Social Media Quantified

We turned a clever idea into a fully branded web app to answer a deceptively simple question in no time.
Analyzing social data of politics

The premise was simple – how does a presidential candidate's popularity on social media change over the course of an election season? With so many active users on Facebook and Twitter, does it mean anything?

We set out to chart the presidential candidates’ social media presence based on a few simple metrics and to match them up to the headlines of the day. This year-long project tracks the respective popularity of candidates as they move through the primary season all the way up and past the election. We hope that by doing this we can understand more about what makes a particular candidate popular. We also think designing a slick interface makes it a joy to do data analysis.

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Cost and Quality. Simplified.

The pressure to control rising healthcare costs and provide transparency is high.
Cost and Quality, together at last.

In the complex world of healthcare, allowing consumers to shop based on cost and quality has been a goal of Government, consumers and providers alike. Wowza built a groundbreaking transparency website that allows consumers to compare clinics based on the prices of services they offer and the quality of care they provide. Taking feedback from MHDO’s consumer advisory group and usability studies, the resulting website allows users to compare facilities based on geography, procedure, and quality.

Working with with MHDO, HSRI and NORC, the final project is ADA compliant and modern; working incredibly well from mobile devices to your desktop computer. Understandable and device appropriate data displays are engineered to show that a higher cost of care does not necessarily mean higher quality.

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Farm to Table Logistics

A different story about sustainability

Wowza worked with the Wedge Co-op Partners Warehouse to deliver a short documentary highlighting the people and organizations who bring farm fresh organic food to the Twin Cities. Showing the behind-the-scenes work supports the Wedge’s mission: “to deliver highest quality, fairly-priced products and a deepening understanding of their importance to our members, employees and community.

Watch the video here:

Stories about community outreach

Highlighting community involvement on a deeper level

Source is a not-for-profit working in Minneapolis to provide community outreach and services to those caught up in the web of human trafficking. Wowza shot a small video series illustrating the human stories surrounding Source’s efforts in and around the community.

The documentary-style series highlights their food shelf, community outreach, and efforts to dismantle human trafficking. The work is sensitive and personal, so we knew how important it was to capture individual stories and present them in a caring and conscientious way.

Watch a sample below:

Building an Online Fitness Directory

The UI and functionality of LiveWellSTL's pilot version generated additional funding for a responsive design and a feature-rich back end.
Success breeds... additional funding.

Data portals, data warehouses, data dashboards, open data… it's a data-crazy world out there. Ten years ago who would have thought a database of product reviews would have a bigger impact on sales than a television campaign? Today creative designers and writers need to understand databases and computer logic to create effective communications.

Midwest Health Initiative (MHI) had a good idea: A comprehensive online directory where St. Louis residents could easily search for health and fitness events and classes. With their first round of funding, Wowza created the brand identity, information architecture, database design, search and filtering functionality and a custom user interface. With this fully functional prototype, MHI was able to attract additional funding allowing Wowza to build a back-end data submission portal and make fully responsive for optimum performance on any mobile device.

Testing with Paper Prototypes

Paper prototype testing during the early stages eliminates unnecessary revisions and improves the user experience.
Confusion cured. Mistakes avoided.

Do people really understand how to use your application? To find out, you can pore over analytics reports, or conduct secondary research after the fact. We conduct primary qualitative usability testing as a powerful method for uncovering useful insights on usability. Having regular folks use a site to accomplish desired goals identifies specific obstacles that interfere with user engagement. Designers and content strategists are often surprised by the subtle details that can stop a user in her tracks. Finding issues during the prototype phase saves a lot of time and money, although testing a live site can also guide major changes or redesigns down the right path.

Before we wrote a single line of code we mocked up the user interface for using low fidelity wireframe layouts. This low-tech qualitative testing technique, pioneered by usability expert Jakob Nielsen, removes the influence of the hardware and graphical interface to test the core UX concepts. In this test we discovered that users were confused by some of the labeling and the way certain content was organized. By observing users directly, our designers and developers were able to quickly identify problems and produce a more usable site in less time.

