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Human Centered Design


Today’s citizens expect customer-first service — even from government agencies. Human-centered design focuses on the human aspects of the end-users as well as the intended beneficiaries who receive or access government services. Cambria’s approach to human-centered design, HumanXperience℠, starts with building a deep empathy for the people we’re designing for, generating ideas, building prototypes, sharing what we’ve made with the people we’re designing for, and delivering the solution to our customers. Our highly collaborative, human-centered, and iterative approach relies heavily on empathy, ideation and experimentation to drive innovation. With decades of experience working at all levels in the industries and sectors we serve, our team understands the human behaviors and motivations of the people, organizations, or communities we are designing for. This means we can work with our client to quickly determine what to design, how it should work, or why it matters.

HCD Mindset

  • Creative Confidence allows designers to trust their intuition and chase solutions backed by data science
  • Empathythe capacity to solve problems from the user’s perspective
  • Embracing Ambiguity allows designers to start from the place of not knowing the answers, but working with users to find answers
  • Build It allows designers to build ideas and test them to reveal unknown opportunities and complexities
  • Iterate allows feedback to refine and improve—a critical part of how a solution evolves
  • Optimism allows designers to believe there’s always an answer

HCD Approach

Our approach to human-centered design focuses on the program business goals and needs of end-users.

When we begin to discuss building or upgrading a system, we’re accustomed to starting with figuring out what the system should do in a way that is both technically feasible and functionally viable. Human-centered design adds an additional filter: desirability – what do people desire? This becomes the starting point of the process.

We engage the end-users—the people who will use this system—from the very beginning. the focus is to determine what the people want and delivering that to them in a feasible and viable way. No solution can be everything to everyone; we focus on the “sweet spot,” the intersection of desirability, feasibility, and viability.

HCD Process

Our human-centered design process is flexible and integrates with the agile process. At its core, the process involves seeking to understand the context and needs of the people we’re designing for, generating tons of ideas, building a bunch of prototypes, sharing what we’ve made with the people we’re designing for, and delivering the solution to our customers.

We create an experience that is desirable, viable, and feasible. Our strategy incorporates thinking about the user experience across the product ecosystem. Understanding how the various pieces work and integrate together is vital to providing optimal solutions.

Our Services


Cambria is a mission-driven firm with diverse capabilities in design, technology, strategy, and management that enable us to create innovative design experiences from digital services to physical products and environments. Our solutions are designed to be technically feasible, strategically viable, and to meet people’s desires. Effective research and design requires the right approach to problem seeking and problem solving. Our researchers, designers, developers, strategists, and managers collaborate using powerful research and design tools, methods, and iterative processes to discover research insights that will shape and influence real experiences that can be tested and perfected. We use proven research methods for discovery such as ethnographic studies, collaborative design workshops, ideation sessions, heuristic evaluations, card sorts, survey management, and focus groups.

  • Research Strategy and Road Mapping
  • Experience Mapping
  • Metrics and Analytics Strategies and Measurements
  • Discovery Reports and Presentations
  • Design Strategy, Planning, and Roadmaps
  • Design Systems
  • Service Design
  • Interaction Design (IxD)
  • User Experience Design (UX)
  • User Interface Design (UI)
  • Data Visualization
  • Rapid Prototyping


Cambria’s talented and skilled practitioners employ a range of human-centered design techniques as part of solution delivery: Interviews, 5 Whys, Journey Mapping, Card Sorts, Analogous Comparisons, Story Boarding, Prototyping, Usability Testing, A/B Testing, and Eye Tracking. We work closely with our clients to build systems that are user-friendly and intuitive. We apply an Agile mindset to develop and fine-tune our HumanXperience practices and tools to solve problems for our clients.

We also immerse ourselves in the environment of our users or customers to understand their interactions with products or services, so we can work with them to design software, devices, and services that are both useful and delightful. We strive to create an emotional connection with the people who will use the system. Our ultimate satisfaction is not just from the beautiful design of the actual product or service, but experiencing the enjoyment from users as they interact with a great product or service. By combining the Agile process with technology expertise and well-honed design practices, we can formulate deliver a high fidelity design that can be more accurately translated into working code or solutions. This spares precious technical resources, shortens timelines, and aligns optimally with user expectations and design intent.

  • User Research and Design Strategy and Roadmap
  • User Research
  • UX/UI Design and Prototyping
  • Responsive Design (e.g., desktop, mobile, tablet)
  • Planning and Moderating Remote and On-site Testing
  • Information Architecture
  • Pattern Libraries
  • Service Design
  • Accessibility Evaluation for W3C, Section 508
  • Usability Testing
  • Visual Design
  • Mobile Applications
  • Web Accessibility and Compliance
  • DesignOps Solutions