Weeknotes – series 01 episode 02

2 girls standing together, looking down at the beach on a sunny day

It was the super hot bank holiday weekend – so I was down the beach with the family, along with most of the country. Related: Awen noticed that Saturday 5th May had the lowest number of sessions on the ONS website since Boxing Day 2017.

Monday & Tuesday

Days off.


Stats New Zealand

Me and Rachel started the day early by chatting to Blair and Arna from the Stats.NZ website. 8am for us was 6pm for them I think. It was reassuring to hear their research and findings were inline with what we learn from users of the ONS website. They're also doing some great work to measure and learn how well individual releases are doing, so they can benchmark their performance.

Show and tell

We had the show and tell for sprint 23. Everyone was excited by observation level endpoints being added to the API for some reason. More importantly I showed the prototype we made during the recent design sprint.

Culture and service design

Esko and Ben popped in to give a lunch time talk about service design and culture. I really liked what Ben said about culture...

"culture is: what is okay here and what is not okay"

… it reminded me of the GDS it's okay to poster.


Usability testing

On Thursday I went to Birmingham with Al to observe some user research sessions. We did the first round of usability testing on the new bulletin prototype and I even managed to create a second iteration whilst I was up there fixing some of the obvious issues (like missing links).

Prototyping on the train

Whilst on the train back I began to split the ONS website prototype kit out of the design manual repo. It no longer makes sense to keep them together and having them separate should make it easier to update both.


Hiring a user experience designer

The job ad went live on Friday to replace Tom. I'm pretty pleased with the job description:

"As a user experience designer in the Digital Publishing department, you’ll help us to improve the usability, interaction and accessibility of the ONS website and the content management systems that the publishing team use. You’ll help our users to find, understand and use our content. You’ll work with the design community across ONS to create a consistent design system that meets user needs. You’ll love the web and working in the open."

Future of research and design at ONS

Then, just a little 3 hour meeting to round the week off. Me and the user-centred design leads at ONS got together to talk about future plans for our teams. More news on that soon.