The tech world is often seen through the narrow lens of hot starts-ups and behemoth companies that have filled most aspects of many of our lives. It’s not a surprise, really, as the dollars involved and prevalence of the companies tend to dominate conversations.

But there’s more to life than tech, and there’s more to tech than e-commerce and ads. And some people devote their careers to using tech for good. Cyd Harrell is one of these people.

Cyd is well known in industry and government for her creative approach to UX research and service design. Since 2012, working with the Center for Civic Design, Code for America, and 18F, as well as independently, Cyd has helped multiple executive- and judicial-branch agencies in the US apply research techniques and user-centered practice to serving the public. Her book, A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide, is an onboarding guide and survival manual for tech people joining public sector work. When not at the office helping public servants use design for good, Cyd is a mentor for mid-senior UX practitioners. Her favorite tools are metaphor and (metaphorical) duct tape.