Weeknotes 16 of 2023

A fortnight of ups and downs.

Weeknotes 16 of 2023
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

A fortnight of ups and downs.

What went well

  • Our October Design Community call happened yesterday. We did something different this month: a panel-style discussion with a few of the design leaders in government. It went really well and was full of helpful nuggets of wisdom from Sarah, Kevin, Kiersten and Bahaa. I’m planning a blog post on it soon.
  • I ran some usability testing sessions on the MVP site my team is developing — they all went really well, and uncovered lots of insights.
  • I continued to work on my FWD50 talk and have been having lots of great conversations with people about the topic.
  • I’ve been doing some research with our small crit group initiative on how things are going and so far it seems like the groups have been quite successful.
  • I’ve been enjoying being part of the community of people who’ve defected from X to Bluesky. It feels small and supportive right now. If anyone needs an invite, let me know!
  • Oh and I had a birthday. It was very subdued and non-exciting which was exactly what I needed.

What’s been challenging

  • It’s been a heavy time in the world. I don’t know what to say about what’s happening in the Middle East, except that my heart is broken for all innocent victims and their families, on both sides.
  • I lost close to a week of work and productivity due to Covid, which set me back a bit but ultimately I’m glad I’ve taken time to rest. The last time I had Covid, I didn’t take any time off, even though I needed it, because of my employers policy of deducting 25% of our pay when we’re ill. New legislation has changed that and those of us not in management roles get 100% pay for five days, so this time I didn’t need to do any complicated mental math to figure out if I was ‘sick enough’ to be deducted pay.
  • On a call this week, our group I was in did a roundtable to talk about any experiences, questions or thoughts. I raised some reflections I had been sitting on, in a way that I thought was pondering, hoping it would lead to discussion on the topic. Everyone was supportive but later someone referred to it as a rant. It’s shaken me a bit, to realize that what I think is reflection is coming across as a rant. It’s a small moment that has led to a lot of self-doubt and questioning how I communicate. I don’t want to be percieved as a “ranter,” because in my mind a ranter is someone who imposes resentful energy on everyone else. I’m rarely resentful, I just like raising what I see as problems in the hopes of getting fresh perspectives and ideas on how to solve them. How do I question things and point out problems without being ranty? Is there a course for this??

Inspired by

A random collection of things I have read this week that had stuck with me:

My journey to becoming a Death Doula.
“The Doula walks alongside the family, opening their heart in service and compassion. Doulas do not judge feelings…
My leadership story
The second part of module one was to deliver a presentation focussing on my own leadership journey.}
The player-coach design leader - Katherine Wastell
Every designer I know loves doing design. It's a passion; it's creative, it's exploratory, it's future-focused. Many…
Research, design or test with users. Please, just do something.
Product success isn’t abt documenting/ meeting requirements, or delivering on time. It’s abt helping people improve how…
User research, design and trauma: understanding practitioner experiences
In early 2023, I conducted a survey to find out more about practitioner experiences of trauma in research and design…

Reading, watching, listening

  • I just finished Tin Man by Sarah Winman. Beautiful, heartbreaking, far too short.
  • The TV adaptation of Lessons in Chemistry has started. It’s good but like many book adaptations something feels off.
  • I was fascinated by the Big Dig, a story about infrastructure and people.