Weeknote 4

This week has been another whirlwind of activity, so I’m savouring this brief, weeknote-shaped moment of reflection, introspection and quiet before starting it all up again tomorrow.

What went well

Working on the GOV.UK Prototype Kit docs

We ran a discovery last year to better understand the experience of people making prototypes in government. Improving the Prototype Kit documentation came out as one of our biggest opportunities, so now I’m working with a brilliant designer, Debs and our user researcher, Rosie, to make that a reality.

It’s been great working with them to make the improvements and plan a round of research to test them out, and it’s really nice to be working directly with some content again.

I’ve had a lot of ambitions for this work, so trying to scope it sensibly and not do more than we can manage in the timeframe we’ve got has been a bit of a challenge. On the whole though, I think we’re in a pretty good place and I’m excited for the next week or 2 as we continue.

Crowdsourcing knowledge from the smart people around me

There aren’t many weeks where I don’t feel consciously impressed by and grateful for the insights, experience and knowledge of the people I work with.

This week, though, merits a special mention. In particular:

  • hearing about the research Frankie and Nadia have been doing research into how to ask users for their ethnicity as we kick off work on a new pattern for the Design System
  • getting help from the always-insightful Jen, head of technical writing at GDS, on a format for a content planning session I was organising with the team
  • said content planning session with the team, where they mapped the information users would need to make their first prototype
  • receiving a super interesting, helpful and entirely impromptu explanation of web performance from head of frontend development, Matt, who sits opposite me and, when not answering my inane questions about how to clean my laptop screen or whether I should have a fifth Oreo, is often kind enough to share his wealth of knowledge on all things frontend development with me
  • talking to Adam about the naming, definition and significance of variants in design systems, something I’m sure one or both of us will be sufficiently enraged to blog about in the near future

Other stuff I liked

  • Eating not 1 but 2 portions of pancakes on Tuesday. Lemon and sugar for the win, in my humble opinion.
  • Reading a fiction book that’s entirely unrelated to my job, something I do far too infrequently.
  • Paul Moran’s weeknote, which has pretty much secured itself a permanent spot on this list (see weeknote 3 for reference).

What didn’t go so well

Trying to do all the things, again. My fault entirely, again.

Lessons this week

  1. I think best by talking things through with others.
  2. I work in a treasure trove of knowledge and ideas, and mining them from conversations with the people they belong to is just about my favourite thing.
  3. Recognising and promoting the good work of others will always be deeply important to me, both to do and see done.
  4. I don’t eat enough pancakes in my day to day life.
  5. The person I most need to say “no” too, is myself.