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Improving Access to Government Benefits and Services

A collaboration with the Office of Evaluation Sciences to improve access to essential services like healthcare and housing through innovative, scientifically validated digital design.

  • Experience Design
  • Human-Centered Research
  • Accessibility Standards & Best Practices

The complexity and scale of federal forms significantly impacts American citizens by hindering access to essential government programs, services, and benefits. I worked with the Office of Evaluation Scientists to help them simplify these forms to enhance public access to services like healthcare, housing, and financial aid.
The collaboration with OES aimed to integrate testing into the form digitization process. It produced three  design proposals that ranged from providing autonomy to researchers through digital interfaces to service-oriented approaches.
The project demonstrated that it is feasible to design digital forms to improve access to federal benefits, integrate scientifically valid testing into the digitization process, and do so in a scalable, repeatable, and cost-effective manner. The project underscores the importance of designing government forms in a way that not only meets scientific standards but also ensures equitable access for all citizens to essential government services.

Ethnographic Research Approach

The project began with an intensive study of the behavioral scientists at OES, utilizing workshops, interviews, and collaborative exercises to understand their perspectives and needs.

Designing for Researchers' Requirements

The focus was on identifying what was crucial for OES researchers in terms of functionality and scientific validity for their experiments.

Experiment Parameters and Variants

The project addressed the need for setting clear experiment parameters, creating form variants, and ensuring randomization to avoid bias in form testing.

Data Analysis and Distribution

OES required robust data analysis tools and methods to manage large sample sizes and ensure representative distribution in their studies.

Scientific Rigor as a Constant

Throughout the project, maintaining scientific rigor was essential, ensuring that the results and conclusions were quantifiable and repeatable.

User and Service Design Solutions

Solutions prioritized researcher autonomy and varied in feature combinations. Some designs focused on digital interfaces, while others involved external contractors for experiment management.

Human-Centered Research Principles

The solutions were based on human-centered research, tailored to meet the specific needs of behavioral scientists, emphasizing the feasibility and practicality of testing digital federal forms.

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Thumbnail for OES to the rescue Thumbnail for Developing hypotheses Thumbnail for Defining the questions Thumbnail for Definition & Launch Thumbnail for Finding the questions Thumbnail for OES serves federal agencies Thumbnail for Understanding a digital form