All software development should be centered on the needs of the software’s actual end users, the specific people who are expected to use it. These "end users" may be applicants for benefits, call center workers, case workers, other state employees or any of innumerable other groups.
Designing with and for users reduces project risks by ensuring the software is solving actual problems (as opposed to what a few stakeholders think the problems actually are). These problems are identified via a variety of research tactics, including interviews and testing for usability.
In user-centered design, all work is in the service of those end users’ needs. That work is identified and prioritized in close and regular collaboration with end users, and is informed by, but not subservient to, any technical constraints. (That is, the goal of the work is to deliver value to users, which involves dealing with the realities of approved programming languages or server software, but work should never be omitted because of the perception that technical constraints would make it impossible.) The technical team and end users regularly review the work, as it is being performed, and the development work on the new software is not considered finished until those end users agree that their needs have been met. Designing with and for users reduces project risks by ensuring the software is solving users’ problems.
In short, user-centered design says to do what actual, relevant humans need, and not what their boss’s boss thinks that they need.