This week might be the busiest week I’ve had ever at DWP, is it overwhelming, stressful, or a pleasurable workload? More than likely it’ll feel terrible in the moment, but incredibly positive in a week or two’s time due to “the thing I am doing”.
It’s been an incredible couple of weeks, something I would not want to do again - but the outputs have been really good, some barriers on the way but what we have achieved in a short space of time has yet to be bettered in my career so far.
BUT a huge highlight of the week is running a workshop for designers to assist in helping our communities come back together after a time of solo working and out-of-office.
Started at 8:30, before meetings and requests come in to arrange and prioritise my workload for the day (and possibly week), early doors is meetings, meetings, and meetings!
My workload has ramped up over the past 3 weeks, due to holidays, people leaving, and just general needs for the country, it means a lot of context switching - but needs must at the moment, everyone s putting in a heck of a shift to make things better for people. The afternoon was a run-through of a new project, it’s early doors but totally mind-blowing due to, again the context switching.
Today is the day I finally plan the (interaction designers only) workshop to discuss if/why/what and how we make community meet ups better. Working remotely can give the risk of the design community the excuse to not “get together” at the risk of us all feeling silo, lonely, and possibly feeling like are not being supported by fellow colleagues - which isn’t the case at all, but sometimes it’s just good to vent to a person “who gets it”(!). I am REALLY into aligning things as a design team, having a constant and similar vibe throughout the hubs, and the way we talk to each other is a good way to keep our values the same and also allow cross-team working and more importantly - sharing and learning. I have no idea what the answer is, but working remotely isn’t as easy as you read - it’s a lot of hard work to get communication good, honest, and often.
Let’s see how it goes!
Also, I decided against putting in a well-placed swear word in the deck, but… I cant promise this will always happen.
First thing, stand up in the new team (I’m very popular at the moment - I’m collecting more teams than Robbie Keane - football reference FTW). I hinted at it on Tuesday, but the context switching is tiring, it’s also exhausting and one thing I can take away and won’t ever do again (unless a must) when possible.
1:1’s planned this afternoon, good to talk about progression, etc, and catching up with other designers - seeing how they are getting on and ready to be that ear.
The day I unleash a 30-40 workshop upon other designers in the wider team. Finding out about how valuable communities are, how we can (if needed) to improve them - PROPER excited as I love this stuff.
Also, huge day for one of my teams - first time a team outside of a certain location has commited a huge design change to a platform (sorry for talking in tongues… but ya know… somethings I cant talk about too much), it’s been a while to get work to this level - earning trust, respect and alignment but we are here and arrived to deliver something brilliant that will help A LOT of people.
Review of the workshop - went well, LOADS of great post its, really happy with how comfortable the team felt entering in their feelings, I hope I personally made them feel at ease. Now to do the write up… who doesn’t love a deck?!
Morning 1:1 with Gavin (Head of Design), who else can I spend serious time with to talk about gaming? The rest of the day is to discuss some design changes to a team I’m working on (recently) about a very important project (possibly one of the most important one of my career) and updating a prototype that blows my mind (it’s not too complex, just been a heck of a lot of context switching and I think my brain is done for today).
Bobbin and Bumble update: Friday evening is to discuss the launch of a wicked new product (that I can link now its live) for the IKEA highchair which helps your little one eat a lot better and be less wriggly - something I can promise you is a thing (hence the invention of the splash mat!).