Human centered design

Take the guesswork out of service design by understanding people's needs.

Human centered design (HCD) is a philosophy and method that places people’s experiences at the heart of service design. Unlike traditional, system-centric approaches, HCD prioritizes understanding real-world challenges and frustrations faced by users and crafting solutions that directly address them. HCD is a continuous process, not a one-time fix. Regular evaluation and user feedback are essential to maintain relevance and adapt services to evolving user needs. HCD provides a valuable framework for ensuring government services are and remain accessible, efficient, and user-centric.

21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act & OMB Memo M-23-22

21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act & OMB Memo M-23-22

Tools and Services

  • The Lab at OPM

    A team of designers with diverse backgrounds that help agencies address complex challenges and build human-centered design capacity across the federal government.

Human centered design events

Join Digital.gov’s Web Managers Community as they host a discussion with panelists from the Lab at OPM, National Institutes of Health, Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and Presidential Innovation Fellows. The panel will discuss how to align culture and digital strategy to build better digital services.

Hosted by Digital.gov and the Web Managers Community of Practice

2021
User Experience

2021 User Experience Summit

A 3-day remote summit covering User Experience (UX) management in the government.

Hosted by Digital.gov and the User Experience Community of Practice

2021
Words make digital experiences human-centered, and require just as much thought as the branding and code. As federal agencies strive to use human-centered design, they need to remember that words and design work together. See how interfaces rely on language, and how your writing can make or break an experience. Learn principles for UX writing that anyone who works on digital products can apply to their own work.

Hosted by Digital.gov and the Plain Language Community of Practice

2021

Human centered design news

Sharing artifacts and outputs from research

Have you conducted user research and are now wondering which artifacts or outputs you can share and with whom? 18F provides tips on determining your target audiences, using discretion for sensitive data, and ensuring that such work complies with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). — via 18F

18F logo

Dec 05, 2023

Why the American People Deserve a Digital Government

OMB released new policy guidance for government that includes a variety of actions and standards to help federal agencies design, develop, and deliver modern websites and digital services. Memo M-23-22, Delivering a Digital-First Public Experience, will make it seamless for the public to obtain government information and services online, and help agencies fully implement the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (21st Century IDEA). — via The White House

The White House logo

Sep 22, 2023

How a Small Team Modernized a Federal Website to Improve CX

The recent redesign of the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) website stands as an example for agencies seeking to enhance their online platforms. ONRR’s Open Data, Design, and Development (ODDD) team played a pivotal role in this website transformation by embracing open data, user-centered design, accessibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement. — via Performance.gov

Performance.gov logo

Jul 11, 2023

The 18F design chapter

Designing technology-enabled public services requires deep expertise in how different elements of the experience come together (or don’t!). The 18F design chapter comprises four discipline-specific cohorts — service design, user experience (UX) design, product design, and content strategy — each of which has a primary focus, with corresponding tools, methods, and techniques. — via 18F

18F logo

May 02, 2023

Tools and Services

  • The Lab at OPM

    A team of designers with diverse backgrounds that help agencies address complex challenges and build human-centered design capacity across the federal government.

More News and Events on Human centered design

74 posts

Sharing artifacts and outputs from research

Have you conducted user research and are now wondering which artifacts or outputs you can share and with whom? 18F provides tips on determining your target audiences, using discretion for sensitive data, and ensuring that such work complies with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). — via 18F

18F logo

Dec 05, 2023

Why the American People Deserve a Digital Government

OMB released new policy guidance for government that includes a variety of actions and standards to help federal agencies design, develop, and deliver modern websites and digital services. Memo M-23-22, Delivering a Digital-First Public Experience, will make it seamless for the public to obtain government information and services online, and help agencies fully implement the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (21st Century IDEA). — via The White House

The White House logo

Sep 22, 2023

How a Small Team Modernized a Federal Website to Improve CX

The recent redesign of the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) website stands as an example for agencies seeking to enhance their online platforms. ONRR’s Open Data, Design, and Development (ODDD) team played a pivotal role in this website transformation by embracing open data, user-centered design, accessibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement. — via Performance.gov

Performance.gov logo

Jul 11, 2023

The 18F design chapter

Designing technology-enabled public services requires deep expertise in how different elements of the experience come together (or don’t!). The 18F design chapter comprises four discipline-specific cohorts — service design, user experience (UX) design, product design, and content strategy — each of which has a primary focus, with corresponding tools, methods, and techniques. — via 18F

18F logo

May 02, 2023

GSA Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) Program

GSA Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) Program—Since 2012, over 200 Presidential Innovation Fellows have supported initiatives at more than 50 agencies, providing expert advice in specialized disciplines such as artificial intelligence, data strategy, product management, human-centered design, software development, and digital strategy. These efforts have enhanced agencies’ abilities to provide the best customer experience for their stakeholders and the public. The PIF program plans to celebrate the anniversary over the next year with activities to highlight the program’s impact and community since it launched. — via General Services Administration

General Services Administration logo

Aug 23, 2022

Join Digital.gov’s Web Managers Community as they host a discussion with panelists from the Lab at OPM, National Institutes of Health, Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and Presidential Innovation Fellows. The panel will discuss how to align culture and digital strategy to build better digital services.

Hosted by Digital.gov and the Web Managers Community of Practice

2021
User Experience

2021 User Experience Summit

A 3-day remote summit covering User Experience (UX) management in the government.

Hosted by Digital.gov and the User Experience Community of Practice

2021
Words make digital experiences human-centered, and require just as much thought as the branding and code. As federal agencies strive to use human-centered design, they need to remember that words and design work together. See how interfaces rely on language, and how your writing can make or break an experience. Learn principles for UX writing that anyone who works on digital products can apply to their own work.

Hosted by Digital.gov and the Plain Language Community of Practice

2021

Building a User-Centered Data Strategy

Building a User-Centered Data Strategy—Developing a data strategy is challenging, but 18F can help agencies with the process of creating an effective one. Our principles of user-centered design, agile, and iterative delivery can increase an agency’s chance for success in using data more effectively. — via 18F

18F logo

Apr 01, 2021