions’ FRAMEWORK newsletter presents you with a bi-monthly collection of curated, personally selected content and media focused on big ideas about and beyond Data Analytics.


FRAMEWORK : Data Products Design

Connect Your User Experience with Your Brand Values

Do you think you’re a rational person who (mostly) makes sound decisions?

In fact, “in many human decision-making contexts, humans are predictably irrational,” writes product designer Alvin Hsia in his Medium piece “The Irrational User.”

Of interest are cognitive biases as they apply to data product development because “cognitive biases can be found in almost all contexts of human life, but we are especially susceptible when interacting with products and services on the internet.”

Hsia details many biases “to keep in mind when building products.” One core focus is the user experience.

Designing our own user experience required us to return to our core values and integrate them with our desired product outcomes—a user experience that is simple and intuitive, future-forward with a ‘look and feel’ consistent with our branding.

Specifically, we want our user experience to align with our brand values and mission in what it helps the user accomplish:

  • Identify and diagnose risks and opportunities
  • Transform complex concepts into simple analytics
  • Use the voice of consumer narrative and other indicators to identify early warning signals
  • Enable learning and discovery to fuel insights that drive business actions
  • Translate these signals and actions into both customer and business impact

As Hsia writes, “We naturally feel more connected when products and services demonstrate a human element, and there is a feeling of genuine coherency when the user experience is consistent with a company’s brand and mission.” This way, your product design and delivery become connected to both your immediate business purpose and to a “broader purpose.”

Understanding that the tendency of humans to have “greater recall of unpleasant memories compared to positive ones” (negativity bias), it is essential to create an experience that contains more positive moments than negative ones (at least 5 to 1!).

We all benefit when those moments also contribute to helping the wider world.


FRAMEWORK : Health Care Data

How Patient Narratives Connect with the New Healthcare Ecosystem

With all the news about healthcare – and the preponderance of traditional pharmaceutical ads running between almost every TV segment – it’s easy to miss the vast changes coming in healthcare marketing from our “age of disruption.”

As innovation and reform in science, business, regulatory agencies and technology drive change, Larry Mickelberg’s article “The Seismic Shakeup in Healthcare Marketing: Are You Ready?” surveys the landscape and outlines what this new healthcare marketing will look like.

Mickelberg foresees “marketing’s new role is to create an effective, enduring and personalized health narrative that speaks directly to each customer’s unique needs—delivered fluidly and seamlessly across a multiscreen, multidevice world.”

For marketing to adapt to this new world, Mickelberg lists “Five essential capabilities for the future:”

  1. Agility
  2. Data intelligence
  3. Creative and applied design
  4. Experience innovation
  5. Superior ecosystem

This “personalized health narrative” will be a unique source of data that connects the elements vital to each patient’s outcomes – a narrative that demands healthcare marketing which is “value-based, data-driven and customer experience centric.”

Even though most of my work is in data intelligence, product development and customer experience, it’s the collaborative nature of the new superior ecosystem that speaks most loudly to me. It’s here –  in an “ecosystem of vendors, customers, suppliers, partners and service providers”—that the connected events of a consumer’s health narrative join with the interconnected system.

Made possible amid the disruption of our new age, this interconnectivity of people, data, consumer narratives, behavior-based goals, businesses, and patient outcomes will drive more than how marketers design the new healthcare customer experience. If we all meet this opportunity with strength and drive, our newfound interconnectivity will allow for better lives for many.


FRAMEWORK : Voice of Consumer

Ideas for Improving “Citizen Experience” for Government Agencies

What is “citizen experience”?

By applying their McKinsey & Company research and learnings from private sector companies’ customer experience programs, authors D’Emidio, Malfara and Neher explore the benefits of better “citizen experience” in “Improving the customer experience to achieve government-agency goals”.

The authors believe that “the rationale for improving citizen experience may be just as powerful” for federal, state and local agencies as it is for private companies; “improving the citizen’s experience can also reverse slumping employee engagement at agencies themselves.”

Further, the authors’ customer experience research shows that “well-run customer experience programs give employees a focus and a common unifying purpose centered on customers.”

There’s the difficulty.

A “well-run program” sounds simple in that short description, but it is very complicated to execute.

Consider the employees. They need to understand the mission, strategy and importance of their roles; they also need to have all the data to understand their citizens. If they have all the data at hand and understand why citizens are likely to be engaging with them, then the employee should be a better ambassador, champion, communicator and problem-solver.

In my experience, it’s the frontline employee that will have the most recent data. Whether that data is a face-to-face meeting, phone call, chat, social media post, or some other type of interaction, if the employee is well-trained and listens carefully, she will be better engaged and do a better job of serving the citizen.

In our April newsletter article “How to Create Your Own Superconsumer Associate Program,” we found that hiring your own best customers proves to be a winning strategy in improving customer experience. Perhaps government agencies can take this approach and hire citizens of their services as employees.

For example, The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs claims that of their workforce of over 377,000 more than 40% are veterans (Dept. Veterans Affairs, 2010). This is certainly a positive direction, but what if their workforce were two-thirds veterans?

We’ve seen that engagement goes both ways; what the authors call “a virtuous cycle” feeds on itself. Make all the connections, and as this issue’s “Irrational User” article pointed out about “reciprocity,” an exchange of useful and relevant information, efficient service, extra effort, or even a compliment, can transform an experience.

Create a “well-run” citizen experience program based in a clear purpose and mission, equipped with current and relevant data, and staffed by well-trained front-line “supercitizens” – and just watch the citizen satisfaction grow.