Our researchers help customers understand the problem, the world around it, and the needs of users.

Blocky, the Ad Hoc mascot, in front of globe and checklists.

Researchers solve problems by asking many questions, clarifying and documenting the answers, and presenting the data for decision-making. Early in a project, we do discovery research to gain a foundational understanding of the context, problem, and users. Working iteratively within agile sprints, we do usability research to determine whether the solution meets people's needs and how we can improve it.

This process makes sure teams spend time and effort in the most useful ways. It also centers the solution on the humans who will use it. While we advocate for the people who use what we’re building, we also balance regulations and business and stakeholder needs.

Research team skills

  • User testing
  • Usability testing
  • Human-centered design
  • Design and discovery research
  • Service design
  • Business ethnography
  • Persona definition
  • Research logistics

UX Principles

  • We collaborate with and listen to users, government stakeholders, and agency partners.
  • We design in the open and are transparent about our process.
  • We design for all people and abilities.
  • We create straightforward systems, and we respect users’ time.
  • We design for the long haul.
  • We raise expectations for government digital services.

Read more about our guiding principles

Our Research team

We’re hiring

We're looking for technologists with a wide range of skills and experiences to join our team. Find your place today.

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Recent Research posts

What research can do: A maturity model for government agencies

March 10, 2021

Maturing a process is not easy, even if there is interest. It’s incumbent on human-centered design practitioners to recognize where an agency is with their practice, so they can identify how to help them grow.

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Finding your place on Ad Hoc’s research team

September 23, 2020

Ad Hoc researchers come from a wide variety of backgrounds from archaeology to anthropology to museums to education. The team is proudly a place where we accept and encourage the diversity of people and their experiences.

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The new Ad Hoc Government Digital Services Playbook

August 18, 2020

The 2020 version is now a standalone playbook that any federal agency can use to replace enterprise software with proven techniques from the world of commercial software.

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How to create an inclusive user research environment

June 18, 2020

As researchers, we’re on the front lines of understanding the people who use our services, and that means we need to be inclusive in how we conduct our research.

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How to keep your research practice going in a remote world

May 12, 2020

Instead of hitting pause on user research plans, now is the time to understand the benefits of remote research.

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Accessibility Camp 2020

April 20, 2020

This January, 33 Ad Hoc team members came together in sunny Orlando, Florida for the first Ad Hoc Accessibility Camp, a three-day gathering to learn and practice making our services more accessible.

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