Transforming digital government for the state of California

Stand out with unique branding

Be found with effective digital marketing

Engage with captivating user experiences


State and local governments face significant challenges as a digitally native population looks for more equitable, reliable, and transparent access to key social services. State and local agencies can often become overwhelmed by lack of scalable technology compounded by the inability to design and develop citizen-centered software and experiences. Law enforcement officers, social workers, planners, and administrators have first-hand knowledge and deep expertise that set the stage for a new class of enterprise digital tools. Transforming that knowledge into scalable digital is often where the process breaks down.

States often turn to large technology firms and subject matter consultants in their search for the enablement capabilities that they desperately need. Large implementors efficiently develop technology but with almost consideration for the human experience resulting in clumsy, nearly unusable software beleaguered by ongoing remedies to a flawed system. State agencies began looking for new partnerships and better solutions.


“No one has ever asked me that before.” Our researchers unlock previously untapped knowledge that become the architecture of transformation. Agency 39A engagements begin with research – methodical listening, observations, and inquiries that help us understand the context in which our clients operate, the tools they need to be successful, and the known pain points of their users. In parallel we work directly with end-users in environments most agencies don’t have the ability to. Our research teams go to the heart of the problem – often literally – standing side by side with surgeons, pilots, executives, and in this case families.

Our team embedded within California state agencies, developing an innovation studio, deploying agile methodologies, and conducting research with agency stakeholders and end-users.  Our work drew on our expertise in user research, service design, and workshop facilitation and training.

Agency 39A conducted training, journey mapping, and innovation workshops with California Child Welfare Digital Systems (CWDS) teams, leveraging experienced service designers, researchers, designers, and strategists to fully illustrate the entire ecosystem before moving a single pixel. Agency 39A painted a clear picture of how each technical requirement translated into an interface, a back-end system, and the necessary workflows to manage and govern complex intake processes social workers and law enforcement officers navigate.

As the program progressed from research to design Agency 39A developed a studio capability for the state, accelerating the speed of new product development. Prototypes we’re collaboratively developed with state product owners and Agency 39A designers, further accelerating the speed of development based on validated workflows and user experiences.


Repeatable processes, project norms, onboarding tools, and a centralized source of truth enabled a large team of collaborators to participate in the design of a powerful new suite of tools designed for, and by the people that use them most.

Project Capabilities

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