User Centered Design

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.

News and Events on User Centered Design

58 posts

Equity study reaches 4,000 participants

Launched last fall, the General Services Administration equity study on remote identity proofing aims to determine if biases exist in the algorithms used for online identity verification. The study has now reached its goal of recruiting 4,000 participants from diverse communities, and experts are ready to begin analysis of the data. Learn how the team at GSA plans to conduct this data analysis, and how their findings will lead to improved equitable services delivery in technology across the government. — via General Services Administration

General Services Administration logo

Jun 05, 2024

The U.S. Web Design System (USWDS) team will chat with Center for Civic Design co-founder Whitney Quesenbery about designing accessible civic spaces.

One year with the new USAGov

It has been a year since and USAGov en Español were relaunched using human-centered design principles. Using task backlog, the USAGov team has addressed content gaps, improved discoverability, and implemented technical updates. Through usability tests, visitor comments, and click behavior the team was able to unravel and respond to user feedback and unmet needs, leading to noticeable increases in visitor satisfaction and task accomplishment. Moving forward, the focus will shift to enhancing public engagement with the government, improving the search for benefits-related content, and exploring interactive and personalized user experiences. — via logo

May 14, 2024

FEMA National Summit on Risk Communications, Crisis Communications, and Community Engagement

The Federal Emergency Management Agency Office of External Affairs is convening risk and crisis communicators and community leaders who are on the front-line of the climate and emerging hazard crises. Attend the free, June 10, 2024, summit virtually, or in Washington, DC. The agenda includes: the sharing invaluable tools and insights, how to implement culturally competent and accessible communications, how to integrate behavior change strategies, and more. An ASL interpreter will be provided. — via Federal Emergency Management Agency

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Apr 25, 2024

Creating a blueprint for quality: How the PX Contact Center helps agents grow their skills

Every day, live agents at’s Public Experience (PX) Contact Center answer questions from the public about government benefits and services. Learn how the PX Contact Center develops a workforce of excellent agents, using immersive onboarding, tailored and continuous training, feedback loops, and calibration meetings to empower their agents to deliver accurate information.’s system for employee and contact center management ensures that every customer interaction leaves a lasting impact. — via logo

Apr 23, 2024

The U.S. Web Design System (USWDS) team will go over some basics of Web Components and how they apply to the design system.
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Progress towards delivering a digital-first public experience

Each year, more than 400 million individuals, families, businesses, organizations, and local governments get information and services from about 430 federal agencies and sub-agencies. The Biden-Harris administration is driving a bold vision for how government agencies serve their customers digitally with OMB’s ten-year roadmap for a modern digital experience. Agencies have already made significant strides. Learn about recent successes by the IRS, CDC, NASA, and FEMA, and how OMB will continue to collaborate with agencies to ensure ongoing improvement in digital government services. — via The White House

The White House logo

Apr 17, 2024

Now available: Trusted Tester for Web Certification courses, version 5.1.3

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has updated its Trusted Tester program courses. It features six improvements, including accessible plain language, adjusted exam requirements, and enhanced course design. The updated curriculum aligns with the latest Trusted Tester Conformance Test Process for Web, offering a more efficient learning experience. Enrollment is open via the Training Portal, and inquires can be directed to the DHS Accessibility Helpdesk for assistance. — via logo

Apr 12, 2024

18F practices in action (spoiler: this stuff works)

How well do 18F software development practices work? The 18F team reflected on a recent project for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) .gov registry to gauge the effectiveness of six recommendations aligned with what they actually did. — via 18F

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Apr 03, 2024

How USAGov uses data to improve content

Each month, USAGov’s content designers spend many hours ensuring that the content on and USAGov en Español is up-to-date, accurate, and meets user needs. Learn how their team does holistic reviews of each topic section based on a rolling calendar with the goal of updating all content at least every 6 months. — via logo

Apr 01, 2024

Join the U.S. Web Design System team for a lesson on customizing and extending the design system.
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18F at ten

We’re celebrating all the ways we continue to realize our founding vision: bringing technologists into government, launching shared digital services, and helping partner agencies build user-centered technology. — via 18F

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Mar 19, 2024 year in review: 2023 report

Learn what types of information people searched for on federal websites in 2023, see emerging trends the team is exploring to improve customers’ search experience in 2024, and check out three new updates. The data tab provides insightful summaries for 13 popular topic areas—and lists the public’s top 25 search terms, in their own words, for each. — via logo

Mar 15, 2024

Annual Gathering

Spring 2024 Community Summit

Digital service experts across the federal government will share case studies and best practices on delivering a digital-first public experience.

Equity in action: GSA’s study on remote identity-proofing technologies

The Biden-Harris President’s Management Agenda (PMA) emphasizes an effective, equitable and accountable government. As part of this effort, the General Services Administration (GSA) is conducting a study on the equity of remote identity proofing. The study aims to assess and improve the accessibility and equity of remote identity verification technologies such as facial matching systems. Learn more about the context, purpose, and progress of the study, and how it supports GSA’s goal of enhancing digital government services and prioritizing equitable design practices. — via logo

Mar 13, 2024

Customer experience: beyond surveys

Want to measure customer experience? Surveys aren’t the only way! Consider these guiding questions to help your team select an approach based on what you want to learn. — via 18F

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Mar 05, 2024