Government programs and services should meet the needs of people who use them. In the 21st century, this means integrating user centered design practices into the work of government.

Governments that start with user needs make it a priority in any project to conduct research with residents to inform a better picture of who they are, what they need, and how they behave. By starting with an understanding of who they are serving, government is better able to provide effective and accessible access to public services and information that’s tailored to resident’s needs, comprehension, and literacy.

When working with local governments, Code for America conducts user research in order to understand needs, generate project ideas, and test hypotheses at all stages of development from sketch through prototype to production code.

Practice User Centered Design

We're publishing a set of guides, tools and resources for governments that want to start practicing user centered design.


  • User Centered Design Guide: Use this guide if you are just getting started with a user centered approach to solving problems, designing services or products.
  • User Research Policy Toolkit: This guide will help you develop policy that makes it easier to implement user centered principles.


Further Reading