2019 Government Performance Consortium Spring Forum: More Human By Design

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More Human By Design

Government Performance Consortium Spring Forum
Registration is now closed for this event.
May 1, 2019 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
University of Washington Tacoma, UW-Y 303 & Y304

2019 GPC Spring  Forum Pre-Workshop Assignment

This file is available in PDF or PowerPoint (editable) formats.  Once you have opened the folder, double click or right click to download.

Join us on May 1st at the University of Washington in Tacoma to meet the inspiring leaders at the vanguard of applying design thinking in public sector programs.  Our interactive workshop will bring out your inner innovator and help your customers and citizens respond in ways that can measurably improve your program results!

When we design from the perspective of the people we serve, we come up with radically sensible ways of communicating with our customers and citizens. Human-centered design, or design thinking, offers us profoundly simple and effective ways to create more positive effects from each interaction with our customers and transform citizens’ experience of government.
How much faster or better can the people we serve do what they need to do in order to comply with government regulations or receive government services? What is possible if we can do our own jobs faster and better and experience greater potency in our role as public servants? What costs might we all avoid because people don’t have to wait for help or delay taking action? And how does this affect how people feel about government?
In this workshop, we’ll introduce you to the basic techniques of human-centered design. We’ll mix inspiration and instruction with hands-on exercises so you’ll learn how to:
  • Discover what it means when people can suddenly understand critical government information - and how to measure that positive impact.
  • Redesign your point-of-interaction materials like forms, notices and web-pages so that people can actually notice and quickly absorb information they need to understand to make decisions and take action. 
  • Harness the power of usability testing to prove that citizens can read and use it easily, without help, and get it right the first time.

Join the conversation

GPC Facebook Group
​GPC on Twitter
GPC Events Page

  REGISTRATION CLOSED 04/22/2019 There are no seats left!

Registration includes: A hot breakfast, lunch, coffee and healthy snacks. 
Regular Registraion:  $99 Please have credit/debit card and/or purchase order ready.

We regret we cannot accommodate walk-ins the day of the event.

Agenda (FINAL)

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Sign In, Hot Breakfast & Fill Out Sli.Do

9:00 - 9:20 a.m.

Welcome, Announcements and Acknowledgments

Larisa Benson, Host, Government Performance Consortium

Pat McCarthy, Washington State Auditor

Dr. Divya McMillan, Director, UW Tacoma Global Design and Innovation Lab

9:20 - 10:20 a.m.

Keynote: Designing Government as a 21st Century Institution

Cyd Harrell , civic designer. Former head of product for Code for America and former Chief of Staff for 18F​

10:20 - 10:30 a.m.

Coffee and Snacks

10:30 - 12:00 noon

Workshop Part I: Personas

Whitney Quesenbery & Suzanne Chapman, Center for Civic Design

Introduction by Kris Swanson, Director of Innovation and Technology, State Auditor’s Office

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Workshop Part II: Testing

2:30 - 2:45 p.m.

Coffee and Snack Break

2:45 - 4:00 p.m.

Workshop Part III: Redesign & Plain Language

4:00 - 4:30 p.m. Reflections, Connections, Possibilities
4:30 p.m. Forum Adjorns

Speakers and Hosts

Cyd Harrell, Keynote Speaker

Cyd Harrell is well known in industry and government for her creative approach to UX research and service design. Over the course of her career with Code for America as head of user experience and product design and as the first Chief of Staff for 18F, she has helped cities, counties, and federal government agencies use the power of design to create better citizen experiences. Cyd helped found San Francisco Women the Web in the late 90s and continues to mentor under-represented people in the UX field in her spare time. Cyd merges a design geek’s enthusiasm for the digital with a humane sense of modern civic responsibility. She believes that design is an important practice for bringing our public institutions into the 21st century.


Suzanne Chapman, Workshop Leader

Suzanne is a UX Generalist who loves all aspects of user research, design, and content strategy but is especially passionate about inclusive design, untangling any kind of mess, and doing work worth doing. Before joining the Center, she spent 2 years at the United States Digital Service where she lead User Experience work for a large team embedded with the Department of Veterans Affairs where she lead strategy, user research, content, and design for over 25 products that make it easier and faster for Veterans to get benefits and services. Prior to working at USDS, Suzanne spent 10 years in higher education designing large access systems and advocating for a user-centered approach.


Whitney Quesenbery, Workshop Leader

Whitney is passionate about solving democracy as a design problem. She is proud of the Center for Civic Design’s work to introduce best practices for election design across the country through the Field Guides To Ensuring Voter Intent and their work on projects from modernizing voter registration, usable vote-by-mail envelopes, to better voter guides has made it easier for people to vote. She's written three books - A Web for Everyone, Storytelling for User Experience, and Global UX: Design and research in a connected world  - to help practitioners keep users in mind throughout the creative process.


Larisa Benson, Event Host

Larisa Benson is a teacher of management disciplines, a seeker of new ideas and a fan of people who choose to give their energy and talent in service to community. She is the founding co-creator and host of the Government Performance Consortium, a network of civic thinkers and government practitioners who are transforming government from the inside out.

Washington State
Auditor’s Office

UW Tacoma 

Municipal Research
and Services Center
Global Innovation
and Design Lab

Parking and Directions

Map and Directions
University of Washington Tacoma (Map)
University Y Student Center
1710 Market Street, Tacoma, WA 98402
Rooms Y303 & Y304

Tacoma Dome Park and Ride: Arrive early and take the link to the center stairway of campus (Look for Starbucks and the Stairs).  Parking and the Link are free but the lot is often full by 8:00 a.m. On campus, Walk up two flights and walk up the hill to Market Street. Turn right and walk approx. 2 blocks. UW Y will be on your left.

Campus Parking: See UW Campus Map with highlighted all day parking lot options. There are two long-term lots, Tioga and Court 17.  All day parking costs $6-$10 with a debit or credit cards. Closest lot to the University Y is under the Court 17 apartments. Walk to the south end of the building and take the stairs/elevator to the Market Street level.

Short Term Street Parking is NOT recommended: Street parking is limited to 90 minute or less.  Tickets are issued for those who exceed the limit. Vehicles with a disabled parking permit issued to the driver or passenger may park all day without cost on Tacoma city streets.


Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown

Address: 2102 South C Street Tacoma, WA 98402

Description: On the block south of campus and closest to venue

Rates: Ask for government rates.

Contact:  Website or (253)200-6213

Marriott Courtyard Hotel Tacoma

Description:  1 block north of campus, about 4 blocks from venue

Rates: Ask for government rates.

Address:  1515 Commerce Street Tacoma, WA 98402, USA

Contact: Website or (253)591-9100

Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel

Address: 2611 East E Street Tacoma, WA 98421

Description: On the block south of the Tacoma Link that will take you to campus in three minutes.

Rates: Ask for government rates. 

Contact: Website or (253)272-7737


Silver Cloud Hotel Waterfront

Address:  2317 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402

Description:  Waterfront Tacoma, requires a car

Rates: Ask for government rates.

Contact: Website or (253)272-1300


The Government Performance Consortium is excited to announce Strategies for a More Joyful Government, a booklet for civic thinkers and government practitioners to transform government from the inside out. The book is free, just click the link above to download your copy. Contact the GPC to tell us what you think, or if you need a high resolution copy.