White House LGBTQ Tech and Innovation Briefing

Last week I was invited to join over 300 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer tech leaders at the White House for the third annual LGBT Tech & Innovation Briefing. Together we discussed how technology can help address some of the nation’s biggest problems in criminal justice reform, environment, health, inclusion, entrepreneurship, youth solutions, and improving LGBT federal statistics.

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Open data from the U.S. Government fuels data-driven legislation and public services, but what if that data doesn’t include everyone? The lack of representation of marginalized communities affects our ability to accurately identify what issues need to be addressed.

I was part of the team working on criminal justice reform. The Police Data Initiative (PDI), encourages transparency in law enforcement to bring community trust and accountability. Launched last April, over 70 police jurisdictions have volunteered to release their data publicly – including Austin, Texas. Denice Ross, senior advisor at the White House and co-founder of PDI, shared how analyzing police data is difficult because it is not standardized. Ross encouraged us to engage with local police departments to gain insight into how technology is used and can be improved from within.

What if we could help enable a new culture of open data in law enforcement agencies where police collaborate with their tech counterparts in local government and the community to publicly release incident-level, structured, machine-readable data on policing? Source

Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, speaks on humanizing data
Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, speaks on humanizing data

Over the next couple of months, we will be using our experience at the briefing to plan for TechUP Inclusion + Innovation Week in November.

User Feedback Can Come from Anywhere

 

Enterprise software often forgets about the importance of listening to the user.

If you’ve ever worked at a large company, you can understand the frustration of being forced to use software that wasn’t designed with you in mind. I strive to challenge the myth that oil & gas software has to be a dreadful experience. But as a design team of one (for now), I have to balance the need for thorough user feedback with the need to iterate quickly and constantly.

I can’t do it alone – which is why our user feedback isn’t sourced from one team. Although every team comes with their own set of biases, they also each bring unique insight to our users that I can learn from.

For example, the customer success team represents the direct line to our users. They ensure our users are happy by addressing any issues that might arise.User Feedback GraphicSometimes we get feature requests for features that already exist. Questions begin reeling in my head –

  • Why was the user unable to navigate to this feature?
  • Did we educate the user on the existence of this feature?
  • Is the copy used appropriate? Is an industry term needed here?
  • Was the UI not apparent enough? Is it hidden in a dropdown? Does it need to be visible on load?
  • Does the feature we thought addressed this request actually address the underlying issue for the user?

From here, I can begin addressing the issue in my next design iterations.

Join Our Team
If you believe in the importance of user feedback in enterprise design, then you’d probably be a good fit for our team. We are always looking for team members to help us transform oil and gas into a safer and more efficient industry.