May 2018: What is Human-Centric Design?

It sounds like a Skynet design
Human-centric design (HCD) is basically a philosophy regarding the creation of websites, forms and services that seeks to simplify and improve constituent interactions with government. Adopted from the private sector, HCD ideally removes a bunch of the friction (time, money) long associated with government practice.

Ok, but who’s using it
There’s momentum growing in every division of government: from foster care approval systems to food assistance programs to parole-assistance networks – even utilities! And it makes sense, the HCD approach gets down to the nitty-gritty deeply-held needs and motivations people have that explain why they behave they way they do. Understand people’s behavior, guide them in the desired direction, achieve desired (or at least improved) result – voilá!

An example please
Water utilities looking to achieve water savings will sometimes exploit our desire to conform by contextualizing one neighbor’s usage against the other – also called social-norming. This approach is effective, doesn’t abuse price as a means and is often cheaper than the traditional technique. #soundslikeabetterway

“Human-centric design is poised to become increasingly foundational to the efforts of government at the state and local levels in years to come.”
What is Human-Centric Design? Govtech.com

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Dropcountr takes a human-centric approach to helping water utilities with customer engagement, leak detection and water efficiency. Jump here to learn how social-norming (among other features) helped Denver Water save 152AF in just six months


➣Denver Water tests the digital waters (3-minute read)
Denver Water recently presented a 5-year perspective on their experience improving existing programs through targeted communication at the AWWA Sustainable Water Management Conference. Perhaps their experience can help inform your decisions regarding digital communication.

➣Building homes to demonstrate technology (2 minute read)
The Madison Water Utility is building several highly water-efficient homes for tours and to educate the public about potential water conservation technologies they can install in their homes. This “show-don’t-tell” style of information campaign is designed to inspire local homeowners and is a fun, informative change in communication strategy.

➣Surprising things can happen when it feels as if the world is about to end (25 minute read)
Save this one for the weekend or after work. This long-form article about the Cape Town crisis is masterfully authored and photographed.


What’s happening at Dropcountr
Montana, y’all. We just broke ground in Montana and could not be more excited to work with the City of Bozeman. Dropcountr will support the Neptune AMI-metered connections with custom daily budgets and an evolving set of tools, features and alerts, starting this year.

Also, our team presented at Texas Water ‘18 in San Antonio during Fiesta (¡viva!) and are gearing up for ACE 2018 in Las Vegas.

Have a great May, see you next month
Team Dropcountr

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