Exploring the Problem Space

What's on our RAdar

Voices of Need

Empathy plays a large part in our project. Here are some tidbits from the focus group and interviews we conducted.


The typical application trajectory is as follows: 

- when a new, interested applicant can learn about what benefits they may qualify for and what monetary value they may receive each month.

Application - receiving approval for benefits, which requires considerable amounts of document verification and may require an interview process

- benefits applicants may need to apply every year or every couple of years depending on what they received approval for. Just because you have applied for benefits prior, does not make it easier to become re-certified.

Meet Gov AI

The benefits application journey is a long, arduous one. This is where, our client - Gov AI -wants to make changes.

Gov AI is a startup based in Pittsburgh that aims to design the future of government by bridging the gap between technology and policy

To tackle this, they are using conversational design and voice technologies as a means improve access to state benefits.

Project Elements

To begin better understanding this problem space our team has identified SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as a starting point for exploration. We selected SNAP as it is the application with the shortest screening that can be applied to other programs. By exploring SNAP, our goal is to better understand how we can create a tool that is: 

Leverages government policy
Integrates with existing services
Explores technical and non-technical avenues

The ultimate goal is to make what we learn extendible to a diverse set of applicants and to a variety of programs, thus creating a well integrated ecosystem for future benefits applicants.