Weeknotes – series 07 episode 03

Work has been busy, and very up-and-down this week, so I’m pleased to be heading towards the weekend feeling pretty positive.

Prototype rhythm

I’m getting into a good prototyping rhythm. I’m working on multiple branches at the same time, with each being focused on a self-contained update.

I’m working on a mixture of…

  • tidying things up
  • adding new user flows
  • making sure the design keeps pace with the dev environments

That last one isn’t ideal. Generally a prototype should be driving what gets built. But in my experience, there’s usually a bit of give and take, especially when designs first hit real dev environments. We have to integrate with a wider service too, so we’re figuring that out a little bit as we go.

I’m trying to keep the prototype up-to-date, making multiple changes every week. This can feel like a grind sometimes, when the changes are small and repetitive, but I think making sure the prototype is up-to-date with our latest decisions is good for a few reasons…

  • it’s always going to be ready for a demo
  • or a new round of research
  • design debt doesn’t build up
  • it keeps me aware of any changes that are being worked on by others on the team

Design authority

We had a design authority presentation on Monday. This was a 2 hour, semi-formal review, going through our department’s definition of ready. And showing what we were doing to meet that standard.

It wasn’t as scary as we’d feared, and the outcome was generally positive. We managed to get some focus on user needs, and the need to improve our accessibility ways of working.

Design histories

Adam silver wrote a short post about design histories on LinkedIn.

Adam’s tip was to try and answer these questions to document every design iteration.

  • What we changed
  • Why we changed it
  • How we’ll measure success

I’m trying to get into a regular habit of doing this. I’m planing on diving into the good work that X-GOVUK and Department for Education are doing with design histories.

Design Swansea is back!

After a break in January, Design Swansea is back next month. It’s a meet-up in Swansea for all kinds of designers. I haven’t been to one in ages, so I’m looking forward to getting to this one.

Grab a free ticket to Design Swansea 60 with Nick Morrish & Lloyd Morgan.

Task list pattern event

I joined a community event to celebrate the launch of the updated task list component that’s part of the GOV.UK Design System. It was a really nice event.

You can read more about the work that happened in this blog post: Working as a community to iterate the task list pattern by Frankie Roberto.