Work in the open and finding your edge

Striding Edge

Striding Edge in the English Lake District

This is Striding Edge in the English Lake District. It’s a famous ridge near Helvellyn known for it’s sheer drop at either side. A notorious accident spot for hikers especially in winter conditions.

This doesn’t stop people walking the ridge. Continue reading…

Direction of travel (travelling towards change)

Some thoughts about change:

Change happens when you set a clear direction. It’s when you have enough focus to keep working towards where you want to be.

The direction of travel and the momentum you have to keep moving forwards is everything in life (and politics). Continue reading…

Small moments of joy in design

Forton Services Lancaster

Forton services, Lancaster

This is Forton services on the M6 motorway (highway) in the North of England. It always makes me smile.

It has an hexagonal concrete tower (grade II listed in 2012 according to Wikipedia). This was designed to look like an air traffic control tower originally housing an up market restaurant and sun deck with views to Morecambe bay. Continue reading…

Digital Leaders Week 2017: Citizen Experience forum

I was part of a round table forum this afternoon for Digital Leaders week: North West Salon: Citizen Experience.

I was invited as one of the keynote speakers along with Stephen Morris, Director of Programmes at UKCloud.

The event was set up as an open discussion for everyone that attended and I spoke without notes. Continue reading…

Leaving DWP Digital

I’m leaving my job at DWP Digital in August.

This will be just short of 4 years working in government, first at the Government Digital Service (GDS) and then at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for the past 3 years.

It feels like the right time for a change and the right time to move on. Continue reading…

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…