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Person-Centered Design

Understanding Who We Serve and How We Serve Them

2/14/2019 3:46:31 PM

Students from the Prime Academy presenting to an audience.

Pictured above: Prime Academy students Beth Megas, Tony Gillen, Patrick Little, and Dionne Sims.

User Experience (UX) Design is the process of creating meaningful and relevant experiences for users through design, usability, and function. UX designers build experiences that simplify complex processes for end users.

Recently, User Experience Design students from Prime Academy teamed up with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) to develop personas, use cases, and journey maps that provide insights into the experience of people that navigate the human services system. The students performed stakeholder interviews and analysis to design a set of educational tools and resources for DHS staff, intended to build empathy and assist cross-functional teams in transitioning to a person-centered design model.

Through interviews the students found that some staff were feeling overwhelmed by complex processes that could be simplified. Some were experiencing symptoms of Compassion Fatigue, a state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it can create a secondary traumatic stress for the helper. However, when asked if they knew what compassion fatigue was, most had never heard of it.

To proactively address these issues the students developed a pulse survey, a quick survey designed to gain frequent insights, measure employee engagement, and recognize symptoms of fatigue. They created empathy exercises to promote open discussion around the quality of interaction with citizens. The students also developed a Citizen Interview Script as a guide to help staff understand each citizen’s unique experience and capture their feedback.

Prime Academy’s 18-week immersive User Experience Design program was created to help people with interests in design, organization, and technology build the foundational skills to start a career in user experience. Prime Academy has been a great partner with MNIT’s ITS Trainee Program and helping us build a pipeline of trained IT talent.

Interested in working in UX or IT? /mnit/about-mnit/careers/index.jspVisit our Careers page to view all the opportunities for employment with MNIT.


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