Customer experience articles

How emerging-large companies can help agencies like GSA best achieve their goals

March 26, 2024

We believe that emerging-large technology companies like Ad Hoc offer the right balance of expert skills, deep knowledge, and capacity for individualized attention that can help you transform your services.

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Prioritizing Louisiana users to create a better agriculture and forestry website

November 29, 2023

Your website may be the first interaction your customers have with your organization, so it’s critical that you build it around their needs. In this blog post, we explore how the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry focused on key elements to improve the experience for their users.

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Plain language for the win: Improving customer experiences with clearer communication

November 08, 2023

Plain language may be just one facet to improving customer experience across the federal government, but it’s a powerful way agencies can make their services more accessible to everyone. Learn how the Department of Labor created plain language resources that empowered state unemployment offices to create equitable content for millions of people across the country.

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Become an accessibility champion by using simple mockup annotations

June 28, 2023

Designers can live in the visual world of user interface (UI) design without often considering what’s under the hood

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Why new software and new people aren’t enough to transform your customer experience

May 03, 2023

This shift, from prioritizing an organization’s needs to making the customer’s overall experience the driving force, is an incredible opportunity to positively transform people’s trust in the government.

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Giving data a soul: Using human-centered design to create powerful data visualizations

February 15, 2023

Data visualizations are a crucial tool to help us make sense of the massive amounts of data out there, but how many times have you seen a data visualization that you couldn’t understand?

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Conversation design: A tool for inclusivity

January 19, 2023

It may seem obvious, but often forms feel more like interrogations than conversations. State your name. Next. Phone number. Next. They can lack any sense of dialogue, but also feel downright rude.

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One year since the President’s executive order on customer experience, and much remains to be done

December 15, 2022

A year ago, the Biden administration released the Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government, commonly referred to as the CX EO.

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Building a trauma-informed research practice

September 06, 2022

Through our trauma-informed research practice, we’re working to help agencies better understand trauma. From there, we can help them improve how they meet individuals’ needs by offering assistance without triggering existing wounds or creating new ones.

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Using a product approach to build and modernize APIs

August 23, 2022

Hear from our team who spoke at the CMS Convergence event about how we use a product approach when developing APIs and the benefits that come from doing so.

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Developers are humans too: Why API documentation needs HCD

August 02, 2022

Human-centered design can be hugely beneficial to API documentation and the developers who reference it. Here are some ways to ensure the technical content is clear and concise.

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Using design systems for digital success within the federal space

July 18, 2022

Design systems can be an important tool for agencies looking to scale their digital transformation and improve services to the public. Read more to learn what problems design systems can address and what lessons we’ve learned in developing them.

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The case for null in design systems

July 05, 2022

Sometimes an intentional absence of content is what’s needed in a design system. Here, we’ll explore why.

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Setting the right benchmarks for site speed in government

April 12, 2022

As we think about ways in which government sites meet the needs of their users, speed is an integral part of what makes a site inclusive and accessible to more people.

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The right benchmarks

November 30, 2021

While government websites don’t need to match or outpace commercial websites on design novelty or retention metrics, they should aim to outperform on ensuring users accomplish their goals easily and efficiently.

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Using CX to align goals for improved service delivery

November 22, 2021

We believe customer experience should serve as more of an active “sense and respond” function that helps agencies reduce friction to service delivery, rather than just a passive reporting role.

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A path to transforming the nation’s unemployment insurance systems

June 11, 2021

The time is ripe to rethink how the nation’s unemployment systems, many of which still rely on manual and paper-based processes, can be improved through new technology and approaches.

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With existing tools, the IRS could connect people with healthcare

May 19, 2021

CMS and IRS could use the digital infrastructure and information they have today to help millions of tax filers find affordable or free healthcare, thereby reducing the number of uninsured people in America.

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How to make vaccination an efficient and equitable process

March 02, 2021

Let’s talk about how governments can change course to create a vaccination process that improves equity and takes the burden of finding appointments off of individuals.

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Lorem nope-sum: The benefits of using realistic content in UX research

February 23, 2021

Placeholder content can trip up users and give you poorer results. When testing new designs with users, realistic content is key to convey the purpose and use of your designs

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Building a federal front door for vaccinations

February 19, 2021

Through research, we’ve landed on a handful of principles that could shape a federal vaccination website and core features the website should provide on launch.

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Supporting the busiest time of the year for Medicare beneficiaries

October 15, 2020

At Ad Hoc, it’s imperative that we think critically and iteratively about how we can make this stressful experience as simple and intuitive as possible.

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The new Ad Hoc Government Digital Services Playbook

August 18, 2020

The 2020 version is now a standalone playbook that any federal agency can use to replace enterprise software with proven techniques from the world of commercial software.

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The problem might not be COBOL

July 10, 2020

The government’s problem isn’t using old code or older programming languages. The problem is often that they’re using code that wasn’t designed to meet the needs of people who use it.

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Modernizing how Medicare beneficiaries find and enroll in coverage

April 09, 2020

Our approach to the Medicare Plan Finder was to build a tool and process that would allow us to continuously improve what we provided to beneficiaries and those who support them.

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Four myths about applying human-centered design to government digital services

February 20, 2020

While human-centered design (HCD) is gaining traction, its underlying concepts are sometimes misunderstood. This can mislead teams into thinking they’re working in a human-centered way when in fact, their work is largely driven by requirements.

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The case for listening to enterprise users

November 12, 2019

For companies that rely on consumer sales, there’s a clear business case for creating intuitive, pleasurable user experiences. But what about situations where the consumer or end user is not the customer? Where the organization is the customer, there may seem to be less incentive to design around the needs…

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Ad Hoc awarded contract to support VA healthcare modernization

November 05, 2019

Ad Hoc, as part of a team led by prime contractor Liberty IT Solutions, LLC (Liberty), has been awarded a contract to support a critical Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare modernization project.

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Navigating government barriers to human-centered design

October 22, 2019

Human-centered design practitioners in government face an entirely different world of constraints and incentives than their industry peers. For human-centered design folks entering government work, these constraints can feel like a barrier to designing better services.

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Human-centered design helps government make better decisions

October 16, 2019

Why is human-centered design different? Why should you pay attention to this term, and how can it add value and meaning to government work?

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 3: Customized, mobile-friendly experiences

August 26, 2019

Today, we’ll finish up the first section of the IDEA Act with the final two requirements for public websites and digital services.

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What makes an API simple?

August 23, 2019

Whenever you’re trying to make something simple, it’s important to think of the people who are using your tool.

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 2: Search, security, and serving users

August 21, 2019

In this section, I’ll continue looking at the IDEA Act’s new requirements for public websites and digital services, including a deep dive into what it means to design services around the needs of your users.

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Expanding the possible with the Find Local Help tool

June 20, 2019

Find Local Help is a tool from that connects people to in-person, one-on-one help signing up for health insurance. In 2017, CMS contracted with Ad Hoc to improve the performance and user experience of the tool.

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The power of being naive

April 23, 2019

Subject matter naiveté is our expertise. We’re hired to be experts in process, creation, and problem solving, and the primary tool we use to do this work is asking questions.

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Laura Ellena’s #remotelife at Ad Hoc

April 20, 2017

As research manager, my days have a lot of variety. I frequently use our co-working space near the White House to plan projects, facilitate remote feedback sessions, and sync with teammates.

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Ad Hoc begins user experience research work on Hospital Quality Reporting Project

April 10, 2017

Ad Hoc is providing the User Experience Research team, four professionals responsible for conducting all research.

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