Friends Close, Users Closer: Designing for Real Audiences in Government Projects

During this session, we will talk about who our digital projects are actually serving, compared to who we often find ourselves designing for. Government projects often include heavy information dispersion, multiple user pathways, and varied audience needs. This session will act as a refresher course for those designing and developing complex digital structures for the government. It will also include a discussion of UX tools and activities that we have found to be most effective with government clients.  Finally, we will review how we architect our digital projects as compared to not only how the agency we work for is structured, but how the government is structured.

As designers at a digital agency, we believe that user-centered design is not just a philosophy to guide project work. This session will provide our audience with valuable takeaways to improve their skills in managing, leading, structuring, and designing for the users of government agencies.

This talk will challenge many of the assumptions that we, as digital craftsmen, carry about designing for the government:

  • Who are your target audiences for web builds? Your boss? The President? Are they really?
  • Why are you only talking to your coworkers, your boss, and your web governance team about what their users need? Are their goals the same as the users'?
  • How will people really use your website? Have you talked to people who will actually use your website about how they will use it?
  • How do you structure a project around the users, instead of around the stakeholders?


Who should attend?

This session will be UX and Design focused, but all members of a project team will find value. Anyone involved with a stake in the success of a web project should feel free to attend. 

What will attendees get out of the session?

  • A renewed focus on real users and their needs when building digital products for government clients
  • A streamlined understanding of common UX practices for the project team to facilitate
  • A emphasis on important user practices like testing, best practices, human factor thinking.
  • Hardest part of gov’t projects is making sure the websites aren’t structured like the gov’t.
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Community and Being Human