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Pivotal Click – Research, Design & Innovation for Digital Products and Services

We’re proud to announce that Longstreet Renovation has selected Pivotal Click to partner with on several projects related to their positioning, customer experience, and marketing communications.

Here’s a description of Longstreet from their current Web site:

Since 1987, Longstreet Renovation has been developing unique single family homes for Chicago families. The company specializes in restoring historic properties with the objective of maintaining a home’s architectural integrity while introducing modern amenities and conveniences.

Pivotal Click’s work with Longstreet is in partnership with our good friend Lennie Rose at Rise Public Relations, a Chicago-based PR agency of stellar vim and vigor.

Longstreet’s owner, Dwight Cleveland, was recently featured in articles in the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune Magazine.

The Longstreet project is part of Pivotal Click’s 2007 effort to expand significantly into the Real Estate vertical. More news on this effort, and some exciting new partnerships coming soon.

We would like to offer up our hardiest, deep in Winter, Midwestern congratulations to Dirk, Andrei and the entire Involution Studios team on the launch of Spivot, an exciting new Web-based personal media aggregator.

We were proud to be able to help out with some feedback during the early alpha and beta stages of Spivot.

Its greatest strength is the combination of power and simplicity. While there are other aggregators out there, Spivot provides the ability to combine all sorts of media—regular Web content, feeds, video (and more to come)—with the ability to filter by source, type of content, or whatever defined methods you create. It’s also a great way to grab a gestalt view of what’s happening in the world, in a richer way than my standard “wall of TV screens via Google News”-method provides.

This a great tool and a great standards-setter for what interface design should be.

We are proud to announce the launch of a new Web site for Fund Evaluation Group, a Cincinnati-based investment consulting firm managing nearly $30 billion for not-for-profit, retirement fund, and financial intermediary clients.

Pivotal Click partnered with brand consulting firm laga, who created the new FEG identity.

FEG made a significant investment in understanding their customers and prospects, undertaking three separate rounds of formal usability testing, as well as a great deal of informal outreach, interviews and conversations. The organization was also extremely diligent in the content development process, during which time Pivotal Click ran an intensive content development workshop that was very successful in incorporating the needs of each of FEG’s individual departments and stakeholders.

We’re very excited by FEG’s efforts, and we’ve already heard that the feedback has been tremendously positive.

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Project to Surface, a Web site for New York-based Grainwork Studio, an art and design collective headed by Ben Krone, and collaborators Rich Chang and Alex Chang at dream so much.

From the site:

Art and architecture collide on Madison Avenue. Project to Surface is a collaboration between five visual artists and an architect in rendering their visual concepts into three-dimensions through the use of cutting edge architecture software, fabrication tools and techniques. David Diao, Kenji Hirata, KAWS, Matzu-MTP and Leah Raintree will work with designer Ben Krone, a rising star in the architecture world, to create five large-scale sculptural panels.

Each three-dimensional relief surface is created using elaborate digital translation tools, such as Rhinoceros CAD software, and then converted into tooling paths and mechanically cut on a 3-axis CNC mill.

In applying advanced architecture tools and processes to project the artists’ visual concepts into three-dimensional relief, PROJECT TO SURFACE seeks to explore the possibilities and dangers of intersecting art and architecture.

Read another way, the word “surface” points to the emergence of the artists’ vision partnered with the architect’s hand, while revealing a series of narratives that document the dynamics of an exploratory collaboration.

The five finished panels and their prototypes will be exhibited in a gallery exhibition at m127, a new Madison Avenue development in New York City designed by Krone. The exhibition opens May 2007 for a two-month run.

Congratulations to Ben and each of the artists. We’re proud to be a part of the project.

Melcrum Publishing has published an interview with Joel Grossman on the topic of audience segmentation for intranet design and development. It’s been included in their most recent report on Internal Communications, as well as excerpted in two separate articles on their “Hub for Internal Communicators” subscription site.

If you happen to be a member, you can read
http://www.internalcommshub.com/trial/channels/whatsworking/redesign.shtml
and
http://www.internalcommshub.com/trial/channels/whatsworking/intranet_segment
ation.shtml

Otherwise, the public index/archive page of the site content will have it
listed here:
http://www.internalcommshub.com/open/channels/whatsworking/archive.shtml

Joel Grossman’s article on Bridge Experiences is now available at UXmatters.com for your reading pleasure.

