Lessons learned from successful failures

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 7:00pm
Dana Chisnell and Matt Weaver, US Digital Service
Dana Chisnell
Matt Weaver

Government has seen its share of faulty rollouts and imperfect implementations. President Obama formed the Digital Service to prevent those mistakes from happening again. But the projects of government are often large and complicated. How does an understaffed, under appreciated team cope?

What if we thought of design as a tool for solving problems –does that change how we approach projects? When we look at the root causes of poor civic experiences for citizens, government workers, and all the other people served by government, what’s the number 1 ingredient that is missing? If you could do just a few things to improve design in government, what would they be? Dana and Weaver answer these questions and more. Turns out, there are straightforward steps to take — steps you could teach your teams and the teams of your clients.

This joint meeting of the GBC/ACM and Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society will be held in MIT Room E51-315 of the Tang Center, building E51.

Up-to-date information about this and other talks is available online at http://www.gbcacm.org . You can sign up to receive updated status information about this talk and informational emails about future talks at our website.

Dana Chisnell is an elections geek and a UX research nerd (her words) who has trained thousands of people, including government workers, to test their designs. But what she really loves is giving design literacy to the world. She’s the lead on a project to develop a series of Field Guides To Ensuring Voter Intent. The Field Guides, originally funded by a Kickstarter project, are designed to be quick, easy, accessible help for American election officials to do the best possible design. She won 2 MacArthur grants to expand the Field Guides Series. She wrote Handbook of Usability Testing, Second Edition with Jeff Rubin. She’s a co-founder with Whitney Quesenbery of the Center for Civic Design (civicdesign.org), which has loaned her to the United States Digital Service (whitehouse.gov/us-digital-service).

Matthew Weaver has spent his entire life taking things apart, understanding how they work, and fixing them. Academically, he’s studied graphic design and holds a degree in computer science from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Professionally, he’s networked small communities in the Rocky Mountains, was a member and lead of the team responsible for operating Google web search during a nine-year career there, and helped rescue healthcare.gov. Personally, he takes music, literature, film and food very seriously. He is honored to serve his country as the Rogue Leader of the Digital Service at Veterans Affairs.