4 Types of Rewards to Boost Customer Loyalty

By Juliana Walker

People love free products, so gamifying and rewarding customers is a great way to build loyalty. But, there are many ways to do that. Here are some of the different kinds to consider:

1. Fixed Action

This is the most common and standard practice of gamification in marketing. With this, the customer knows what they have to do to be rewarded. We see this type of reward in classic programs for free food items at a restaurant or frequent flyer miles from an airline. These programs engage customers and build up loyalty by providing them with a reward the more that they visit their business.

2. Random

While fixed action loyalty programs are great, they can be a bit dull. Random rewards add a little bit of spice to the rewards. Often times with a random reward, the customer might see it coming, but they don’t know what it’s going to be. It’s like getting presents on your birthday, but you probably don’t know what’s inside. A great example of this is the Sephora Beauty Box, where customers expect a monthly box of beauty/skincare products, but they have no idea what they might be.

3. Sudden

Slightly different from a random reward is the sudden reward. With the sudden reward, the customer doesn’t see it coming at all. Usually, they have to take an action that triggers it, but, it’s an action they didn’t know they would receive a reward for. An awesome example of this is the “Chase picks up the tab” campaign. After paying with a Chase card sometimes, Chase will text you afterward to say that they have rewarded you and you get $5 back from your purchase. Sudden and satisfying.

4. Gifting

Gifting is a great example of growing loyalty from word of mouth. These rewards can’t be earned, they can only be given to you by someone you know. A great example of this is Glossier’s link sharing network. After you make a purchase and an account, they provide you with a link you can share. This link will provide you with credit at the store and give your friend a 20% discount off their purchase. Then, they get their own link and your business keeps growing.


Front-end development with UX/UI

By Devon James

Does a UX/UI designer need front-end development skills?

It’s important for a front-end developer to have user experience skills and knowledge. They are the ones that have to create a customer-end experience, and they have to know what they are trying to achieve before they implement it.

The UX/UI designer is creating a digital experience. But HTML and CSS and coding will be used to make that experience happen. The more a designer understands the medium they’re working with, the better off they’ll be.

Designers and developers are usually two different titles with two different skill sets But workflows could be be smoother if designers knew front-end code. UX/UI designers can work more efficiently when they how their wireframes and prototypes will be used by development teams.

Defining the problem is a part of design. Knowing the basics of how tools work is essential when planning to use them. UX/UI designers may not need to know complex JavaScript and back-end development, but being able to work side by side with developers to create a product makes for a efficient team.

Is It [Virtual] Reality?

by Sandra Ferguson

When it comes to film, it used to be that actors and “live” sets gave the realistic feel of being in the movie. Today, turning science fiction into reality is a huge movement in the industry. In 1973, Computer Generated Imagery or (CGI) provided filmmakers with the right tool to visually illustrate the world and characters they were trying to create. Since then, certain movies have illustrated and inspired significant innovations.


Jeffery Anderson (Common Sense Critic) described Inception as “An intense, complex story, but it’s always coherent, imaginative, and entertaining.” This movie plants the idea that there is a possibility of being able to leave ones ‘reality’ and be in a state of factional but seemingly real ‘reality’. It’s easy to fool the subconscious, what most people use to establish reality, their perception and what Plato calls sense-impression, can easily be fooled.

But how does VR influence this?

Movie creators are dedicating hours to creating experiences (both new and recreating experiences) that help fuel the need for viewers to watch movies like this.

The Matrix trilogy is a perfect example of incorporating Virtual Reality into Movies. It has action, romance and violence but all while inside a “world” that does not exist, but the characters believe it because they are experience it.

According to DigitalDoughnut, VR is the current ‘Next Big Thing’ and is genius when used in marketing strategies. “62% of consumers say they would feel more engaged with a brand that sponsors a VR experience.”

UX in Motion

By Sneha Kulkarni

Motion in the realm of UX design is “used to describe spatial relationships, functionality, and intention with beauty and fluidity” says Nick Babich. When done naturally, motion can capture the audience and bring your application to life. Motion can be incorporated through transitions or animations within an app. It optimizes communication and has the ability to instantly connect with the audience through its conversational nature.

Motion design can give your users the feedback they need to reinforce their actions. In the iPhone, when you tap and hold an app icon, the widgets start shaking indicating a change in mode, and the X in the upper-right hand appears, indicating these apps can be deleted. This is an excellent example of intuitive communication through motion design.

Motion can guide users through the interface and can help make an overwhelming user experience seamless and easy to use. In apps requiring tutorials or any sort of onboarding process, providing a friendly user interface will deliver a positive first impression.

