Weeknotes – series 03 episode 03

Mapping data ecosystems

This week, I've been working with Sarah on some of the data ecosystems diagrams she's been doing. These are similar to user journey maps or service blueprints. Swirrl use them in blog posts and share them with stakeholders.

They've been helpful for me too – they show what data is collected and where it goes. It's a reminder that in order to design a good data service, we need to consider lots of different data providers, publishing channels and end-users.

I've been using Moqups to draw the diagrams. So far I really like it, it's intuitive to use like Sketch, but it's been designed specifically for diagrams and wireframes so it has lots of built in icons and interface elements that you can drag and drop.

Data user personas

I was also looking over some project notes and found some personas that had been drawn up. Using these, together with the data ecosystems work, has been really useful in helping me develop my thoughts about how open data fits into users' worlds.

Alongside project work, I've been taking a step back to look at the similarities in user needs that are visible across different data things I've worked on.

Teams and people talking about data in a user-centred way

Continuing on from last week, I'm still on the hunt to discover (and remember) all the people and teams I can find that are working on systems that publish (or enable access to) data.

I've found some good things so far…

… of course ONS digital publishing are always doing good things in the space too.

More like service design

So far my new role feels closer to service design than I was expecting. This is definitely a good thing. I'm early on in a few projects, so not much call for hands on interaction design yet. Even so, I'm trying to resist my usual urge to jump straight in to designing the details.

This feels like a good opportunity to keep looking at the big picture for a while.