Weeknotes – series 07 episode 17

Good design habits

I've been trying to get into some good design habits recently. Every Monday I go through an ever growing checklist. It's a good hack to get my brain back into gear quickly at the start of the week.

Here's some of the things I do. Often they aren't needed every week, but it's good to check.

Create a new design history doc

  • Each week I capture any big decisions or changes made to the design
  • For each thing, I try and capture the following: what we changed, why we changed it, how we’ll measure success
  • I've been surprised how easy this has been to maintain, each week there are at least 2 or 3 things that are worth capturing
  • I try and update this throughout the week, but will check it on Friday to make sure the key things are there

New design screenshots folder

  • Alongside the design history doc, I create a new folder every week to store prototype screenshots
  • I'm often creating these screenshots to share with team members and record user flows
  • So the iterations are not lost, I store them in a folder each week

Create a new weeknotes doc

  • I like to write my weeknotes on the weekend, but I also like to jot down notes throughout the week to build on
  • I tend to create 3 headings and add things under them, for example: work stuff, bookmarks, personal stuff

Update my retro doc

  • I have a single retro document, and each sprint I add a new subheading it to it
  • Under that I have a heading for things that went well, and things that didn't go well
  • I try and populate it throughout the sprint so that when the end of sprint retro rolls around, I don't have spend time trying to remember what happened

Check if there is any user research happening this week

  • Make sure the prototype and supporting documents are ready
  • Help the user researcher prep the research objectives
  • Capture the research dates on a list

Make a new prototype version if needed

  • Archive the current version of the prototype and create new version to work on
  • Especially if we've just finished some user research, or some big changes are planned
  • Make a record of the version number and when it was merged

Review my todo list

  • I have a paper(!) todo list, that I often rewrite every week to clear off completed or unnecessary tasks
  • Reading through it regularly helps me focus on what's needed

Review the sprint board

  • We have a shared Kanban board for the whole Planning Interval (PI) which lasts for about 6 sprints (or 12 weeks)
  • It contains all of the user-centered design (UCD) and business analyst (BA) work
  • Checking over it every Monday helps get my head into it before we have our daily stand-up

UCD ticket refinement

  • We've just started doing a fortnightly UCD ticket refinement
  • We have a whole team refinement too, but often this is focused around the software developers' work
  • Me and the content designer go through each UCD ticket and make sure we know what we're doing for each one
  • Often they become out of date and are no longer required, so it's quite satisfying to mark these as done or withdraw them


What kind of things do you like doing every week to keep the work on track? Feel free to drop me an email about it benjystanton@gmail.com or message me on LinkedIn.