Adding motion in design not only drives user attention but also user retention. Adding elements of the brand within the app can make the experience feel real and interactive and brings out the brand personality. Animated icons or characters light up the screen and evoke an emotional connection with the audience.

Here are some fun motion designs

Tools such as InVision Studio and Adobe XD can help craft advanced motion within your app prototype. Adobe’s new release includes the auto animate feature enabling seamless transitions within screens. On the other hand, Studio allows for the creation of unique animations from start to finish, giving designers abilities to manipulate down to a single keyframe.


New technology in sports media puts the fans in control

by Drew Daffron

Unfortunately for the sports industry athletes will continue to come and go, teams will move, revenue will rise and fall, rules will change but fans will always remain as the lifeline of the sports industry. Interactive technology is being used today to push the boundaries of fan engagement and is essentially redefining the nature of fan participation with teams and leagues. Here are three ways that sports teams and leagues are using interactive technology to engage with fans and fight declining in-person attendance.

  1. Virtual Reality: The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics is a great example of using VR technology. The Winter Olympics partnered with Intel to produce 50 hours of live programming on their own VR platform. The goal was to integrate innovative technology in order for fans to not only witness moments but fully experience them, similar to watching live. This could have been with 360º video, immersive panoramic views, or the use of various camera angles. Fans love options and getting the most out of their viewing experience. That can be on court entertainment and sponsorships (in the case of attending a live event) or having the ability to manipulate ones at home viewing experience.
  2. Artificial Intelligence: Golf.com launched a Play With the Pros platform that utilized artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze a person’s swing and automatically identify any of the issues with it. On top of that the AI relays the issues to instructors who will then personally score it and develop interactive lesson plans.
  3. Fan Controlled Action.  The indoor Fan Controlled Football League is partnering with the popular streaming service from Amazon, Twitch.tv, to launch a video game like sport experience where fans get to call the plays in real time. This is an entirely new dynamic and venture that will test the waters of how engaged fans really want to be in sports.

A beginner’s guide to dataviz tools

by Jessica Parker

Businesses looking to introduce or grow their use of data visuals may look to this list to understand their options.



Tableau will return an interactive data visualization that they can continue to explore, refine the question and drill into further detail.

– Francois Ajenstat Tableau chief product officer


Tableau continues to be an industry leader in data visualization. Featured in Fortune Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, Tableau succeeds in providing a variety of options for customization and user interaction even with larger datasets. This platform does not come free and is an expensive option on this list. Individual users can expect to pay $70 a month for continued use.

2.Fusion Charts

With Apple, Facebook, and Google as clients, Fusion Charts has quickly gained popularity amongst the biggest data holders in the tech industry. What makes this platform so popular? Its versatile. For those that have an aversion to JavaScript, Fusion also pairs with jQuery, frameworks like AngularJS and React, and additional languages like ASP.NET, PHP, JSON, and XML.  Once you are done, you can export your project as a PNG, JPEG, SVG, or PDF.  All these options can come at a price through, with individual developer cost starting at $500 for perpetual use


Another favorite among larger businesses, Infogram has been used by LinkedIn, Goodyear, and Politico. This platform works well for those with the most minimum of coding knowledge. Most features are drag and drop to save users and data visuals’ time. Infogram uses a freemium model with a free starter download available. Those that plan to maintain up larger projects can expect can purchase team rates for $149 a month.


Chartist.js is not a platform, but a JavaScript library so basic coding knowledge is a must if you turn here. This JavaScript library allows for customization of animated and interactive charts that can easily be transplanted into websites supported by AngularJS, React, Meteor, Ember and WordPress through a wide range of wrapper libraries. Best of all it is free to use!

5. D3.js

“D3 is not a Data Visualization Library it is THE Data Visualization Library.”

-Elijah Meeks

Senior Data Visualization Engineer at Netflix

Considered one of the biggest and best in open-source data visualization tools, D3.js provides the largest JavaScript libraries focused on data visualization. But nothing is pre-built in this library, so advanced coding skills are needed. As result, customization is limited to developer imagination.D3.js welcomes donations, but is entirely free to the public.

A look inside what we’re learning

One of our newer electives is digital strategy. In this class, we learn about using tools like media analytics and search engine optimization as a part of content marketing to understand and build audiences for your interactive work.

This spring, iMedians in that elective will be sharing some of the tools, technique and big ideas that they are working with in their classes and capstone projects as they learn how to build audiences.

We hope you enjoy this look into the content of an iMedia master’s.