Matthew Mocniak – Human Centered Designer
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Transforming a Social Worker's User Experience


Transforming a Social Worker’s User Experience 


I had the opportunity to attend a two-week Design Thinking workshop at the IBM Design Studio in Dublin, Ireland.

My team and I set out to design a new way for social workers to interact with their caseload and families they look after. We learned that a social worker is, on average, assigned to 15-20 families at any given time. We wanted to solve for this degree of time and task management while keeping the design responsive and accessible.


My team employed design thinking methods such as empathy maps, user journeys, and as-is and to-be scenarios to guide our design process. Once per week, we facilitated one round of stakeholder feedback and a full day of user validation testing.

By the end of the workshop, we completed two workflows for two different personas and used paper prototypes to create a clickable InVision demonstration.


The design utilizes a feed to organize information, allowing a social worker to quickly review previous and ongoing items associated with their assigned family.

Our team plans to incorporate this design into future conversations with clients. In the meantime, I am helping to refine the design and seek more user feedback through validation testing and interviews.

The images below document some of our process, including sketches, paper prototypes, whiteboard sessions, and initial wireframes that we made during the workshop.


After completing the to-be scenarios for our personas, we listed what we knew about our users and what we still needed to learn about them. This formed the basis of our user research and the design’s direction.


During user validation testing, we captured notes and feedback across different sections of the prototype.