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We connect directly with Californians to improve state services.

Nurse waving to a patient at a drive-through COVID-19 vaccine site

Vaccine sentiment analytics

When supplies were limited, officials wanted to get vaccines in arms fast. With equity as a top concern, we built a vaccine sentiment model to send limited resources where they were most needed. This model used the Healthy Places Index and digital surveys on the state’s most-visited websites. We found areas with low vaccination rates, but high interest in getting vaccinated. This resulted in more equitable distribution of vaccines across California.

Person holding a phone showing the California COVID-19 website

At the start of the pandemic, Californians needed a trusted resource for information. We created in 5 days to be a source of truth about COVID-19. We used the opportunity to show what a best practice website looks like—in the middle of a crisis, no less. Over the next two years, we made dozens of major changes based on user feedback. This included pioneering a new dashboard delivery method on the health equity page. Our improvements helped charts perform better on all devices. We then applied this method to the existing state dashboard, reducing load times from 70 seconds to 4. Innovations like this made the site one of the fastest and most accessible websites on

Person walking through a whiteboard showing the design process

California Design System

There are tons of talented state teams doing great work delivering services online. But every team has limited resources. The California Design System helps digital teams by solving common problems. It pulls together reusable components, patterns, and best practices. The component code comes from past projects like:


Developers, designers, and writers across the state help improve the components. This process also highlights opportunities for new features. Our iterative development is based on conversations with Californians. Code reviews make sure everything performs well and meets accessibility standards. Teams can upgrade components individually, making it easier to provide quality services. We launched the Design System in partnership with the California Department of Technology (CDT). The collaboration continues with CDT scaling the Design System to replace the State Web Template. This will promote these best practices across the state.

Person holding a phone showing the page feedback form on the California Department of Cannabis Control website

Page feedback

The first step to improving services is to ask people what they need. The page feedback tool empowers the public to share their thoughts with the teams who serve them. Created for, it’s now on several state websites and is part of the California Design System.

Person using a braille reading device on a computer

Accessibility and performance

At least 10% of Californians have some form of disability. We design services that work better for everyone, going beyond WCAG standards. We commit to grade 6 reading levels to help everyone better understand content. We make sure our services work well on all devices, not just new smartphones. Our automated performance testing tools provide data that informs our work.

How we choose projects

Our evaluation criteria considers things like:

  • Is this service critical to the lives of Californians?
  • Does it impact large or underserved populations?
  • How many state entities are involved in the service?
  • Can our work on this service be applied to other services?
  • What previous efforts can we build on?

If you’re interested in working with ODI, we’d love to hear from you.