Hi there, it’s been a while, but the school holidays have also taken over my life (and a week away with friends in Turkey) and work being knee-deep in an Alpha phase that needs full-on concentration levels. It’s nice to be back, tracking my working week and reminding myself that it’s been going well, and whilst a tough project, an enjoyable one.

What did I enjoy:
We have made it, to the end of alpha with really great insights into users’ behaviours, not just using the prototype but their WHY, which is just as important as usability testing.

We have validated our hypothesis’, not all positive - but that’s the point.
We have found things that the previous discovery team didn’t, which meant working at speed and learning very fast (it felt like an undiscovered discovery)

From all our previous workshops, we have “invented” a new tagging location, which tested so well it was scary. We shall be sharing this with the design system team when the findings are written up. Speaking of design system teams, there is a whisper I might be involved in that again.. so I’m certainly looking forward to that.

What challenged me:
Whilst working at speed, it’s tough to keep on top of admin - tracking changes, tracking screen grabs and journeys - which means that I am now retro-screen grabbing previous journeys, I’m just grateful that the prototype has been structured properly and we also tracked changes, hypothesis against these changes and the reasons why.

I am working on a new portfolio site, nothing heavy, in fact much simpler as it is just me who updates it. Therefore it makes no sense to put the thrills, fills and fireworks on it - whilst I will be keeping my case studies (and adding more), it will be clear as to what I do, where I do it and why.

What am I looking forward to next week?
I’m looking forward to sharing the work that I did at HMRC on the Government Gateway, It was a great project and something I am very proud of, so keep an eye out for that.. like here.

Podcast of the week:
More recently, I’ve been cutting my podcast list right down - less fluff and more educational which has changed my mindset completely.
I’ve started to revisit Presentable, which is full of designer-led tips which are very timely, and I enjoyed Steve Parish on the High-Performance podcast.

Tune of the week:
Enjoying James Parson this week, thinking of doing a monthly playlist as it changes so regularly on tastes, would be interesting whether the music matches work or mindset.

Read of the week:
I recently wanted to refresh my mind with what actually do an Interaction designer do during alpha. As an ex-consultant, I am use to being an all-rounder, doing anything and everything to get the goal done, and this post helped hugely to ensure that my worries of not doing everything was removed: Things to consider when designing in alpha.

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