Tech Talk with Goodfuse’s Gregg Trueman

“We tend to fall in love with technology, but what works best for effective communication is simplicity and building trust, not throwing the latest stuff at them,” says the company’s EVP of creative and technology solutions.

Gregg Trueman, EVP of creative and technology solutions, Goodfuse
Gregg Trueman, EVP of creative and technology solutions, Goodfuse

What do you do at Goodfuse? 

We're a communications agency with capabilities across the typical spectrum, but we take a very dedicated approach that we call ‘human-to-human communications.’ We're focused on building communications strategies and tactics from deep human truth about audiences, so we're invested in connecting with them on a human level, on an emotional level.

It is contradictory sounding to say that we use technology to humanize communications, but we really do. We understand that technology has its own logic and comes out of system thinking, but that's inherently alienating and dehumanizing. Goodfuse humanizes technology. 

What do you measure?

We focus on human interfaces and the way we interact through technologies. We pay real fine attention to every element of interaction, whether it's the words, the images, the colors or the micro-interactions that get people engaged. Animations can make interfaces feel more like the real world, more with the fluidity, flow and dynamism of life as opposed to what we get when technology leads, which are colder experiences. 

How have the pandemic, the turbulent election and racial injustice movements affected what you do? 

If there is one thing that we've learned from this difficult year, it is that we crave connection. In all this conflict, I think we look back to our most nuclear units, our families, and we try to model our larger relationships around the unconditional love we experienced in our families. So we're exploring how to do that with our clients at a time we must rely more heavily on technology. 

How do you do that? 

There's a lot of discussion with our clients about how to communicate in such changing environments in which we rely on technology to interact. For instance, we're really interested in augmented reality technologies because of the way they overlap virtual elements like information guides or visuals that help us maneuver through real-life experiences that we're getting on, say, our phones. We're very interested in mobile interfaces because unlike computers, which are all right clicks and CTRL+ALT+DEL, phones are gestural.

In mobile apps, we live in this space that's more of a natural human interface. We can create interfaces that are audio-driven, where you can ask questions and get answers. Then we're dealing with technology that enables human communication instead of technology-centric communications. 

Who are your clients? 

Right now, our practice has been centered in healthcare on patient communities. Just look at what happened with telemedicine. A year ago, we would have felt disappointed that we couldn't go into the doctor's office but had to do a virtual consult. Now, we're glad that we have a medical professional's undivided attention. We have a range of resources we didn't know we had before, like speaking to psychologists and mental health experts.  

What do you see for the future of technology and communications?

Technology is going to continue unfolding and marching forward to become more pervasive. But my focus, and our focus at Goodfuse, is to not let technology drive communications. All the issues of trust, privacy and use of data get resolved naturally by focusing on users, focusing on humans. We tend to fall in love with technology. But what works best for effective communication is simplicity and building trust, not throwing the latest stuff at them.

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