TEACHING | 2015

TEACHING | 2015

Introducing human-centered design to government employees

Introducing human-centered design to government employees

LAB @ OPM (OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT)

LAB @ OPM (OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT)

GOAL 

Create and deliver a new curriculum on how to apply human-centered design for public servants across federal government.

Create and deliver a new curriculum on how to apply human-centered design for public servants across federal government.

Create and deliver a new curriculum on how to apply human-centered design for public servants across federal government.

ABOUT

The Lab at the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is both a practice and a space that fosters innovation through human-centered design. Because OPM serves an HR function within government, the Lab has always emphasized the importance of teaching and training.

The Lab at the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is both a practice and a space that fosters innovation through human-centered design. Because OPM serves an HR function within government, the Lab has always emphasized the importance of teaching and training.


The Lab at the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is both a practice and a space that fosters innovation through human-centered design. Because OPM serves an HR function within government, the Lab has always emphasized the importance of teaching and training.


The Lab at the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is both a practice and a space that fosters innovation through human-centered design. Because OPM serves an HR function within government, the Lab has always emphasized the importance of teaching and training.


ROLE 

As a Design Strategist at the Lab, I was part of both the curriculum and teaching teams. 

As a Design Strategist at the Lab, I was part of both the curriculum and teaching teams. 

Other project members include:

  • Stephanie Wade, Lab Director
  • Arianne Miller, Lab Associate Director
  • Sean Baker, Senior Designer
  • Elaine Daniel, Coordinator

Other project members include:

  • Stephanie Wade, Lab Director
  • Arianne Miller, Lab Associate Director
  • Sean Baker, Senior Designer
  • Elaine Daniel, Coordinator
teaching

All photos by Anchyi Wei

CHALLENGE

Our team decided to transition from teaching from an out-of-the-box, licensed design curriculum to creating our own content for a three-day course on the fundamentals of human-centered design within government.

This change was motivated by two factors:

  • It was often difficult for public servants to understand how HCD could be applied to their work and context.

  • The licensed curriculum was expensive, and with a team of in-house designers, we realized we could save taxpayer money while creating a more relevant curriculum.

 

Our team decided to transition from teaching from an out-of-the-box, licensed design curriculum to creating our own content for a three-day course on the fundamentals of human-centered design within government.

This change was motivated by two factors:

  • It was often difficult for public servants to understand how HCD could be applied to their work and context.

  • The licensed curriculum was expensive, and with a team of in-house designers, we realized we could save taxpayer money while creating a more relevant curriculum.
LabSession-57

RESULTS

We ultimately created a curriculum that emphasized:

  • Breaking down complex problems to understand their root causes
  • How root causes impact the people we serve
  • Why human behavior might inform potential solutions
  • The use of rapid prototyping to learn about and develop potential solutions to complex challenges

Over the three-day course, I helped students understand the importance of mindsets and design methodologies. Since the course was experiential, I prepared students for qualitative research and led them through the design synthesis and prototyping.

 

We ultimately created a curriculum that emphasized:

  • Breaking down complex problems to understand their root causes
  • How root causes impact the people we serve
  • Why human behavior might inform potential solutions
  • The use of rapid prototyping to learn about and develop potential solutions to complex challenges

Over the three-day course, I helped students understand the importance of mindsets and design methodologies. Since the course was experential, I prepared students for qualitative research and led them through the design synthesis and prototyping.

 

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IMPACT

After the success of the course revamp, a Director of Education role was created at the Lab to focus on building and creating more content and courses about design in the public sector.

Because of the team's commitment to creating a hands-on and contextual course, we were invited to tailor our course content for VA Hospital staff through the VA Innovation Lab. I co-taught our course to nurses, doctors and administrators in Biloxi, Jackson, Milwaukee and San Francisco.

To date, more than 2,000 federal employees have taken design courses offered at the Lab.  

After the success of the course revamp, a Director of Education role was created at the Lab to focus on building and creating more content and courses about design in the public sector.

Because of the team's commitment to creating a hands-on and contextual course, we were invited to tailor our course content for VA Hospital staff through the VA Innovation Lab. I co-taught our course to nurses, doctors and administrators in Biloxi, Jackson, Milwaukee and San Francisco.

To date, more than 2,000 federal employees have taken design courses offered at the Lab.  

"I wanted to tell you how incredible the fundamentals class was. I enrolled hoping to gather some more tools/skills to when I facilitate projects & workshops, but I got SO MUCH MORE than that. I love the process we learned & the way it was taught."
– Workshop Participant

"I wanted to tell you how incredible the fundamentals class was. I enrolled hoping to gather some more tools/skills to when I facilitate projects & workshops, but I got SO MUCH MORE than that. I love the process we learned & the way it was taught."
– Workshop Participant

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WORK

WORK

RESEARCH

RESEARCH

RESEARCH

RESEARCH

Applying ethnography to scale social change

Applying ethnography to scale social change

Applying ethnography to scale social change

Bridge International Academies

Bridge International Academies

Bridge International Academies

Bridge International Academies

UX

UX

UX

UX

Building a non-profit's first digital product

Building a non-profit's first digital product

Building a non-profit's first digital product

Cool Culture

Cool Culture

Cool Culture

UX

Improving usability for millions of job seekers

Improving usability for millions of job seekers

Improving usability for millions of job seekers

Improving usability for millions of job seekers

USAJOBS.gov

USAJOBS.gov

USAJOBS.gov

RESEARCH

RESEARCH

RESEARCH

RESEARCH

Using play to address health & safety issues for adolescent girls

Using play to address health & safety issues for adolescent girls

Using play to address health & safety issues for adolescent girls

ECPAT-USA

ECPAT-USA

ECPAT-USA

SERVICE

SERVICE

SERVICE

SERVICE

Championing empathy as a strategy to reduce costs

Championing empathy as a strategy to reduce costs

Championing empathy as a strategy to reduce costs

CFPB

CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

UI

UI

UI

UI

Operationalizing design for a new product team

Operationalizing design for a new product team

Operationalizing design for a new product team

Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve

TEACHING

TEACHING

TEACHING

TEACHING

Helping students solve problems using creative mindsets & methodologies

Helping students solve problems using creative mindsets & methodologies

Helping students solve problems using creative mindsets & methodologies

IDEO U

IDEO U

Medic Mobile