Life update 2021
Well, it’s been a while since I wrote on my website - life has certainly been busy in the past 3-6 months.
A lot has changed and I guess that’s the point of this post - to act as a reminder to myself in a year of where I was and hopefully where I am going.
The big one:
I got a haircut - thank the fine lords I got a haircut.
My family got bigger, it grew by one and it grew with a little boy called Jasper. He is all I wanted without knowing what I wanted, we, again decided to not find out the gender and it was put upon me to deliver the news to my wife during the birth… whilst compared to her role it’s barely anything, but this time I wanted to tell her (last time with my daughter Robyn I couldn’t speak), during all of the pregnancy we, for some unknown reason decided we were having a girl, so it was a little bit of a shock. Having this assumption caused issues - such as not concentrating on names for boys, or getting clothes for boys (leaning more the “neutral girls” if that’s possible) so when I said:
“Emma…. you won’t believe this… IT’S A BOY”
That’s when it all changed. Whilst Robyn looks just like her mother, poor Jasper looks like his dad - blue eyes for bonus points but THAT look on his face still makes me laugh.
So, that’s the big reveal, that’s the life-changing moment to add to the current list of big life moves (all happening in the backdrop of a bloody pandemic).
Something I’ve never really openly said - but my past year or so I’ve been heavily involved in supporting the Government’s program of welfare reform, where my role was to drive forward a key part of one of the biggest and highest-profile digital transformation programs in the world.
With the current climate, this role has changed a lot, I was in a lot of teams, almost exclusively consulting on design, presenting to very high-up stakeholders and upskilling at speed. I designed, I persuaded and I levelled up my communication skills as well as leading design and its value through a wider reach. It was enjoyable, testing and satisfying but an opportunity came to move to another team and a team I’ve often been earmarked for so many times - I can’t tell you the names but very often people have told me point-blank
“You are IDEAL for this role as it needs working on and it’s screaming out for you”
This new role needs leadership and a voice from an Interaction designer point of view and this feels like a challenge that I could not turn down.
I decided to join the Design System for DWP.
I took on their advice, I listened to them and myself, the need to help other designers grow and we, as a Government department deliver something as best we can, within time, within budget and, from my own first-hand experience, see improvements in accessibility, performance, and shared knowledge across the team. I want to provide and show there is value in these tools, these processes and I want designers to feel in control of THE design process but still with the ability to make situational decisions.
It will not be easy, we have a lot of work and hurdles ahead, it might not even be sexy - but it’s the right side of challenge and the rewards will be massive for us, as a department but also for my self-worth, a legency piece (if you will) - just having an impact is the driver.
This new role also allows more time to mentor designers within the organisation, which is what gets me out of bed on a morning - this is massive to me and I hope I can show value in doing this and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
It’s been a heck of a month or two, I haven’t even touched on my wife and her brilliance, whilst having a baby and being a brilliant mother to two kids, Emma is also doing better than we could ever imagine with the family business down at Bobbin and Bumble - but that’s another post!
I have also decided to start posting more on my Dribbble account, as I’m starting to design more emailers, leaflets, websites etc all around my wife’s growing business, I have a vast amount of design work that feels like it might end up lost - so keep an eye out for that!