UX (User Experience) Articles

The new Ad Hoc Government Digital Services Playbook

August 18, 2020

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The 2020 version is now a standalone playbook that any federal agency can use to replace enterprise software with proven techniques from the world of commercial software.

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The problem might not be COBOL

July 10, 2020

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The government's problem isn’t using old code or older programming languages. The problem is often that they’re using code that wasn’t designed to meet the needs of people who use it.

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How to keep your research practice going in a remote world

May 12, 2020

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Instead of hitting pause on user research plans, now is the time to understand the benefits of remote research.

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Four myths about applying human-centered design to government digital services

February 20, 2020

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While human-centered design (HCD) is gaining traction, its underlying concepts are sometimes misunderstood. This can mislead teams into thinking they’re working in a human-centered way when in fact, their work is largely driven by requirements.

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Anthropology techniques in human-centered design: The deep hang

November 22, 2019

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Anthropologist Clifford Geertz has a great story about a wink. If you’re in a crowded room and you happen to see someone twitch their eye, what do you think: That they just shared an intimate joke with someone? That they have a nervous tic? That an eyelash is stuck in...

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The case for listening to enterprise users

November 12, 2019

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For companies that rely on consumer sales, there’s a clear business case for creating intuitive, pleasurable user experiences. But what about situations where the consumer or end user is not the customer? Where the organization is the customer, there may seem to be less incentive to design around the needs...

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Ad Hoc awarded contract to support VA healthcare modernization

November 05, 2019

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Ad Hoc, as part of a team led by prime contractor Liberty IT Solutions, LLC (Liberty), has been awarded a contract to support a critical Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare modernization project.

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Human-centered design helps government make better decisions

October 16, 2019

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Why is human-centered design different? Why should you pay attention to this term, and how can it add value and meaning to government work?

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 4: Prioritize modernization with user research

September 04, 2019

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The 21st Century IDEA Act mandates that every agency prioritize public services that need modernization. The best way for agencies to prioritize their services is to thoroughly research how users interact with those services.

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 3: Customized, mobile-friendly experiences

August 26, 2019

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Today, we’ll finish up the first section of the IDEA Act with the final two requirements for public websites and digital services.

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What makes an API simple?

August 23, 2019

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Whenever you're trying to make something simple, it's important to think of the people who are using your tool.

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 2: Search, security, and serving users

August 21, 2019

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In this section, I’ll continue looking at the IDEA Act’s new requirements for public websites and digital services, including a deep dive into what it means to design services around the needs of your users.

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Expanding the possible with the Find Local Help tool

June 20, 2019

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Find Local Help is a tool from Healthcare.gov that connects people to in-person, one-on-one help signing up for health insurance. In 2017, CMS contracted with Ad Hoc to improve the performance and user experience of the tool.

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The power of being naive

April 23, 2019

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Subject matter naiveté is our expertise. We’re hired to be experts in process, creation, and problem solving, and the primary tool we use to do this work is asking questions.

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Ad Hoc’s UX Principles

January 17, 2019

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Over the course of 2018, the UX team at Ad Hoc refined our principles. Because a new year is always a great time to reflect on what’s important, we’re sharing our principles here.

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Moving into UX

March 01, 2018

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I have an anthropology degree, and I believe that working in User Experience (UX) research is one of the most meaningful applications of that training.

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UX Offsite 2017 in Portland, Oregon

July 28, 2017

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Our growing UX team got together in real life in beautiful Portland, Oregon last week to talk, work, drink lots of coffee and tea, eat, and generally, spend some quality time together.

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Laura Ellena’s #remotelife at Ad Hoc

April 20, 2017

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As research manager, my days have a lot of variety. I frequently use our co-working space near the White House to plan projects, facilitate remote feedback sessions, and sync with teammates.

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Ad Hoc begins user experience research work on Hospital Quality Reporting Project

April 10, 2017

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Ad Hoc is providing the User Experience Research team, four professionals responsible for conducting all research.

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Introducing Cohorts

March 13, 2017

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Today marks the launch of Cohorts, a service of Ad Hoc that allows us to conduct incisive research with groups of relevant people to make government digital services work better for all.

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