A few things to celebrate this week:
- A service meeting the service standard for a live assessment
- Getting a new recruitment campaign for two Senior Service Designer roles live (closing date 16 April), with more to follow
- Publication of the new DVSA vision – Keeping Britain moving safely and sustainably. It’s an exciting time for us and I’m looking forward to how I and my team can play our part in enabling the agency to deliver against our ambitions
- Being a force multiplier – helping orchestrate work between different teams to increase the impact we all have together; also supporting and enabling others to have impact where I’m further away from the execution of work – something that will increase as we scale the team through this year
- Reducing ambiguity – for me this is part of being a force multiplier and also connects back to the quantum contextualisation I came across in my last weeknote. Building connections between teams, enabling using of skill sets in new places, and reducing levels of ambiguity all help with helping people have greater impact with their work.
- Governance, tooling, quality control – I’m involved in a few conversations at the moment about how we manage quality and make sure we do the right things in our services to ensure we meet the right standards.
Helping a recently bereaved relative navigate changing broadband and mobile phone supplier has highlighted once more, as if it was really needed, that endings in service journeys are so important. The challenges of navigating contracts in someone else’s name and following instructions repeatedly only to find you end up back at square one and needing to call again, or call for the first time having spent hours on live chat can be soul destroying. Being able to understand the landscape and also have a little patience to navigate it meant I could lift the burden in this case, but it leaves a bitter taste knowing so many others will find it hard right when they are in the midst of one of the most difficult times of their life. It’s why the work of Joe Macleod is so important. I read his book Ends a while back and now he has a new book and training available to help people design better endings to their products and services.
I previously wrote a little about the challenge of bouncing from online meeting to online meeting and navigating different levels of zoom at the same time. Research proves your brain needs breaks shows the science behind what’s going on when we try to power through back to back meetings. There are some simple suggestions for how to create breaks and what to do in them. Useful to see and it helps explain what I and many others experience on a regular basis. Still a challenge to create meaningful space to work more deeply.
Other things that caught my attention this week:
Many digital products are actually platforms defining and enabling interactions between users. Even though designers are not making people do specific things, they’re deciding what kind of things can be done, and making many other actions impossible to perform.
For me this highlights the importance of good and continued user research for ensuring that you build services that are enabling for users.
It also led to my first encounter with the principles of Calm Technology
- John Cutler on Just being a seductive word and some of the things to watch out for in the Discovery space including premature simplification and the opposite challenge of being overwhelmed by complexity and being slow to action.
- I always appreciate people sharing book and resource lists to help the community find useful content, here’s a great one that came into my feed this week from Stephanie Walter
- The concept of value streams in DesignOps by Zdenek Zenger