Weeknotes 2 of 2024

It’s a season of change for me — today’s my last day (for a while) on the Developer Experience team in the Exchange Lab before I…

Weeknotes 2 of 2024

It’s a season of change for me — today’s my last day (for a while) on the Developer Experience team in the Exchange Lab before I transition to a temporary assignment in the Ministry of Environment. I’ve been so busy getting organized for the move that it only hit me now as I moved my final jira tickets to the done column.

What went well

  • I create and ran a really good (if I do say so myself, which I do) series of workshops on UX research for my team. There’s currently no plan to replace me while I’m on my TA, so the team is going to have to figure out how to validate their work on their own — it’s not ideal, but also I know it’s not uncommon, in government or the private sector. Anyway, the sessions went really well and I really enjoyed the process of distilling several years of experience into something useful.
  • I organized and hosted an excellent call for the BC Gov Design Community — Sarah Clearwater came to talk to us about Storytelling for Change and it was so powerful.
  • I’ve been working with our new Design Community facilitator to transition the design community away from being managed by me, to being managed by many, which I think is a really positive step. I’m hoping that stepping aside will free up space for others to occupy it.

What was difficult

  • The anticipaton and uncertainty of change. Not knowing what exactly is coming but having to trust it will be worthwhile.
  • The role I’m moving to is what’s called excluded, which is outside of the BCGEU union and for some reason our organization has a general rule that excluded roles are unable to have flexible working schedules (as in, modified work weeks to allow for a day off every now and then without having to take annual leave.) So I had my last “flex day” for a while this week 😢 and to add to it, both my children were home sick with the stomach flu.
  • Also, although I really loved running my UX research workshops, I felt like this afterward (which is the same way I feel after a long day of research sessions or analysis):

Things I’ve found helpful and inspiring this fortnight:

Some lovely and interesting musings from the team I am joining:

Service Transformation Branch — Kelsey’s year-end reflections 2023
In the spirit of transparency and candour, Service Transformation Branch members publish reflections on the what and…
Reflections on three years of strategic design at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change…
On being a strategic designer/leader… and what’s next.

Super important and interesting reading:

Six ways we try to tackle power imbalances in design research
Tips to consider your positionality as a researcher and account for ways this might impact on users

I love how Lisa has visualized the structure of an interview in this blog post:

Seeing interview structures
Giving people advice on how to do interviews (the research kind, not the hiring kind) is hard. It's hard for the…

An oldie but a super useful-ly from Erika Hall that popped up in my feed again:

A Design Research Framework - Mule Design
Use this model of the design research process to align your organization and match your activities to your real…

And of course a few more great pieces about the Post Office/ Horizon scandal:

Avoiding another Horizon scandal — Public Digital
The Horizon affair is a human tragedy and an Establishment humiliation. Without a radical change in mindset at the top…
Horizon IT scandal: repeating patterns
There is so much that has been written and said about the Horizon scandal over the past 10 years, that it’s hard to…

Reading, watching, listening

Family illness + snow that has made it difficult to leave the house = more reading than usual. I’ve already finished 6 books in January! Anyway, my favourite that I’ve read in the past fornight was the super short, very mysterious novella The English Understand Wool by Helen DeWitt

As for listening, I really enjoyed listening to The Power Broke #01 from 99pi

I’ve been re-watching Ted Lasso, which has been great. I rarely re-watch shows and reserve that only for the very best.