Weeknote 14

Planning the next few months and going on tour—a bumper edition of weeknotes covering this week and last.

What went well

Q2 planning

Last Thursday, Tim ran a session to explain what we’ll be focusing on in the Design System team in Q2—that is, June, July and August.

While I believe the work we’re doing is valuable and important, I’ve been struggling with prioritisation and knowing what matters most in terms of our long term vision.

Tim told us that increasing adoption and doing so sustainably are our top priorities. He explained what we’ll be doing and, crucially, what we won’t be doing.

I found the session really valuable, and left feeling that I can move forward with renewed energy and a sense of clarity and purpose.

Sometimes the list of things to do and problems to solve seems endless, and I don’t envy Tim the job of deciding which to choose, but I’m really glad he’s there to do it. Thanks Tim :)

Frontend North East

On Thursday evening me and Tim went to Newcastle to speak at Frontend North East to talk about the Design System.

I talked about what we’ve done to enable contribution to the Design System, some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way, and where we want to go next with that. I’ll look into publishing my slides and speaker notes somewhere in the near future.

Tim spoke about the work we do to make the components and patterns the Design System contains as accessible as possible by default.

As with all presentations I’ve given, I was pretty bloody nervous beforehand. But seeing some familiar, friendly faces and the warm, relaxed atmosphere helped to chill me out.

In the end, I was really pleased with how it went and what’s more, I was especially chuffed to learn we broke their attendance record. We celebrated with drinks and an evening of hilarious anecdotes afterwards. I call that a big success.

Other things I liked

  • Meeting the legendary Caroline Jarrett on Tuesday to talk about improving guidance on best practice for designing forms. I’m a big fan of Caroline’s, so putting a face to the name was a real pleasure.
  • Doing yoga every day for 15 days—I’m doing a 30-day at-home yoga programme and I’m really starting to feel the benefit of spending 20-30 minutes a day being present on the mat. Let’s hope I can keep it up!
  • Pair-writing about graceful degradation with Adam—I often edit Adam’s articles for him since, y’know, he built me this website. We’ve been trying out pair-writing on the latest one and it’s been thorny and complicated and at one point we very nearly abandoned it entirely, but it’s gratifying to see it turning out well in the end.

What didn’t go so well

I’ve been ill, with my second kidney infection in the past 6 weeks or so. I powered through to get to Newcastle and give my talk, but I paid for it afterwards, feeling thoroughly sick, sore, exhausted, emotional and swollen like a big fat beach ball.

A pyjama day sponsored by a series of trashy films yesterday was precisely what the doctor ordered.

This week I learned

  1. Knowing why I’m doing what I’m doing is key.
  2. Challenging myself appropriately is worth it.
  3. Perseverance pays off.
  4. To rest.