Lab at OPM's
Summer Design School
HOW MIGHT WE...
Journey & Systems
Human-Centered Research & Design
...empower government employees with a hands-on introduction to human-centered design while providing an environment to learn, practice, and apply design methodologies?
As workshop facilitator I led participants through a series of design sprints and exercises. We began with empathy-driven research and a challenge-framing exercise, followed by stakeholder mapping, solution ideation, and prototyping design. Carefully balancing hands-on guidance and hands-off encouragement, I provided process navigation as they identified leverage opportunities and validated their assumptions.
Throughout a week-long workshop, the Lab at OPM brought together local, state, and federal government employees with the goal of teaching human-centered design methodologies. Program participants were challenged to apply their learnings to one of Oakland California’s most complex issues, the accelerating and expensive challenge of illegal dumping and residential waste.
Facilitation Insight: Government employees who were most accustomed to rules, protocols, and procedures struggled when transitioning from tangible problem-based data to intangible, imagined solutions. To adapt to this, I led several wild solution and fantasty-driven ideation sprints to loosen their thought process.
Challenge Insight: In a city with a high tenant population, a communication break-down was identified with landlords who were more informed of city services (such as one free bulky item waste pick-up per apartment complex) and their tenants.
The week concluded with a solution and prototype pitch, with a special appearance by Oakland Mayor, Libby Schaff. Inspired by our work, Oakland is currently prototyping the “Bulky Blockparty” Solution pitched by a participant group. Government employees left the program excited and enlivened by their new skillset, ready and eager to apply design methodologies and frameworks to their own department’s challenges.