As part of this technical deep dive, we are excited to announce that we are releasing a prototype version of the uploader as open source! This prototype version is very close to the one that is in production today, with the exception of some style and content changes. We hope it’s a useful case study to anyone who wants to build a similar application or wants to use similar technologies/patterns (TypeScript, React, Redux, redux-observable, and finite-state machines).
…ook several weeks for us to resolve these issues and push forward. Moments …ook several weeks for us to resolve these issues and push forward. Moments like this reinforce that the work of CDS isn’t just around service delivery, it’s also around culture change.
…differences and their associated challenges extend to far more than these small, concrete examples. So much of our work at CDS is around change management, affecting culture, and challenging the existing process. Sometimes, it’s even about convincing people that our way of working is both an improvement and feasible!
We honestly don’t need a lot of new ideas. There are excellent ideas lying around unimplemented (or tried once or twice with a learnable failure) all over the place. And while new perspectives are useful, good ideas in this space need to be informed by history and regulation. So much of the work is applied, and persuasive. We need many more people to take a turn doing what Josh Gee did in Boston — the not-especially-innovative-but-critical work of making friends, developing repeatable processes to move things forward, documenting the work, and supporting others to take it on. Honestly, if we had a cohort of a few hundred diverse people funded to turn bad paper or PDF forms into good web forms for 3–5 years, that would have more direct public impact than all the innovation efforts currently running. (If well coordinated, it would lead to a deep shared understanding of government business processes too.)
A common heuristic for usability is simplicity, which can lead us to solely evaluate usability in terms of how much is presented to users or how much they are asked to do. Yet in many cases, the type of simplicity we’re after is clarity, not brevity.
ty to go out into the…rk. In addition to running our software development in sprints, we also incorporate design sprints. When working on a new product or feature, this may look like an initial design discovery sprint with designers in the field talking to residents and other stakeholders about their needs, followed by a user experience and prototype sprint where designers and developers turn what they’ve heard into a mockup and prototype, followed by testing that prototype in the field with users. All team members participate and have the opportunity to go out into the field. It’s important tha…
…ive a next-day reminder, and 3) automatically receive a next-day reminder.² Our results showed that applicants in the auto-remind group were almost 50% more likely to submit additional documents within the first two days of applying as compared to the other two groups. Given the improvement yielded by sending applicants a next-day reminder message, we are implementi…