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Here’s how to build empathy and test your product with users: Human-centered design with the White House’s Opportunity Project

18 August 2016

Earlier this week, Exygy took to the airwaves to broadcast a live intro to human-centered design training for the White House’s Opportunity Project. Here are some things we covered:

  • How to build empathy for the user through needs finding approaches, particularly user interviews, empathy maps and journey maps.
  • How to test your product with users.

View the entire training here (40 min):

The Opportunity Project is a platform for transforming a curated combination of federal and local open data into digital tools to expand access to opportunity for all Americans. Through this movement, several non-profit and for-profit teams across the country are coming together to tackle challenges and use cases outlined by six federal agencies:

  1. U.S. Department of Transportation: transit accessibility in low-opportunity communities
  2. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: mobility, rapid re-housing
  3. Office of the U.S. Surgeon General: emotional wellbeing
  4. U.S. Department of Labor: access to apprenticeships and skills
  5. U.S. Department of Agriculture: small town resource guide, summer food programs
  6. U.S. Department of Education: helping families and kids make decisions about which school to attend (specifically groups such as foster youth, immigrants, etc.), equity scores that reveal gaps in resources: intended to help decision-makers understand and address inequity

The design + build teams just kicked off their sprints and we are excited to see what comes out of them. If you’d like to join the the Opportunity Project community, join the Slack channel where you can chat directly with participants from both the teams and the federal agencies. A link to the Slack channel can be found on the Opportunity Project site.

Exygy has been a strategy, design, and build partner for several civic sector clients. We believe that government is inherently user-centric— it exists to serve citizens and help communities thrive. To that end, we are excited to see city, state, and federal government teams taking on more user-centric approaches to designing services and products.

Do you have an example of a civic sector project where you employed a human-centered design process? Comment below, we’d love to hear about it!