Weeknotes Monday 12 Dec - Sunday 18 Dec 2022
Long week was long
I’ll be honest, this week was a bit of a slog. It was my last working week before Christmas and was shockingly cold here in the UK.
I’m ready for a break. I felt like my pace was incredibly slow.
The reality is, I’m performing multiple roles. Designing content, the interaction and then coding the frontend before I’m able to hand anything over to be ‘made real’ with actual planning data.
Prototyping sources of data
Prototyping pages to show people which organisations provide data to planning.data.gov.uk, their datasets, why they are providing data and where the data was made available.
We think to be able to trust the service, our users need to know where data comes from and why it is being published.
Dear oh dear. I loved Twitter. It is probably the social media site I have gained the most from and spent the most time on over the years. It hurts to see what is happening.
I was in the first million users and have seen how much of a force for good and human connection it could be but sadly ‘Space Karen’ seems determined to ruin it for everybody.
This latest asshole move of epic proportions is the threat of account suspension if you add links to Mastodon or other social networks. I think this is probably the final straw for me.
If you want to avoid this. My tip at the moment is to use the bit.ly ‘link-in-bio’ feature where you can add onward links to your other social media accounts.
For example here is mine. https://bit.ly/m/paulmsmith
Talking cyber security and design tools
I spoke again with Lee, head of digital delivery. We arranged to meet our cyber security assurance team to talk about the GOVUK Prototype Kit and how best to enable designers within our department to access it.
Suffice to say this sort of thing is tricky. Cyber security is important, there are many examples of when this has been ignored or dismissed as an impediment to delivery only for horrible things to happen later.
It is also important our teams are able to access the tools and services they need to develop their skills and do their best work.
I’m going to investigate a middle ground of using Github Codespaces as the environment for the kit which although not ideal will hopefully appease cyber and IT colleagues worried about staff installing things on official devices.
Started to make a new GOVUK Design System community resource
I often need to think about or to show other people the ‘flow’ of a user interaction. Drawing it on paper is quickest but gets messy as you second guess your original ideas or think of different scenarios.
In the past I created the GOV.UK Design System Flow Diagrams for Miro which is linked to by the GOVUK Design System on the resources and tools page.
I was limited to Miro for remote collaboration back then but I now have access to Figma so I’m going to port over what I did which will unlock some powerful improvements I can make to it. I will share it when finished.
I’m grateful for Paul and Adam two very talented and brilliant people but more importantly, they are also incredibly kind and considerate.
I’m sure many of us know from experience that brilliance and kindness don’t always come as a package deal so I’m grateful when it does because kindness scales.
A chat with Beth
Setting up the design community in my department has led me to have conversations with some really interesting people.
This week I was an interview subject for Beth, a principal designer at MadeTech hired by the department to do some work with communities of practice as well as to examine how the DLUHC manages DDaT job families.
It was really nice to talk to somebody who understands design in government and some of the issues we face working in the trenches a department.
A nice walk in the snow
One of the highlights of my week is always taking our dog Ted on a nice long walk. He loves the snow, for some reason he’s extra hyper and does lots of zoomies.
Wrapping up warm to take him out a good way to disconnect for a while.
Hypothesis-driven product development - A talk by Pavel Samsonov to Product Makers.
Up is not always better - I accepted a full time permanent role in Government as a Service Owner. 3 weeks later, I resigned.
The Pathless Path - an exploration of the invisible scripts that constrain our lives.
Better accessible names - what makes a name good, effective or useful?