Weeknotes – series 07 episode 02

Deadline approaching

This week we finished our first sprint of the year. I’m feeling productive, and a bit more like I have enough time to do things properly. Compared to the last few months of last year, which were very full on.

But, there is still loads to do. We are aiming to get a private beta out by the end of March, which isn’t much time. Still, things do feel like they are starting to fall into place, and our hard work is paying off.

We’re trying to find that sweet spot of being far enough ahead of the developers to remove any design bottleneck, but not so far ahead that we become detached from the day-to-day delivery challenges of the team.

On reflection, I think the ability to keep that gap small is a sign of a healthy, agile team. It feels safer to work a few sprints or even months ahead, but in my experience that leads to feedback loops that are too big to manage.

Paid off my laptop

I paid off my laptop this month. I took out a loan to buy a MacBook in March. And managed to pay it off a little earlier than expected, which feels like it's worth celebrating.

I went for a 14-inch 2023 MacBook Pro with the Apple M2 Pro chip and 16GB memory. It’s probably way over-powered considering I only run Google Chrome and Visual Studio Code.

I’m really happy with the investment though, and it still feels like new.

I wrote this around that time: setting up a new mac for interaction design

Flow diagrams and design resources

I created a flow diagram this week, showing our service from a high level. Once again, using some great community created resources from other designs across gov.

Credit to Clare Brown, Paul Smith and Dave House for helping to make the GOVUK Design System Flow Diagrams for MURAL a reality. Stuff like this really saves me time.

Also in the GOV.UK Design System’s community section are some great videos about inspecting and testing for accessibility.

Sara Soueidan's accessible notifications chapter

I've not read this yet, but Sara Soueidan has very generously released a chapter of Practical Accessibility for free.

I'm working on accessible notifications at the moment so it's great timing for me.

Reading (and listening to)