Lessons from UX in Government

Thursday October 22, 1PM ET

Shobhana Gupta, Emily Herrick, Matt Khinda, and Martin Boucher will share what they have learned from their UX work in government. We’ll hear how our presenters have incorporated user centered design to improve the adoption of scientific research at NASA, to improve services for low-income New York City residents, and to unify 800 individual websites into one platform for Québec. Although government work often has its own challenges, these speakers will share lessons learned that will apply to other domains as well. Following the talks, Jean Fox will moderate a question and answer session between all speakers.


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Inspiring talks on Lessons from UX in Government

Shobhana Gupta, MD, PhD

Open Innovation and Community Applications Manager, Earth Science Applied Sciences Program, NASA

Augmenting Impacts of Scientific Research Projects with Design Thinking Tools

Scientific research projects tackle complex global challenges in climate change, food security, and human health. However, results from data discovery and experimentation don’t influence action in isolation. Decision-makers, who may include non-scientists, evaluate scientific evidence and recommendations in the context of their and their communities’ beliefs, behaviors, and experiences. Driving impactful change for successful resolution of complex challenges requires the integration of scientific investigations with understanding the traditional knowledge, needs, and preferences of relevant stakeholders. This presentation will advocate for incorporation of design thinking practices in the scientific process to enable development of feasible, scalable, and impactful solutions. Design thinking tools that allow researchers to 1. observe, empathize with, and understand technical needs, social attributes, and priorities of stakeholders; 2. identify crucial criteria for desired solutions to have greater likelihood of user adoption; and 3. rapidly prototype and test solutions for greatest impact will be shared.

About Shobhana Gupta

Shobhana Gupta, MD PhD, serves as the Open Innovation and Community Applications Manager with Earth Science Applied Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters. Shobhana manages crowdsourcing activities, including prize competitions, to invite talents and experiences outside of the NASA community for the discovery and development of applications of Earth observations for decision-making. She also supports NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge, the largest global hackathon. Shobhana completed her medical and graduate training at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology.

Emily Herrick and Matt Khinda

Service Design Studio, Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, City of New York

Building culture for continuously human-centered services

For too long, decisions about government services, programs, and products have been made without the input and feedback from the residents who use and staff who deliver these public goods. The Service Design Studio at the New York City Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity partners with City agencies to change this course and harness the power of those with lived experience to make public services more effective and accessible for all.

In February, the Studio began partnering with the New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA) to redesign their digital rent calculation process so that it is simple and empathetic to residents. This process is key to ensuring low-income residents living in public housing receive a fair and just rent.

In the session, the Studio will share how we are supporting agency culture change towards agile development practices, building a multi-purpose design pattern library, and piloting continuous feedback practices to collaboratively design this new digital rent calculation experience shoulder-to-shoulder with residents.

About Emily Herrick

Emily Herrick is a design strategist who uses participatory design to bridge the gaps between the People and the social institutions invented to serve them. Her work has supported criminal justice reform, international open government initiatives, and enhanced City-delivered health and human services. She is currently is a Design Lead at the Service Design Studio at the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity where she collaborates with city agencies, employing the methods of design research and service design, to improve public services with an eye towards inclusivity, accessibility, and delightful user experience. A Midwestern transplant, she graduated from Illinois State University with dual BAs in Graphic Design and Arts Technology and a minor in Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility and holds an MFA in Design for Social Innovation from the School of Visual Arts.

About Matt Khinda

Matt Khinda is a designer trying to make cities better for the people who live in them. His work uses graphic design to inform and empower communities, helping them share the history and shape the future of the places they live. Currently, he is a core member of the Service Design Studio at the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, where he works to make city services for accessible and equitable for all New Yorkers. He is also a Public Access Design Fellow with the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and a Forefront Fellow with the Urban Design Forum.

Martin Boucher

Executive Director, Government Digital Communications

The digital transformation of government communications: a human journey

The purpose of Québec.ca is to replace some 800 websites with a single unified digital platform designed with the citizens needs in mind (not government’s). We try to focus on added value, internal mobilization and change management rather than the delivery of tech marvels. We are dealing with human behaviour and that is the real challenge. In this talk we’ll explore the main challenges of the Québec.ca project (internal vs external perspective). The difference between resistance to change and culture change (change is hard, even when everyone wants it). The difference between «thinking about users» and «being user centred» (observing users rather than asking for opinions). How to move forward : resilience and rigour (resistance is temporary, measuring is persuading)

About Martin Boucher

Mr. Boucher has more than 25 years of experience in communications and digital management. He is also an entrepreneur, a speaker and a teacher. Since 2017, Mr. Boucher presided over the creation of the Québec Digital Communications Department, the publication of the @GouvQC social media accounts, the development of a digital communications training program, the modernization of government’s communication campaigns and the development of Québec.ca, Quebec’s unified digital platform, published in June 2018.

More events from UXPA 2020: At Home

Every Thursday throughout October we’re exploring a new and important  UX topic. From diversity and inclusion, to career development and UX in Government. You can expect lots of live short talks, panel discussions, question and answer sessions and even lightning UX posters!

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