Testing all day in Harrogate.
I love going to Harrogate to see the team and more importantly check in with the users, Speaking to them means we are listening to their needs, and taking their feedback on board - which is why we are doing this.

Today was no different, going in with assumptions and the user totally blowing them out of the water - standard.

Today, early doors was a pre-pre-planning. Simply put, team two works their way through the backlog with designers, BA, dev, PO and DM and we work out when we need it, what do we need, and why we need it.
Makes sense? It really does, it’s a new thing that we are testing out, and it feels a huge step forward for my complete squad. I hope it makes a difference.
Also we discussed how to work together better and get the developers in the process quicker, something I am deeply passionate about - design shouldn’t be run silo, it’s a team sport, as is UX. 
Definition of ready: how to ensure tickets are ready to play - really good meeting, we ended up with 7 points that we all decided (as a team) to be the right ones (for now), a strong design presence in the room (and it wasn’t me!), others involving user and business needs, and development / QA requirements.
Also needing to be put on the table is a “success criteria” and how do we measure. One for the future, but again, one I’m passionate about - I love celebrating wins, but also finding out about losses.

Caught up with content designer and ran through the 2 meetings I had yesterday. U.C.D meet up - ran through my tasks at current, strong discussion on types of prototype tools we use, I didn’t even know we used most (any) of them, I always thought DWP worked with coded prototypes, but a lot were included in the list - from sketch to marvel to axure!

Afternoon - white board session..YES! Ran through a page to edit user information - so many scenarios and possible outcomes, made a lot clearer by working with a BA and PO who are willing to make it as simple-to-understand.
Finished the whiteboard session with sketches on a whiteboard (as a team I’m trying to use processes in everything and this is one) and actions to be done.

This. Is. How. It. Works.

WFH day - every now and then I like to get out of the office and work on things without noise. This allows me to catch up on emails, write prep notes for the week/sprint after and to just catch my breath.
Today was exactly this - digest what i’ve worked on, tidy up my computer desktop and files, plan my next tasks, read and reply to emails, slack people who I need to arrange meetings with and other general admin.
This is promoted often in companies, and is one of the first questions I ask at interviews:

What is the work/life balance like?
Answers can vary - but it’s easy to work out quickly if it’s suitable to match your own needs.
(All my previous perm jobs have ALWAYS matched my need for space and to work on my own and cater for childcare issues).

Spent time using the internal system to gain access to benefits and pension information - in the past couple of years I’ve really started to take care of this side of work, and having a good pension is a great start!

Started to prototype the design work required from the whiteboard session, using Sketch to produce flat jpgs before going near a prototype - I design as a team, so it’s always discussions first then upon agreement, we then go into prototypes to test, this enables sign off within the team for:

What data is available,

Can we build it,

Is this the right thing to do,

Is the design right,

Why are we doing this.

I always want honestly in my work, and providing an open table gathering means you have to be honest and open about questions and answers.

Good things
Tuesday. We worked as a team to get an outcome we all agreed to, and it felt so right. It was a room full of respect, intelligence and the want to succeed.
I cannot stress how much I enjoy working in this environment.

Learned things
Not necessary a learned thing, but remembering how Sky Bet was when I first joined and the struggles, the learnings and the success we had as a team to provide a smooth design and delivery process has spurred me on endless to really get it right here. It’s not perfect at the moment, but there is always hope and incredible potential to get there - working with a team of high achievers wanting to do the right thing is a benefit that I appreciate.

I have a plan in mind and an end goal that I’ve shared often with my line managers, and it’s close to getting there, and I’m proud of the team that has helped me correct, change, and vastly improve my plan.

Working within a team that is busy often leads to poor communication, and we’ve felt that over the past couple of weeks, and this week was the conclusion of that. It’s not easy to feel overlooked, and it’s hard to not take it personal.

The whiteboard session was brilliant, I’m so happy to see how great we worked together getting to a possible solution quickly, and as a team.

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Weeknotes No.15