MediaPost blogger Cory Treffiletti posted effusively on a new service offering from media analytics giant Nielsen that enables tracking of viewership across different distribution platforms:

Surprise–Nielsen to Track Cross-Platform TV Programming!

Essentially, broadcasters can now measure viewing patterns and relationships between watching programs on television, the Web, iPods, and mobile platforms.

What will follow quickly from this are some exploratory advertising campaigns that span multiple platforms. Eventually, we’ll see advertisers purposefully driving people back and forth, in order to perform informational or commercial transactions.

Event News Network is a business with a brilliant model. They provide extraordinarily targeted marketing campaigns delivered through the format of a 24-hour broadcast news network that is spatially and temporally focused on professional conferences in the medical industry.

Imagine if CNN covered the American Heart Association’s annual conference with the same level of intensity and production values as they did a celebrity show trial. That’s what ENN does. Their team consists of marketing strategists, a stellar production team, and broadcast-quality on-air talent, all of whom collectively deliver a very compressed and powerful experience for all of the attendees of the conferences they cover.

Just like any broadcast news network, there are interviews, forum discussions, televised presentations, all covering the key stories of the conference. The network is broadcast on plasma screen TVs all over the location of the conference. Even better, it’s piped into the closed-circuit TV in all of the hotel rooms, so that if you want to catch a 7:00 a.m. presentation but are too tired to shower, you can still watch it live–on TV.

But that’s just the good part. The great part is that they provide this service to the non-profit medical associations for free. Their model is to provide sponsorships for large pharmaceutical corporations whose products appear in commercials and in ‘brought to you by…’ messages during the broadcast.

The cool part about this is that it is a 100% appropriate time to market to healthcare professionals, because they are in the midst of their professional education and development. They can (and should) discuss new drugs and treatments in an open forum with their colleagues, so messaging about these products is both warranted and appreciated. It doesn’t take away any time from their busy day of seeing patients. Win-win.

We’ll be redesigning their Web site and some digital marketing communications, as well as building a collaborative Web application for their business development efforts.

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Apogee Enterprises’ new Web site for the MedPal™ Card, their flagship project.

From the site:

MEDPAL™ is a system that provides you and your family with an easy and efficient way to transport your medical information.

Your pertinent medical information is stored and transported on the MEDPAL™ card. The resources to update the card are installed at healthcare facilities.

You can get your information updated, exchanged, and secured wherever you go for medical care with your MEDPAL™ card in hand.

You as the patient do not ever have to hassle with entering in medical data such as doctor’s forms again.

The accredited healthcare personnel, nurse, or physician enters your medical information for you onto the MEDPAL™ card.

The card travels with you like any other identification, insurance, or credit card you possess.

We’re signing up ASAP.

Congrats to the entire Apogee team!

Today my article on the user experience of security, and its emotional underpinings in feelings of respect for users, was published in ACM SICGHI’s journal Interactions. This was part of a special issue exploring the relationship between security and user experience.

An excerpt:

A sense of control is what makes people feel secure. It produces a physical and emotional experience that encompasses predictive awareness, agency, and freedom from threat. At a minimum, control allows the perception of security. This is true of individuals, groups, corporations and governments. It’s something that the developed world has become somewhat addicted to feeling. When people lose control, they notice.

This is what makes the intersection of control and HCI so challenging. The functional benefit of a secure user experience for the end-user—security—is largely out of their control. Whether the redundant firewalls, intrusion detection systems, or uptight password expiration policy works or not, most users of “secure” systems know that it is out of their hands. It is in the hands of faceless good guys tailing logs in a datacenter, or faceless bad guys writing the newest malware for spamming and shakedowns.

Building secure user experiences is about respect for the user.

If you’re an ACM member, you can read the article on the ACM Portal directly.

We’ll be posting the full text here eventually, but if you are interested, drop us a line and we’ll get you a copy.

Thanks to Ryan West for putting together a great series of articles.