I’ve said this before, but I have really landed on my feet with the team I’m in. Being able to lead on the design, and the bit that excites me the most - lead on how we “do” design is so much fun and where I see my strengths. Along the way, the team has learned that we all have a “design say”, and you should not be scared of getting involved in designing with me, after all they play a huge part in the overall User Experience of the service.

This week has really felt great and handing over my first “big” design piece went so smooth, no shocks, no surprises and certainly no friction.

Roll on next week!

Monday
Morning stand-up with the rest of the wider team - technology means we can discuss the weeks work with teams from London, Manchester, and obv including us Leeds.

A thing we never discuss is how many e-learning courses you HAVE to do upon joining a new company. This morning to the afternoon was a complete write-off due to learning about Health and Safety. E-learning done in flash? YES PLEASE.

Afternoons on Monday are reserved for show and tells, we managed to show off one of the projects I’ve worked very lightly on. It’s a project I’ve been amongst, seeing it climb heights and hit lows - but the consistency has been a great design team behind it. A big discussion point from the show and tell was unexpected - a Design System issue, is it up to date? are we using the correct one? do we need to work closer together and get it updated?

I personally believe our design system is a good one, and you can use styles and patterns from either of them (if they work.. they work), but consistency is important and I’m unsure we talk enough about using it in that way.

Tuesday
Worked from home in the morning, i’m sure i’ll look back at today and think this seemed so long ago but.. I will ask this question over and over again: “WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET A NEW KITCHEN PUT IN A HOUSE?”

Back to work.. in the afternoon I returned to the office to handover the prototype Izzy and myself have been working on. The meeting involved Product Owner, Business Analysis and a Developer / QA. Started off with the “why we are doing it”, followed by current implemenation, to a sketch of user-flow and finally showing the world (avoiding at all cost the “real estate tour”), explaining why we did this pattern etc.

The prototype didn’t surprise anyone due to us all designing the flow, and pages together - so it was a piece of cake. Minor amends to parts of the page needing to be elsewhere (It was a misunderstanding on my part). Out of this meeting, my actions were: Finish prototype with minor amends, update Jira ticket and.. job done!

That is how design should be done, i’m sure there will be harder pieces of work but it was a brilliant issue to pick as the teams first design walk-through and really showed the value of team designing, and also letting me “do my thing”.

Wednesday
A busy day finishing off the prototype, which is a lot easier than I ever expected. Handover to the developers will be a piece of cake too, as they have no surprises coming - they helped design it!

Handing over the prototype means, discussing (a lot) with the Product Owner and Business Analysis on how to write up tickets, if we can split any user flows up and what outcomes need to be viewed and accounted for. Lots of Jira stuff, that I always try and hide away from.

Thursday

On leave. Spent the day with my daughter going pumpkin picking and going to a farm with tons of Halloween activities! Heck of a muddy day, but a fun fun day.

Friday
WFH today, working heavily on the future of the product I am on. Morning used to dial into the morning stand up with the team - worked really well and reminded me of my Sky Bet days! Preparation for the afternoon’s meeting, running through the team’s requirements of a User Researcher (we are running a team without one) with the Lead UR of my department. Meeting went so well, really liked her opinion and approach and certainly feel supported in our next steps!

My aim next week is to forge a working relationship with the team in London, and hopefully share work and get their answers (if you know me.. you’ll know I believe in “if the work has done before.. dont re-invent the wheel”).

Good things
Finishing the prototype and everyone being on board with it proved that the process we have decided on (so far) works, and works well. It led from user feedback, hard questions of “is this the best thing we can do” to “I’m unsure about this design” to “lets whack this into a prototype!” to finally everyone agreeing its good to go.

Learned things
I believe, as a team we have learned together we can improve the service so much more by working together. We are such a close-knit team that any issues, or even “feelings” that the service isnt as good as it should be - it shouted out and tackled together.
This is how design should be.

Difficulties
Finding User Research resource! I enjoy having a UR on my team, so speaking to the Lead User Resarch on Friday was amazing and allows myself and the Product Owner to feel supported and it was just an ace meeting.

Achievements
I promise i’ll stop talking about it.. but as a team we did a thing, it went well, and we will be launching the changes soon.
This is ace.


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