Creating a Data Preview Portal

Wowza created a secure, online portal for physicians to verify their data before it was publicly displayed.
Stronger relationships. Fewer complaints.

Customers aren't the only people you need to connect and engage. Most organizations have multiple stakeholders such as boards, community members, partners, investors, regulators and employees. Creating user-friendly dashboards and convenient portals to communicate or share data can greatly improve workflow and increase efficiency across many business functions, including HR, finance, governance and community relations.

KCQIC, the Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium, brings health care quality data to the public. Because their website uses data from a variety of sources, including insurance companies, KCQIC needed to earn the trust and cooperation of providers and payers. Wowza built a web app that allowed doctors and hospitals to log into a secure site, review the data, and catch any errors before the data went public.

Designing a Responsive Data-driven Website

Wowzilla built on a Drupal CMS, according to the University of New Hampshire's requirements.
Adding a relief valve to a high-pressure team.

In-house developers and project managers can be over-booked or may not have specific skills in user interface design or data integration. Bringing in extra hands helps get lagging projects off the shelf and into the world. In some cases this might mean outsourcing a project from beginning to end. But more often it's collaboration, bringing in new ideas or helpful skills to fill a gap. Taking the pressure off the internal team helps everyone do his or her best work and get the projects out the door.

The APCD Council, an organization within the University of New Hampshire (UNH), wanted to archive and distribute a database full of case studies through a responsive, user-friendly website.

UNH internal designers and developers were swamped. So Wowzilla, a strategic partnership with Wowza and web portal firm Ancilla Partners, designed and developed the new site according to UNH specifications, integrating it into their existing Drupal environment.

Developing Mobile Apps

Wouldn't it be great if your customers and prospects used and appreciated your branded tool regularly?
Take your brand on the road.

Anything that's been done the same way for many years is a candidate for improvement through data-driven web technology. Take a mental walk through your operation and think about what could be done faster with a web or mobile app. Could you provide better customer service if the customer had more input or control? Are there manual bridges in your workflow that could be automated? What about marketing? Wouldn't it be great if your customers and prospects used and appreciated your branded tool regularly?

The Quickscale calculator app we designed, branded and built for Feyereisen Studios served as a marketing outreach vehicle and a client touch point for the architectural model-building firm. Feyereisen was able to distribute the app to key prospects and used this novel, niche product as a way to generate PR and attract attention from new prospects.

We created the Leaving Well app as a companion to the end-of-life care website we designed for HealthInsight. It makes it easy for families and caregivers to access critical end-of-life information and capture and share their own important thoughts.

Apps need not be serious tools to be effective methods to connect and communicate. We had fun creating Little Toy Box and Bird Choir to entertain toddlers – which is serious business! See all of our apps at our microsite:

Following 508 Compliance

Wowza worked closely with the client to meet state-required accessibility regulations, without sacrificing the user experience.
Follow the regulations and nobody gets hurt.

Some industries, like financial services, insurance and healthcare, have laws and regulations that govern what, or how, certain information can be presented. If funding is coming from the government, 508 accessibility compliance may be required. Businesses sometimes have their own internal policies around data security, privacy or brand standards as well.

It was important to the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine that data on be presented in an engaging, user-friendly manner to the general public. But it also needed to be 508 compliant. This required Wowza to optimize the site and test the design for screen readers, keyboard navigation and color blindness. Meeting these requirements – and many others – keeps the client in good standing with their governmental funders and furthers their mission to improve healthcare for everyone in Maine.

Caring About Healthcare Research

Wowza designed and developed seven different variations of a web app allowing researchers to analyze user interactions.
Data in. Data out. It's a win-win.

The web has revolutionized how data is presented. Remember when you got the weather and stock quotes from the newspaper? Or when real estate agents lugged printed listings around with grainy black and white photos? Not only are there new opportunities to present data, there may be even better opportunities to collect it. Imagine what you could learn if you incorporated data collection into your website strategy. Your website could have the potential to be the best business intelligence system you ever have.

