Tallan Blog

Tallan’s Experts Share Their Knowledge on Technology, Trends and Solutions to Business Challenges

What are Microinteractions in UX Design?

The word microinteractions is likely unfamiliar if you’re not a UX designer but, you interact with them all the time in the physical world and digital world. They’re the notifications for new emails, the likes you give on Instagram posts and the visual cue your scrollbar gives you about your position on a page. You likely haven’t thought too much about these microinteractions which is exactly how they’re supposed to be.
Microinteractions are interactions with a single main task. They are made of 4 parts: a trigger, rules, feedback and loops & modes.

The trigger starts the microinteraction.
Rules determine what happens when the microinteraction is triggered.
Feedback lets users know what is happening such as error messages or a loading graphic.
Loops & modes determine the meta-rules of the interaction, such as how long it will take.

Microinteractions serve a multitude of purposes. Some are…

Conversational AI Paradigms: Flow Driven Chatbots vs. Intent Driven Chatbots (Part 1)

In a relatively short period of time, conversational AI has become a fixture in a number of fields (customer service and advertising being prominent examples) and is emerging in many more. Though the applications vary widely, the core idea across them is the same: apply natural language processing (NLP) to a text (or in some cases, voice) user interface to emulate the experience of talking to a real person. The challenge to implementing this simple (on the surface) concept is to maintain a ‘human’ balance in the conversation: be responsive to the user, while still advancing the conversation that the AI ‘wants’ to have.
There are two major approaches to striking this balance: a flow-driven approach, and an intent-driven approach. These two approaches come at the challenge from the opposite ends of the spectrum. In the most basic terms, flow-driven chatbots prompt…

Pain Points in Mortgage Lending

Before you start reading, write down (or mentally note) two things: 1) what is one of the pains you face on a daily, weekly, monthly, or some recurring basis?  And 2) what is a pain point that your BOSS (or your boss’s boss) faces in the same way?
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(No, seriously – write it down… 😉)
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Alright – now it’s our turn.  Here are some pain points that we’ve encountered with our partners in the mortgage lending space:

Disconnected processes
Pre-approved buyers no-showing up to appointments
Documents are often hard copy and must be tended to in person
Too much time passes by between interactions with customers
Your online customer-facing resources leave much to be desired
Your internal go-to-market activities are too slow
Customers have a hard time identifying the right loan/product for them
Closing processes take too much time (for both you and your customers)
Non-commissioned internal resources lack the incentive…

An Introduction to Serverless Computing

As developers, we often agonize over the amount of time spent procuring resources, setting up environments, and performing all the other tasks that prevent us from doing what we love most: developing! While cloud-computing technologies have helped to address this problem by making it easy to acquire resources such as servers, computing power, and storage, the problem of setting up these complex application hosts still plagues us. To further compound the issue, maintaining these servers can be quite costly in terms of time and money. Fortunately, technology often rises to meet the needs of its users, and so we have our featured serverless architecture.
At a high level, the concept behind a serverless architecture is quite simple. Rather than forcing users to provision servers on which to run their code, vendors offer the ability for users to upload a function and…

Chatbots for Healthcare

The key to a successful provider/patient relationship in healthcare is patient engagement. Recently, hospitals and healthcare companies have expanded their efforts toward patient engagement in the form of Artificial Intelligence or AI. Chatbots are being used to improve the triage process, patient discharge planning, and follow-up.
The practice of utilizing the ER for both emergent and non-emergent conditions has become the primary driver for overcrowding and longer wait times. On average, a visit to the emergency room can take anywhere from one to three hours. In an extreme situation, that visit can last even longer. As a result, patients requiring immediate medical attention are choosing to put themselves at risk for future complications by avoiding the ER altogether. In an attempt to reduce inappropriate use of the ER, hospitals are deploying Health chatbots as a means…

Adding a User to your Azure Subscription with Resource Group Access

Introduction
So, you’ve got your Azure subscription in place, and you’re the global administrator. Now you want to let someone else access your subscription, but only a specific resource group within your subscription. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to add a new user to your Azure subscription’s directory, and how to then grant permission for that user to a specific resource group within your Azure subscription that they can manage. The new user won’t be able to see or manage any resources in your subscription outside the resource group that you grant them access for.
Step-by-step procedure
Let’s get started. First, log in to the Azure portal and open your subscription’s directory. To do this, search for directory and choose Azure Active Directory, as follows:

Next, take note of the directory name; this is the domain name for the email address…

Taking a Look at Entity Framework Queries pt 1 (.NET Framework)

If you aren’t familiar, Entity Framework is a powerful open-source object-relational mapping (ORM) framework. Its initial release was back in 2008, so it has grown and evolved quite a bit. I have been using it now, very regularly, for about four years and just wanted to bring to light some tips and the missteps that I have encountered during that time.
I think the most important thing when using EF(Entity Framework) is to be aware of the work it is doing on your behalf.  The best way to see what EF is doing is to simply log it, and for me, that means the output window in Visual Studio, not the database, as you will see, EF does a lot.  So, that being said, it is actually much easier to do than you might expect, and in my mind, there are…

Horizontal Partitioning in Azure Cosmos DB

In Azure Cosmos DB, partitioning is what allows you to massively scale your database, not just in terms of storage but also throughput. You simply create a container in your database, and let Cosmos DB partition the data you store in that container, to manage its growth.
This means that you just work with the one container as a single logical resource where you store data. And you can just let the container grow and grow, without worrying about scale, because Cosmos DB creates as many partitions as needed behind the scenes to accommodate your data.
Automated Scale-Out
These partitions themselves are the physical storage for the data in your container. Think of partitions as individual buckets of data that, collectively, is the container. But you don’t need to think about it too much, because the whole idea is that it all just…

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Chatbots for Government

Government agencies across the globe are leaning on new technologies to face the challenges of a growing demand for information and the expectation of real-time response and issue resolution from the public. With so many devices and applications accessing government websites, it is important to have a communication and interaction strategy to field requests coming from a multitude of internet-connected devices with the requirement to provide an accessible and multi-lingual experience.
Interactive chatbots offer a modern and accessible communication platform for cities and states to interact with the public. Using speech, vision, and text-based technologies, chatbots driven by cognitive services bridge the gap between human and machine interaction in a 24/7 online customer service environment while also gaining valuable insights. With customization and a user-centric approach, chatbots offer a variety of additional online communication channels such as Facebook Messenger, SMS, iMessage,…

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Demystifying the Multi-Model Capabilities in Azure Cosmos DB

Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s globally distributed, massively scalable, horizontally partitioned, low latency, fully indexed, multi-model NoSQL database.
If you start to elaborate on each of the bullet points in this soundbite opening, there’s a lot to discuss before you get to “multi-model NoSQL” at the tail end. Starting with “globally distributed,” Cosmos DB is – first and foremost – a database designed for modern web and mobile applications, which are (typically) global applications in nature. Simply by clicking the mouse on a map in the portal, your Cosmos DB database is instantly replicated anywhere and everywhere Microsoft hosts a data center (there are nearly 50 of them worldwide, to date). This delivers high availability and low latency to users wherever they’re located.
Cosmos DB also delivers virtually unlimited scale, both in terms of storage – via server-side horizontal partitioning, and throughput…

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