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CX Observer

Read the latest edition of the CX Observer

Looking to catch up on CX at DHS? Here you can access every issue of the CX Observer, the official newsletter of the DHS CX/UX Community of Practice.

Have a Recent CX Win?

Do you have a recent CX win, case study concept, trusted resource, or other CX insights? We want to hear from you! Tell us about it and you might be highlighted in the next CX Observer!

January 2024: Designing for Safety: A Trauma-Informed User Research Guide

Takeaways for Readers

Many government services aid the public during their most difficult moments, and through research we are learning how trauma affects our brains and nervous systems. We are leveraging this knowledge to best design government services to account for individual’s trauma.

December 2023: Happy Holidays & A Happy New Year

Takeaways for Readers

As we near the end of an incredible year, let’s reflect on several efforts the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has undertaken to enhance the customer experience for all users.

November 2023: Accessible Plain Language at DHS: Transforming Thinking and Empowering Action

Takeaways for Readers

Accessible plain language ensures customers, and their experiences, are centered throughout the various touchpoints they have with DHS.

October 2023: CX in Action: Mapping the New Employee IT Onboarding Experience

Takeaways for Readers

To refine and enhance new employee onboarding, the Headquarters IT Operation Division project team partnered with the Customer Experience (CX) Directorate to learn how to leverage CX methodologies, with a focus on human-centric approaches.

September 2023: Fiscal Year 2023 CX Highlights from across DHS!

Takeaways for Readers

The Department of Homeland Security has put customers first by using best in class customer experience (CX) practices, built products and services to better serve diverse communities, and enhanced our knowledge of CX across the Department.

August 2023: Accessible Plain Language at DHS: Transforming Thinking and Empowering Action

Takeaways for Readers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants customers to get the information they need and use it meaningfully. Accessible plain language ensures customers, and their experiences, are centered throughout the various touchpoints they have with DHS.

July 2023: For Best Results, Be There!

Takeaways for Readers

You’ve decided to conduct usability testing to learn more about your users’ experience with your services. Now the question is, what methods will get you the best data to make design decisions?

June 2023: Roundup of Our Best Resources

Takeaways for Readers

CX – it’s big, it’s bold, it’s….challenging! We get it! We know you have questions and face hurdles. We have resources and answers that can help!

May 2023: DHS Accessibility Day 2023: Achieving Equality Through Accessibility

Takeaways for Readers

Our goal this year is to shine a spotlight on DHS' endeavors to create an environment that nurtures diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and a satisfying customer experience.

April 2023: We Hear You: How the Public Engages with DHS

Takeaways for Readers

DHS interacts with millions of people each day across a diverse set of mission spaces, creating the opportunity for tons of customer feedback that provide the Department with a treasure trove of data about how our services and policies are affecting people and how we can improve them.

March 2023: Growing Customer Experience at DHS

Takeaways for Readers

By prioritizing customer experience (CX), DHS is improving the way it serves its customers. This helps reduce the burden on the public and builds trust between the public and the government.

February 2023: CX Practitioners: Inspirers in charge

Takeaways for Readers

The inaugural CX Demo Day was a smashing success, thanks in no small part to our amazing presenters, the cast of about a hundred people behind the scenes for production, and of course, all you wonderful practitioners and champions in the field, making it happen!

January 2023: Equity + CX = Burden Reduction

Takeaways for Readers

Right now, DHS customers experience over 190 million hours of "paperwork" burden on the public each year. Reducing this burden is a key component of improving overall customer experience and rebuilding trust in our government and agencies.

December 2022: Lessons Learned Over One Year of the CX Executive Order

Takeaways for Readers

It's been a year since the signing of the Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government.

  • The signing of the CX EO has elevated existing CX work at DHS.
  • Yes, DHS does have customers.
  • Customer experience at DHS is not one size fits all.
  • Customer experience may not always be called “customer experience”.
  • We need more user research at DHS.
  • Try conducting usability testing in addition to (or instead of) User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
  • CX is critical in law enforcement and security missions.
  • We lack visibility into CX at other DHS Components.
  • We need to CX all of the things.
  • Everyone has a role.

November 2022: Why We Need UX Researchers and Designers in the Federal Government (Part 3)

Takeaways for Readers

In our previous articles, we covered why design is important for delivering government services and why having federal designers is critical to that process. Next, let’s focus on how you establish design roles at your agency, recruit talented designers, successfully interview candidates, and ensure that designers are successful within your organization.

  • Design the job.
  • Consider and design the hiring process and evaluation criteria.

October 2022: Why We Need UX Researchers and Designers in the Federal Government (Part 2)

Takeaways for Readers

In the last article, we outlined why human-centered design is critical for researching, designing, and delivering the critical products and services DHS provides to meet our mission objectives. When we understand customer needs (and again, we mean both external customers and internal customers), we can design more effective, efficient, and equitable services that meet those needs.

September 2022: Why We Need UX Researchers and Designers in the Federal Government (Part 1)

Takeaways for Readers

  • Government services should be intentionally designed.
  • Very few federal designers exist across government to help ensure that happens.

August 2022: User Acceptance Testing Versus Usability Testing

Takeaways for Readers

While it might feel like UAT and usability testing are interchangeable terms or that if you’re doing one, that should suffice for user input, they’re actually different tools for learning about the effectiveness of a digital product. Each method provides value towards delivering effective, human-centered products or services.

July 2022: Does DHS Really Have Customers?

Takeaways for Readers

  • By the definition in Executive Order 14058, DHS customers are individuals, businesses, and organizations that interact with DHS, including internal staff.
  • “Customer experience” describes what happens when people or organizations interact with government services.
  • If we focus on the goals of the person as they with interact our services, it’s easy to improve the experience they have.

June 2022: Is There a Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience?

Takeaways for Readers

  • Customer service is only one part of the overall customer experience that includes many different interactions.
  • Providing good customer service, assistance, is a key part of a good experience, but the full experience goes much broader than just the customer service and assistance provided.
Last Updated: 06/10/2024
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