When is User Experience (UX) and Service Design the same thing?

I get asked this question a lot. My thoughts:

In my experience, most of the best ‘experience’ practitioners or agencies think about the full end to end experience of a product or service.

Whether they get to design the full user experience or find themselves in a position of any real influence over this when working with different organisations will vary. Continue reading…

Why we hire design specialists

What is the user need?

A relentless focus on the people we’re designing for.

At DWP Digital we hire specialists to help us deliver user-centred design. Up until now we’ve focussed on interaction design, content design, user research and front-end development. Continue reading…

Ownership

I “own” the content.

I “own” the strategy.

I “own” the solution.

Swap all these things for I “own” the problem, and you just might succeed. Continue reading…

The needs of government

 UK parliament, Westminster

Image – Hernán Piñera

It’s okay for government to have needs. I always work with this presumption in mind:

Understanding user needs and understanding the needs of government isn’t a choice. You need to do both.

We start with user needs. Continue reading…

The art of design leadership

Manipulating time and space - The Second Doctor

Manipulating space and time – The Second Doctor

Design leaders are still designers, but they design different things. Teams, processes, and culture – Kim Goodwin, Leading Design conference, London (2016)

Design leadership is making sure that other people have as much space and time to do their best possible work. Continue reading…

Better, faster, super-duper

Mission Statement: Be the simplest, faster way...

I’ve been doing some more thinking about mission statements or setting long term goals for products and services.

When we’re thinking about the products and services we work on in government, many of our long term goals revert back to:

Be the simplest, fastest way [to do a thing]

What we mean is we want to make something that works well for people that’s better than the alternatives. Continue reading…

Speaking in 2017

Cross-government design meeting 18

Image – YanaYabbers

I’ve just been updating my speaking page. I’m looking forward to being part of a number of events this year.

My first talk of the year was for the cross-government design meeting 18. This is a regular event for all the designers working in UK government. Continue reading…

Culture is like good design…

It’s the things you’re prepared to notice.

It’s a million small actions or the individual details that someone choose to care about.

Design at its best frames the unusual and celebrates diversity. Its mistakes make it human. Continue reading…

The hard line of complexity

Image – hollidaypics

This is my prediction for what I’ll be thinking about and focussing on more in 2017.

We complicate things and we do so most of the time. All progress depends on finding ways to side step the complexity we create at every opportunity. Continue reading…

2016 – End of year review

This year was the toughest of my career so far.

I’ve managed to steer our design team through a considerable amount of change at DWP Digital (previously, Digital DWP) after most of our leadership team suddenly moved on to take over at the Government Digital Service in August. Continue reading…