Confluence Retirement

In an effort to consolidate USGS hosted Wikis, myUSGS’ Confluence service is scheduled for retirement on January 27th, 2023. The official USGS Wiki and collaboration space is now SharePoint. Please migrate existing spaces and content to the SharePoint platform and remove it from Confluence at your earliest convenience. If you need any additional information or have any concerns about this change, please contact myusgs@usgs.gov. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
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Overview: This usability workshop aimed to show its attendees how to apply user-centered design (UCD) process to develop products and services that truly meet the needs of users. The UCD process and the associated techniques covered during the workshop would enable the attendees and their product development teams to create —and verify— that their products were well-defined, consistent, engaging, and effective, in a word: usable.

  • Workshop title: Understanding the User-Centered Design Process – Methods to More User-Friendly Scientific Products!
  • Organizers: Joe Bard, Carolyn Driedger, Sophie Hou, Dave Ramsey, Rachel Volentine


  • Agenda: The workshop took place on September 20th - 24th, 2021 (5 days) between 1 and 3pm Pacific Time (2 hours per day) via Zoom. The topics covered by the workshop are shown below.
    • September 20, Module 1 – Opening remarks/Content overview and introduction
      • Formed a foundation by introducing the fundamental concepts about user-centered design and usability.
    • September 21, Module 2 – Discovery phase of the user-centered design process
      • Introduced the concepts and techniques relating to understanding who the users are, their needs, and clarifying the problem space.
    • September 22, Module 3 – Ideation phase of the user-centered design process
      • Introduced the concepts and techniques relating to proposing, evaluating, and selecting potential solutions.
    • September 23, Module 4 – Prototyping phase of the user-centered design process
      • Revealed assumptions and biases; uncover insights about users and identify usability issues early that can improve design solutions.
    • September 24, Module 5 and 6 – Verification phase of the user-centered design process and Conclusion
      • Introduced the concepts and techniques relating to engaging users, getting their feedback, and using the feedback in design iterations.


  • Background: USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory and Core Science Systems Science Analytics and Synthesis partnered with User eXperience Laboratory at the University of Tennessee to design this workshop for the USGS Volcano Hazard Program, and partner agencies, to teach the fundamental concepts of the user-centered design process. Communicating hazard and risk information to at-risk communities, emergency managers, land-use planners, and decision makers is a core function of a volcano observatory. This workshop was to help ensure USGS communication products will be developed with an explicit understanding of who the users are and what they need.