Select MD is both a data report and a data collection site. It's an experimental site that's part of a multi-year research project led by a collaborative team from Yale University, the Rand Corporation and other healthcare quality researchers. The team is studying how people use web-reported healthcare data to make decisions. To conduct the experiment Wowza designed and developed a data-driven web app with seven different experimental arms. Each arm presents a different set of data. The site randomizes some of the data presented and tracks each unique user and all the relevant user interactions such as: where the user went, how long he stayed and which doctors he chose. The complex databases are designed according to the research protocol and the data collected exported for the researchers to analyze.

Wowza is

A Minneapolis digital agency that designs responsive websites, builds mobile applications, and creates video content.

We are an agile team of big-brained web developers, creative video storytellers and tech-savvy marketers who create great ideas and deliver value for businesses large and small. We have 13 years of experience with clients from small businesses to nonprofits, including sectors such as education, research, healthcare and government.

Our Services

Strategy & Research

  • Consulting
  • Content Audits
  • Technology Evaluation
  • Qualitative Market Research
  • Survey Development and Implementation
  • Online/offline Focus Group Facilitation
  • User Persona Development
  • Analytics
  • Video Planning & Pre-Production


  • Content Strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Content Management
  • Video Production / Post Production

UX & Design

  • Site Branding
  • User Interface
  • User Experience
  • Art Direction


  • Responsive Web Development
  • Node.js Development
  • Advanced Javascript
  • Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla
  • Database Design and Management
  • Mobile Apps: iOS, Android, Windows
  • API Design and Implementation
  • Ongoing Maintenance
Meet Our Team

Jeff Rabkin

President and Creative Director

We sell ideas, and with Jeff leading the team we'll never run out of inventory. Jeff combines creative and strategic thinking to attack any problem; be it a brand position, a business model, a user interface or a sheep-grazing plan.

Jeff holds a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Minnesota and post-graduate degree from The Minneapolis School of Advertising, Design and Interactive Studies.

His varied background includes experience as an editorial photographer, advertising copywriter and brand strategist. Prior to starting Wowza Jeff worked on large corporate campaigns, including Target Stores, Radisson Hotels, United Way, General Mills, Cargill, the United States Air Force and the famous evangelist Billy Graham.

Since 2003 Jeff has led his team to produce great ideas for clients big and small, and to become experts in the growing field of health care transparency and online data reporting.


Susan Scofield

Vice President

Being passionate about communication is something that comes naturally for Susan. As Wowza's Vice President and business development leader, she makes sure that she is not only connecting with our current clients to provide top-notch service, but also reaching out for new opportunities that the rest of our nerds might be too shy to talk about.

Susan holds a B.S. in Journalism and a B.A. in Speech Communications from St. Cloud State University. Susan has also served on several boards including Minneapolis Musical Theater, Forecast Public Artworks, and the International Association of Business Communicators. Susan has spent over 20 years in communications and has been involved with Wowza since its beginning in 2003.


Sarah Rathe

Art Director

Sarah is wicked smart, responsible and able to endow the most mundane things with style and panache. A graphic designer and art director for over 15 years, Sarah is both the visual conscience and voice of reason at Wowza. She makes sure that form isn't undermined in the service of function. She also bakes excellent chocolate chip cookies.

Sarah holds a B.A. in Studio Art and a post-graduate degree in Graphic Design from The Minneapolis School of Advertising, Design and Interactive Studies.

Sarah was Wowza's first employee, and over the past ten years has produced outstanding work for countless clients in a wide range of industries including: academics; finance; retail; professional services; entertainment; education and healthcare.


Will Garrison

User Experience Developer

In the physical world Will doesn't have a very good sense of direction. So he designs digital worlds where it's easy to find your way. Will is not only a brilliant UI/UX designer, he also codes like a maniac and is a heck-of-a-great guy.

