Check your U.S. voter registration status or register to vote here.

Image for post
Image for post

5 articles to convince leaders that design and usability matter

One of our partners, Dr Prabhdeep Kaur, had a meeting with a government official who wanted “powerful” clinical software, not a “simple” tool like Simple. Dr Kaur asked us for ammunition to make the case that well-designed, easy-to-use software is better for clinicians.

Daniel Burka
Sep 3, 2019 · 3 min read

We asked the larger design community for suggestions. People came through with excellent suggestions and we thought it would be helpful to share them with you:

Human-Centered Design and Performance Improvement: Better Together

A really useful article about human-centered design at Kaiser Permanente (a large US health system) and the impact on healthcare quality and safety gains over the past two decades. This article applies particularly well to a health audience, but is applicable across the board.

The Business Value of Design

Regardless of what you think of McKinsey (and we have mixed feelings) this high level article on design’s value makes a compelling case backed up with performance metrics. The charts are excellent and the authors make a strong case that design reduces costs and drives value — compelling to business leaders and government officials who deal with budgets.

De-risking custom technology projects: A handbook for state budgeting and oversight

18F is a part of the United States government. They recently published this excellent 40-page handbook to reduce waste in government technology projects by using modern development practices like agile and human-centered design. The very first chapter is “Basic principles of modern software design” and jumps right into the value of human-centered design practices. The document is a gem.

The Total Economic Impact of IBM’s Design Thinking Practice

This article is a bit more specific to ‘design thinking’ than to design generally. If you are looking to convince a government team to adopt design thinking practices, this article makes great arguments. The authors write in the language of business, using terms like ROI (return on investment) and NPV (net present value), which might convince for your audience.

Usability 101: Introduction to Usability

This isn’t the freshest article, but veteran usability expert Jakob Nielsen makes a clear, plain-spoken case for investing in usability. If you are struggling to explain usability and the importance of user research to someone important, this short article is an excellent primer.

What makes an article convincing?

  1. Written in the language of leaders. Outcomes, money, time, effort, human resources, and return on investment.
  2. Backed up with evidence. Too many design articles make claims without the types of compelling evidence that will convince leaders.
  3. To-the-point. Leaders have many people trying to change their minds. Giving a health minister a whole book (like Steve Krug’s excellent Don’t Make Me Think) is a big ask. Likewise, suggesting they read everything on the wonderful UK Government Digital Service blog is a chore. Focused, to-the-point articles are a great resource.
  4. Built on stories that leaders will recognize. It’s ideal to share stories from within government to a deputy minister or from within a health system to a hospital manager. Stories from a Silicon Valley startup aren’t very compelling to government officials who will ask, “How does this apply to me?”

Articles aren’t silver bullets

Have another useful article to share? Add it in the comments.

Simple

The fast, free app for clinicians to manage their patients with high blood pressure.

Daniel Burka

Written by

Daniel is a designer and product manager. He works on Simple.org

Simple

Simple

Simple is the fast, free app for clinicians to manage their patients with high blood pressure. Learn more at: simple.org

Daniel Burka

Written by

Daniel is a designer and product manager. He works on Simple.org

Simple

Simple

Simple is the fast, free app for clinicians to manage their patients with high blood pressure. Learn more at: simple.org

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store