Weeknotes 8/2022

Everything’s fine, we’re all fine

Weeknotes 8/2022

It’s been a few weeks of big feelings and lots of highs and lows that I’ve been trying to wrap my head around.

What went well:

  • I gave a talk at the Vancouver Service Design meetup on reasons to not to codesign and it went really well! As someone who doesn’t have as much experience with codesign as I would like, I was worried about this, but it seemed to resonate with the audience.
  • I published a blog post on a roadmapping process I took my team and our users through last year.
  • I submitted 2 talks to the SD in Gov conference, after fretting about them and working through a lot of imposter syndrome. No idea if they are any good but I’m glad I at least put my name in the hat.
  • I gave a talk on what it was like to work at GDS as a researcher, to the BC Gov design community
  • My manager and I finally posted a UX research role on our team
  • I attending the Upfront masterclass and loved it.
  • I commuted on my new ebike for the first time! It was great, quite cold, but great.

What didn’t go as well

Story time: I started a course called “Building an Inclusive and Respectful Workplace.” In the first session, I was quickly put into a breakout room with men I’d never met and told to start going through a list of really personal questions (some examples: “Do you respect, care for and love your body?”, “Do you have control over your emotions?”, “are you living the life you want?”.)

The men in my room were lovely and really great, but when we finished the breakout rooms, I actually burst into tears with how uncomfortable I felt at being in that situation with strangers. I never cry at work things (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just usually don’t get that affected by it.) When we were back in the main session, the facilitators asked how it felt, and I said in the chat it felt uncomfortable. The response was: “good! that’s the point.” So, I guess they’re trying to force vulnerability as a way to “open people up” ?

But … how is forcing people to be vulnerable with strangers inclusive or respectful? Especially in a situation with strangers, where there are already power dynamics (in this case, gender) at play? I immediately sent this feedback to the organizers and they were nice about it but the response was: “the level of information you choose to disclose to your group members is entirely up to you” — so in other words, it’s the participant’s responsibility to to make themselves comfortable with the situation. Got it. Anyway, I dropped the course.

Some other things I’ve been struggling with big feelings about:

  • I’ve had a lot of strong feelings about things that I think aren’t being done as well as they should be. I’ve been channelling those feelings into writing and challenging things at retros and giving feedback (respectfully.) Last week I didn’t write weeknotes because I felt compelled to write an article on design (or lack of) in public services. I asked for feedback and was told it was ranty, which is great feedback and I’m so glad my colleagues felt comfortable telling me that. But it’s got me thinking: How do I be bold and challenging without being ranty? Is it ok to be ranty sometimes? Should I just be my ranty self anyway or should I reign it in? My story above on the course I took feels pretty ranty. I struggled with whether to include it but decided to leave it in.
  • UGH I posted a link to twitter with my slides from my codesign talk and accidentally posted the OTHER presenters slides and didn’t notice for hours — it was an honest mistake but I am so mad at myself because for those few hours people (all of my 10 followers haha) maybe thought I was trying to take credit for her work?? (they were probably actually just confused but I still feel so dumb) 🤦🏼‍♀️
  • I’ve mentioned before the woes I have with healthcare where I live so in a few days I am travelling somewhere that’s a 7 hour drive just so I can register with a doctor, who I will rarely be able to see but it’s better than not having a doctor at all. I hate that this is what’s it’s come to for my family.
  • Oh and my mortgage payments have gone up TWICE in the last month! So that’s great, not feeling anxious about that at all…..

What’s inspired me

Reading, watching, listening