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Human-centered design (HCD) is an intentional process in which the needs, motivations, and limitations of the people using a product or service are considered. The HCD process focuses on user needs and characteristics, usability goals, environment, tasks, and workflow in the design of a product and the services that enable it, like communications and governance.

HCD follows a series of well-defined methods for analysis, design, and evaluation of hardware, software, and web interfaces. The HCD process is iterative, generally predictable, and repeatable. Research, design, and evaluation steps are built in from the first stage of each project, and they continue throughout to implementation.

We've provided a brief overview of the HCD process @ CMS below, but the best way to learn more is to take our "Intro to HCD" course that we regularly offer to customers.

HCD @ CMS


HCD @ CMS is the process we use use to understand the people for whom we are writing policies and creating programs and services. 

HCD is...

  • the process we use to understand the people for whom we are writing policies and creating programs and services
  • the application of systems and design thinking to identify the cross-functional policy, products, and services that define the customer experience, with the goal of improving this experience.
  • reframing problems and challenging business assumptions by observing and speaking to customers
  • a philosophy that you can effectively meet the needs and goals of your customers by balancing business viability, technical feasibility, and customer desirability

HCD is not...

  • just about a user interface (it's about the experience, which can encompass many digital and non-digital touch points)
  • just about technology (it's about the people)
  • the concern of only one person or group (its a collective responsibility)



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