Had a brilliant weekend, I’ve always promised myself when I had the time and the space I would start collecting retro consoles, one’s I loved from my youth (don’t ask my age) and this weekend, I decided it was time. I bought my first console - the beautiful Atari 2600 Woody edition.
In mint condition from a brilliant seller, I couldn’t be happier to start with this one, and already building a great catalogue of games.

a photo of my lovely atari 2600

Maybe this team has it right, every Monday we have an exclusive Design-the-week planning session, and all and everyone in the core team is invited - but design is the table, it’s a discussion about design tickets only which is accepted, controlled and never sways away from it. The developers, BAs, QAs etc all have a chance to discuss user needs, and it just damn works.
Half term has begun as well, so I’m sharing my desk whilst Robyn plays an absolute banging game Stardew Valley, we both play this game as it’s local co-op. It’s one of our favourite games to play and both of us can get deep into the life of a farmer, whilst I’m growing parsnips, Robyn feeds the cows - this is exactly what I thought being 40 would be.

The best day of the week, as it’s half term I went to Bradford’s Science and Media museum with the kids, whilst leaving Emma at work - unlucky! It was a great day with just me and the kids, we built spaceships, made space badges and ate sandwiches, it’s the best of the best.
6 floors were a bit heavy though, unsure my legs could have taken a 7th.

Started to do a design crit of the service, which was warmly welcomed by the team. Unfortunately, it turns out many pages are using inline styles, moving away from anything existing within the Design system, many reasons why this is usually a no-no, but the main one here is around accessibility and consistency, we need to start using tried and tested patterns due to the level of people that will be using this service and why they are using the service. With this in mind, my challenge now is to undo the current patterns in place and find suitable ones that are purposeful and relevant for the transaction.
I also received feedback today, which was great - to know I’m working to a high level and it’s appreciated is the ego boast that I required after a tough 8 months, so very thankful for the feedback!

Due to the above feedback, I noticed we have a page or two within the journey that catered more for business needs than user needs. I am a designer who is happy to work with and for both, and enjoy combining both needs into one happy tied-up solution - but this felt like it leaned far too much to the business.
Presenting this back to the wider team is always the challenge that I love, and one I love to do to challenge the current thinking, it’s not about whether I’m right or they are right - it’s about what is best served the user and the business in that area.

The change to contracting means I can do more at home, and this means I can take days off to look after my kids and surprise them on random day outs - today was taking my daughter to the cinema to watch Epic Tails and overdose us both on popcorn. Whilst the film wasn’t all that wonderful - we had fun, and I never want to see popcorn at least for a week, then that evening we went out and ate at Yo Sushi (goodbye savings) and it was epic, the kids love sushi and the randomness of whatever we’ve ordered coming to our table via a plate on a carousel.

Useful this week:
If you are into the retro scene as much as I am, I couldn’t recommend the brilliant DJ Slopes documentary doing the rounds on youtube right now about the failed Amico launch and the drama surrounding it, it’s 4 hours of “what the fuck” moments and how to not do product launches.

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