I’m just looking through my references for the week of work. My notebook shows two spreads at least for each day of the week. 16 spreads for the week in total, full of lists, notes, scribbles, sketches. But the board we use for work has just one thing against me: The Prototype. And that’s been my focus this week. Last thing yesterday I counted I had done about 60 “tasks” so far this week. Today I did another 22.

Some small things – typos, replace little bits of content – others fell into 1. redesigning stuff and 2. a fair bit of restructuring our service map database and then creating hierarchical rules for using it. If we have information supplied by a service team use that. If we don’t have that and we have information analysed by us, use that. If we don’t have either of those do we have our initial assumptions for what the service is? Use that. That sort of thing.

And then getting that coded in. Lots of that logic and nested within if we have that use it, otherwise don’t do anything – or say we don’t have anything. It’s one of those grinding weeks of lots of little things but The Thing is Getting Made (or remade, feeling a bit Trigger’s broom now): I’m making that code-wise and the team collectively are making it in all sorts of other ways. It’s satisfying, in that it’s-coming-together way. And I am really glad I decided early in to work out how to easily grab a JSON file of the data so we can build a prototype around it. It’s mde our work feel alive a lot sooner – and made the jump to getting into people’s hands easier.

Had some good little sessions with user researcher Jess working through lots of stuff, which was nice. But mainly a week sat on my own, ticking along.

Outside of the department service map I chatted with one designer by Slack a bit this week, see how they’re going. A product owner and I had chats about all sorts of stuff, was. was nice. I had an end of week catch up with another MHCLG designer, Paul, which was, again, nice. I also had catch ups with four people at gov departments that aren’t MHCLG, through my public offering of half hour chats. Nice. I had a really good discussion about the value of exploring concepts, regardless of whether you work in a “design systemed” enviornment or not. Yes, nice. And maybe a separate blog post in that. And another chat, about the shared skills of a designer (interaction, service, UX, content whatever) and a product owner. Which was also nice, helping the PO start to see where they can work closer with a designer. Respectful crossovers and all that.

A couple of things outside of all that:

A couple of weeks back I chatted with Randy and Lily about mapping, on the Mind the Product podcast as part of MtP’s discovery week. Nothing too in depth and tried to keep it “light”. Feel free to listen and let me know what you think.

My son has been isolating the last two days of the week (thanks Covid!), doing his schoolwork from home, logging onto Teams, picking up bits of work that are simply labeled “for those isolating”. Not ideal circumstances but nice to get messages from him asking where he can put his newly built website. Yes, you should have been doing Spanish, son, but…

Pro tip of the week: As tempting as it is to stay up until 2am so you can catch some of the NBA playoffs I advise not to do this in the middle of a working week. You will feel it the next day.

But aside from that, a couple of teeth-gnashing hours aside a reasonably straightforward week with my MHCLG work. Can’t complain on that front.

Original source – Simon Wilson

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