A fortnightly version of weeknotes, thinking this might be easier to maintain at the moment - this family lark is busy! All the kids are back to school, meaning I get to work in silence again - which, on reflection feels very much like working from home, unsure that is a good thing.
We’ve covered a lot of ground over the past 2 weeks, While I felt like I wasn’t contributing much, I started to showcase the work covered and it’s a lot, and very much leading into our next phase (private beta) - which is just as exciting as alpha when you find out you need to change everything (jokes).
Mentoring again this week, from various ex-colleagues or direct reports which is just brilliant, it’s not only a warm fuzzy feeling but also confirmation that maybe I’m okay at this thing.

The last two weeks have been nothing but busy at work, we have finalised (to a point) the prototype and all feel comfortable that it’s at the level we can say
“yep.. this could be the thing, let’s go forward”
And presenting this is no mean feat, questions arise as expected and hoped, and I then use these questions (which I always write down, group into themes and present back to the core team to showcase what we haven’t made clear as of yet or answered these over the past show and share’s), to help judge where we are in regards to stakeholder or users of the service (internally) acceptance and the general temperature of the project.

So far.. so good.

I attended an internal talk at the DEFRA community meet-up with Craig Abbott, who is the master of all accessibility. He cleared up and educated the room on a lot of the mysteries and new requirements, and it was so good to see him. He has grown from our public speaking course many years ago, where we were both nervous little whispers, to now nervous loudspeakers, who I imagine are both quite comfortable presenting.. or we pretend to be.

I led a workshop (surprise!) around, again finalising the full journey, but future-planning - what the heck is the final thing going to look like (balcony level), including things like touchpoints, decision points, workflow(of course) risks etc. The normal run-of-the-mill, but essential - whilst we all know this, we have never had it written down in an easy-to-read flow.. so here we are!

What did I enjoy:
Listening to Craig’s talk, here is a link to his latest post:
Making microservices accessible on craigabbott.co.uk

Being much more hands-on doing the design-doing, whilst I’m the type of designer that isn’t all head-down-in-the-prototype, I love getting into the weeds of the work after all the talking, presenting, workshopping and trading of notes and post-its happens (ironically, led by myself…).

Seeing my daughter being written to personally, insisting that she join a Synconised Swimming class, as she is years above her expected ability - this isn’t a surprise, due to her insistence that she swims at least 2-4 times a week, but it’s amazing to see her grow and improve in the things she loves to do - amazing what happens when you do things that you enjoy.. schools and companies take note.

What challenged me:
Google bloody merchant centre! Fudge meeee that’s a minefield. It’s a skill set I didn’t know I needed, but one I love having. Being on top of this side of Bobbin and Bumble, means I get to see the results of our reach and add KPIs in for ourselves to measure against failure and success (hopefully the latter).

I am slowly coming to the end of this contract, and the unknown is starting to get near.. contracting is a murky world at the moment.

What am I looking forward to next week?
Finalising the future of the service, and concreting the roadmap with the P.O. It feels like this project is taking shape and becoming very clear in it’s next steps and that is down to the team cutting back on workload and nailing presentations, risks etc.

Being present in most of the user research sessions is enlightening and a stark reminder that this project has only just become in becoming the solution the business and the user wants. Exciting!

Attending an assumptions workshop, (which we should have done weeks or even months ago, but better late than never) will allow us to finally have measurements of success or failure. This will link nicely to our design and service assumptions, but we haven’t had business assumptions for a while - I feel this was a mature step in finalising this project and helping assure the stakeholders and sponsors of the service that we are thinking of everything going forward.

Podcast of the week:
I have not listened to this yet, but this podcast could be very interesting around Design Systems and their implementation of them, I’ve been there, done that and worn the very washed t-shirt, and always want to hear other people’s stories around this and how they succeed, but more importantly, where they failed (if there is such a thing in the world of iteration..).
Getting buy-in for your design system - Design Systems WTF | Podcast on Spotify

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Weeknotes No.52