Will studied artificial intelligence at Huntingdon College, but there is nothing artificial about him or his intelligence. Mostly self-taught, Will loves learning new technologies that he quickly and eagerly masters to keep clients on the cutting edge.

Will brought his considerable gifts to Wowza in 2006 and has since helped clients across the country organize, visualize, protect and appreciate their data and the stories it tells.


Laura Moncrieff

Chief Financial Officer

People wish they could win the lottery. We feel luckier to have Laura on our team. We couldn't spend hours poring over our clients' important data if Laura weren't here to manage ours.

Laura holds a B.A. in English from Carleton College, a J.D. from the University of Minnesota, and worked in tax law at a public accounting firm. After realizing practicing law wasn't her scene, she took to keeping books and keeping small business owners out of jail and bankruptcy.


Zack Carlson

Back-end Developer

Most humans have two sides to their brains. It’s possible that Zack has four. That’s the only way to account for his ability to master the complex and varied technologies, databases, programming languages, software, hardware and mystical data transmogrifications he performs daily.

Zack specializes in the creation and management of systems. He has over 12 years of web development experience and has shared his quadri-spheric brain with Wowza since 2008.

Zack is fluent in PHP, MySQL, CSS including SASS, HTML 5, Javascript and American English. He also speaks baby talk to his infant daughter.


Kersten Godfrey

Editor and Producer

Kersten joined Wowza in 2015 bringing with her highly valuable knowledge of video editing, production logistics and Harry Potter. Occasionally describing herself as a "proud Hufflepuff", Kersten can handle every aspect of video production from capture to finished product.

After graduating with a BA from Beloit College, Kersten then moved to San Francisco to enroll in a yearlong program at San Francisco School of Digital Film. She graduated from there in October 2014 and joined Wowza not long after.

She has planned, produced, and collaborated on a variety of creations in video and film including web ­shorts for commercial and nonprofit organizations, short fiction films, and short nonfiction, involving both studio and field-­based productions.

We may be small, but we're still process driven.

Our Process

At Wowza we consider everyone creative. Our developers, designers and content strategists work as a unified creative team throughout our overlapping, semi-linear four phase process:


We answer who, what, where, why, when. We conduct primary and secondary research and start the planning and project management that will get everything done on time and budget.

Schematic Design

The paper and pencil, whiteboard, sticky note, prototyping, pizza-eating phase. Wading through tons of ideas and directions to get to the one that works.

Design Development

The “making it real” phase. When the narrative, content, data, artwork and user experience all come together into a pixel perfect front-end.


It gets geeky at this point. This is when we do the code-writing, quality testing and bug fixing. Then more testing. Retesting. Installing, launching and training.
Bonus Phase:


This phase is brief because as we know, a website is never done. As soon as a project is launched it has to be maintained and nurtured to grow into the future.

Guided by our values and beliefs.

Our Philosophy

Here are the core values and beliefs that guide our working relationships and processes.

Our Values:

  • We won't take short-term gains at the expense of our long-term reputation.
  • We value fairness and hard work.
  • Friends are more important than money.
  • We look out for each other.
  • Respect is baseline.
  • Humanity > technology
  • Trust. Trust. Trust.

Our Beliefs:

  • Molehills aren't mountains.
  • Technologies can have unintended consequences.
  • Data and statistics are technologies.
  • People make mistakes.
  • Machines break.
  • One's confidence to competence ratio should be 1:1
  • Emotional intelligence is just as valuable as intellectual intelligence.
  • Collaboration is more productive than competition.
So What's Wowzilla?

So, what's Wowzilla?

We once competed for a project with Milwaukee-based Ancilla Partners, a team of web developers. The client ended up hiring Wowza to design and develop the front end of the site, and Ancilla Partners to build a specialized healthcare data portal. Since then our two companies have formed a strategic alliance that we call Wowzilla. It combines all of our extensive expertise in reporting healthcare quality data.

You can learn more about Wowzilla here.

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