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MetroStar is exploring the positive impact our people are having on the world around them. In this series, you will learn about the different roles, projects, and positive changes MetroStar’s team is helping to create.
Katherine is a UX Architect working on a program to improve the online interface that processes requests for immigration benefits.
A UX Architect designs an interaction, often for a website or mobile application. They create an experience that is more productive, fulfilling, satisfying, and even more joyful for a user. By designing interactions to be more intuitive, it is easier for users to get important work done. This helps enact positive change for many government projects and people.
“UX’ers are meant to be the voice of the user,” Katherine said. “An improved user experience, particularly in the government consulting industry, can help make our government processes faster, more effective, and more secure for United States citizens, immigrants, and visitors."
Katherine is excited that her current work is helping create positive change for immigrants.
“When I visited a field office (before COVID-19) I got to see firsthand how much the design and development team’s work on the adjudicator’s software has made the lives of adjudicators, as well as immigrants, easier,” she said.
Many requests for immigration benefits are still handled with paper forms. There is a stark contrast between a request handled with paper forms and one that is completely digital. The digitized process is infinitely faster, safer, and more efficient for everyone involved.
“Seeing this difference hit home with how impactful the work done by design and development teams truly are,” Katherine said.
Logging onto a website, only to find it is hard to use or slow to respond, can be frustrating. If the website is meant to help someone use a required service, then it can be devastating when it does not work efficiently.
“In the case of UX Design in the government, we are often taking antiquated, outdated, unusable systems and making them functional again,” Katherine said. “One of the most common things I hear from users is that after we solve a UX problem they then have a much easier time complying with government rules and regulations.”
Government websites and applications are often perceived as slow and outdated. To Katherine, as a UX Architect, she sees so much opportunity for creativity because of those perceptions.
“It is very exciting to have a hand in reinventing these processes and immediately seeing how drastically your work improves the lives of the people you are designing it for,” Katherine said.
Katherine recommends joining a tech company that partners with the government to bring new life to websites and resources. If you're a UX’er, creative, communicate well with others, are willing to constantly learn or improve your skills, and are a great problem-solver then she believes the industry needs your support.