Agencies should invest in dedicated workforce for human-centered design, study shows

The Partnership for Public Service finds agencies with fresh product design expertise were more effective at improving customer experience.
customer experience, customer satisfaction
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Investing in a dedicated workforce for human-centered design and user experience is key for agencies looking to improve customer experience and equity of policies, according to the Partnership for Public Service.

In a report published Monday, the nonprofit conducted a study of 15 agencies, and found that those with recently-appointed product design and user research expertise were more effective at improving customer experience.

According to the nonprofit, the Department of Federal Student Aid was able to improve user experience by formalizing the processes it used to build and launch new products, and to create consistency and cohesion.

The Partnership for Public Service (PPS) found also that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has relied on greater contact with user research experts across an advisory consortium in order to remodel its clinical contact centers.


User-centered design has received a high level of attention from government user design leaders during the pandemic, as agencies were forced to adapt to collecting project evidence through telework consultations.

Earlier this month, VA Deputy Chief Experience Officer Barbara Morton said that so far remote consultations appear to have increased the range of views from veterans that the agency is able to sample.

The study was carried out in partnership with Accenture Federal Services.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct references to a prior report.

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