Public benefit programs such as Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are meant to help Americans access supports they need to improve their lives. And yet, complex application and renewal processes and confusing correspondence can often make it harder for residents to secure and keep the benefits for which they’re eligible.
Redesigning applications, renewals, and correspondence to center on the experiences and needs of residents and caseworkers is one of the most impactful things state and local government agencies can do to strengthen social safety net benefit delivery. But for agencies interested in taking on human-centered redesign, it’s not always clear where to begin.
To help agencies take the first step, the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University and the nonprofit design studio Civilla teamed up to co-author a set of guides to prepare for human-centered redesign.
Starting Small with Human-Centered Redesign highlights approachable ideas for state and local public benefits agencies to improve applications, renewals, and correspondence. As outlined in this resource, even small improvements can be transformative for residents and caseworkers alike.
Going Big with Human-Centered Redesign includes practical insights for benefits administrators considering a comprehensive redesign of benefits delivery processes.
Both resources provide checklists of conditions and resources needed for each approach, and guidance and practical resources for getting started with redesign.
If you are a director or staff member at a state or local benefits agency interested in taking a human-centered approach to redesigning applications, renewals, and/or correspondence to be shorter, simpler, and more user-friendly, this guide is for you.
See additional resources on Human-Centered Design on the Digital Benefits Hub.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions about this guide or want to share how you’re thinking about redesign to deliver a more human-centered safety net in your state: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.