About Jennie Ocken

Jennie gets product development. With more than 10 years of experience in marketing, engineering and client services at a company that worked exclusively with Fortune 1000 OEM companies, she knows how to identify and prioritize customer needs. And she speaks just enough geek to be accepted by software developers. Skilled at both cross-team communication and agile project management, Jennie leads Geonetric’s engineering team, helping them prioritize, test, document and deliver new features and functionality. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree with a double major in creative writing and theatre from Knox College. When she’s not team building or wireframing, this world traveler can be found planning her next adventure, perfecting her Joong Bong Sul moves, or working on her latest science fiction novel.

VitalSite Improves User Experience Through Better Search

predictive search

I have recently become obsessed with the way that website visitors search for and find content on large, complex sites. This obsession has left its footprints in our recent VitalSite release. Before we focus on the improvements we’ve made to VitalSite, let’s start by considering how the big players utilize search.

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How to Make Web Crawlers Happy

Banner image for web crawlers blog post

A hospital website is by its very nature a large and ever changing organism. Even worse, there are two dramatically different audiences your website must engage: people and web crawlers. If your website design neglects web crawlers, search engines will take their revenge and no one will be able to find your content. Fortunately, there steps we take – and you can too — to keep those crawlers happy.

It turns out search engine web crawlers are lazy. They spend a lot of time crawling through complex sites, some of which don’t provide a map, trying to understand where the canonical content is and whether content is secure. Here at Geonetric, we do everything we can to make it easy for them so your content is indexed more frequently and accurately. Here’s how.

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Build-Measure-Learn with Geonetric’s Form Builder

Image of Geonetric's Form Builder product logo.
About two months ago, at the Geonetric client symposium, we launched the beta version of our new Form Builder. This new tool allows our clients to build their own forms and publish them to their websites. Our goal with Form Builder is to provide clients the ability to easily iterate on their form designs, have more direct control over their interactions with consumers and increase the form-related work they can do on their own.

Throughout the process of building this product we have been living our agile principles: learning about the product through direct client input, continuously improving, and using a combination of qualitative and quantitative feedback to determine the priority of new features and refinements.
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Why Context Matters in Building Effective Website Search

Search Box on Chalk Board

Picture it: you’re on a website. You’re looking for a specific piece of information and you’re in a hurry. After looking at the navigation it isn’t clear where the information is. What are you supposed to do? You look around and there, you see it, the solution to all your problems: the search box, of course! You type in your request and press the submit button.

Behind the scenes an entire world of logic, computer processing power, and data spins to life to read your mind and deliver exactly the piece of information you’re looking for. If you misspell a word, it guesses the correct word. If the target of your search is a difficult or unusually spelled word, it uses a phoneme dictionary to identify similar sounding words or names. Search is one of the most complex and data intensive parts of any website. The denser the data, the harder the challenge to identify what the user means — not just what they say — and providing results that satisfy that need.

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Building Software for Tomorrow by Listening Today

welistenWhat our clients actually see in a new release of our VitalSite content management system are just the tips of the iceberg of what we do every day to make sure VitalSite continues to serve our clients’ needs. Our developers do a lot of work that is never seen by the users of our software — from understanding client challenges, to improving the architectural design, to researching the best ways to present the user interface, to rigorously testing the software. These types of enhancements — those that aren’t quite noticeable but lay the groundwork for future advances in our product — are what makes up most of our newest release: VitalSite 13.

VitalSite version 13 will be our fourth release in the last two months. With each of these releases we have made incremental progress on making VitalSite easier to use, providing more hooks into the data, and improving how clients can customize their sites. And we plan to continue frequent releases that make VitalSite even better and friendlier.

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