I accidentally missed a couple of days’ updates, so let’s start fresh insert smack head emoji here.
This contract feels so different to the previous months, I don’t feel dread when 9 am or sometimes 8 am comes around, I feel a surge of excitement and challenge (in a good way) and am energised by the team. The challenges so far are usual run-of-the-mill expected things and I would describe the team as being in control of the problem space AND the solution space.
As a bonus, I’m sleeping better, nicer, having time to think and enjoying life instead of letting work ruin/run it.

Sun is shining, coffee is flowing (if you need recommendations, look no further than Taylor’s Sunday blend ) Today, we met as a design and talked ONLY design tickets and the forthcoming work - this is so refreshing and it’s a welcome discussion when developers, BAs, and QAs discuss user needs and the design team just let it flow. I mentioned challenges in the header of this post, this 100% isn’t a challenge, it’s a breath of fresh air and I’m all for it.

Working closely with the excellent design team (content designer and a User researcher) on part of the journey around verifying your ID (using phone, email or HMRC app) and updating the prototype. Busy morning, lots to take in and plenty of understanding and “ahh” moments coming from me, grateful I’m sat on my own!

Wrote a handful of LinkedIn recommendations for those nearest and dearest, suddenly a well-worth task that, in a time when people are job searching gives them a boost and knows that others out there are helping out (if you have any outstanding, please write one - including one for me!). Also during my lunch hour, had another run at using ChatGPT, it’s such a powerful “thing”.

The set-up on this team is next level, this morning was refinement - where.. if I ever doubted that they trusted the interaction designer, today was the day it was wiped out - they asked me all the right questions, hung on my words of experience and listened and agreed to my points of view - LOVE IT!
We also have a lot of DAC items in our backlog, that, due to my experience on the design system team I can easily work on (I know the backlog of the Gov design system like the back of my hand), I also know from previous experience that sometimes the DAC reports are always 100% correct - mostly around comments to the design system (one example would be making all labels for input boxes as bold and bigger, which varies between each service).

Managed to work a ton of tickets yesterday, all centered around my bread and butter - accessibility.
Feels like an interesting clash between what the design system is, and how the design system is being used and understood by its users.

Today is purely 100% reading the DAC report and working on those issues, as mentioned before - some of the reviews are quite interesting, they lean towards more what the design system says to do, in a “look and feel” manner than what’s happening on screen. Interestingly - it’s not correct either, I’ve had many DAC reports and they’ve always differed almost exclusively on one pattern, the >details pattern not being able to be read correctly by Dragon (but.. many times it’s been found to be a false report).

Useful this week:
I really enjoyed the podcast with Ross Clark / Rylan on the fantastic High Performance podcast. It was really insightful into his life, but also interesting to see little snippets of coping mechanisms.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff” really landed with me, it’s an old saying that has been used time after time, but I needed to hear this and actually HEAR this.

← Previous post
Weeknotes No.32
Next post →
Weeknotes No.34