User Research And Design

CWDS Organizes DesignOps Team

The CWDS DesignOps team has organized as a centralized unit that will provide human-centered research and design services for all digital services across the project developing software to replace the child welfare legacy system.

As project staff previously assigned to individual digital services, the group is now officially formed with team members reporting up through one organization to operate as a collective, working on a common backlog prioritized by product leadership across the digital services. This change will give CWDS an enterprise-wide view of important features that will help the project deliver world class software and expedite the deployment of CWS-CARES.

The team is led by Gregg Hill as Product Owner. Members include: Alyssa Burke, Robert Chilton, Christy Dunwoodie, Danny Eck, Geoff Heath, Antoinette Houston, Matt Johnson, Maria Kuznetsova, Liz Lin, Amy Lee, Jan Schafer, Julia Schaumburg and Lori Stevenson.

DesignOps occupies a studio space, now referred to as the CWDS Research + Design Studio, on the first floor of CWDS headquarters in Sacramento.

User Research Drives Good Design

At CWDS, one of the ways we develop good design is through good user research. The User Research and Design team has been working hard over the past year to ensure that the working needs of our state and county users are met with new product design.

The team has interviewed over 100 state and county workers to discover first hand design opportunities to address our users’ long-standing and emerging needs, pain points, and strengths. The team has also conducted over 75 usability tests to learn how well users respond to new designs. From this user research, and discussions with CWDS service managers, the team drafted the Design Experience Values— a user experience promise of what the New System aims to deliver.

The team focuses their research and design on the needs of each digital services team to ensure a reliable, responsive, and intuitive user experience, while considering cross-team and holistic needs. They also collaborate with core county stakeholders during design development, where they respond to feedback and periodically share progress through solution demonstrations.

To learn more about the team's approach, see the Design Team Wiki and sign up for the CWDS newsletter to get future project updates.

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