Weeknotes – series 02 episode 04

A laptop showing a live stream from London. A designer stands next to a slide that says “what are the new accessibility regulations?”.
Watching services week from my kitchen

Services week

It was services week – a cross-government week of events lead by Government Digital Service (GDS), with many events happening across the country. I watched a couple of them on YouTube.

Early on in the week Lou Downe did a great talk on the characteristics of a good government service. This document has become a part of design workflow already and it's up there with the GDS service standard and design principles for me. I recommend you spend time reading it if you haven't already.

Looking after the design team

This week I spent some time thinking about how best to lead and manage designers in Office for National Statistics (ONS). Recently ONS have switched to a model where designers are line-managed from within their teams by delivery managers.

There might be some benefits to working this way, but one of the risks comes from being managed by someone who might not be able to measure and recognise good work.

I created a document that sets out how we can best balance these responsibilities. I've also set up fortnightly checkins with the team and began introducing myself to the designers' individual line-managers.

Went to my first show and tell

I went to my first cross-census show and tell. I was the only designer there (that I recognised) so I hope I can encourage more of us to attend and participate in future.

It was encouraging to see everyone contributing towards one thing. I also enjoyed seeing some JSON metadata on the screen as it reminded me of the kind of show and tells we did in my old team (in digital publishing).

Snow and remote working

There was snow around South Wales on Thursday night and Friday morning so I worked from home for a couple of days. I've been thinking about remote work a lot recently, I wish it was more common and acceptable to work this way.

I know there are benefits of working face-to-face, but I still think we should take more advantage of the benefits of remote working. Especially in Wales where people are more spread out and transport networks are pretty rubbish.

Emma Boulton has been tweeting recently about how it would help her to balance the demands of having young children and accepting new work.

It's pretty obvious that the digital community is not as inclusive as it pretends to be if people like Emma have to turn down otherwise good contracts.