Michigan drastically cut back its unwieldy paper application for benefits by launching a project that focused on user research and human centered design, according to Government Technology.
The project sought to address a common problem in government services — processes that are designed to satisfy regulations without taking into account the actual humans who are using them to access services, often during stressful life events.
From the article:
If properly researched and executed, human-centric design can make things easier for constituents, while at the same time greatly reducing the amount of work public servants must do to process forms and make decisions. This has the potential to save hours of time, which can ultimately free them up to do other work.
In Michigan for example … researchers found that the state’s old unwieldly form was on average only 72 percent complete when it was turned in, which meant case workers often had to spend time reaching out to applicants for additional info. Early indications, however, show that the new human-centric design form is coming in on average 94 percent complete, which generally accounts for all vital questions. This has reduced the time it takes to process individual cases by 42 percent.