Weeknotes 13: all about design, a brilliant snack vision and a job move*

Quite a week: really busy, but when isn’t it?


My first day back from a short break in the Netherlands (see weeknotes 12). As a team we discussed our approach to navigation on the new site — how do we make it as easy and accessible as possible, using GDS design patterns where we can and taking the best from other websites we think work really well such as Citizen’s Advice. I think we’ve come up with a good plan based on the feedback from our discovery and alpha which we will test in sprint 5 with users.



We had a great conversation with senior managers about content: how will we improve our internal processes and workflows so that we get better at commissioning, governing, designing and retiring content in the future. I’ve been working with our workplace policy team lead Gill Dix, and our new content design function to work out how best to do this at Acas.

Tuesday evening I had a baking disaster . . . probably because I was more focussed on catching up on the Code First Girls homework that I’d missed last week.



Started early with a quick trip to Lola’s bakery (see above re baking disaster) and then to my first One Team Gov breakfast. I met some really interesting people (and some familiar faces – Sam Villis) and had some good wide ranging discussions, which sparked lots of ideas in my head. I’ve been wanting to go for ages but somehow Wed mornings haven’t worked out. Huge thanks to James Arthur Cattell for organising it and welcoming us.

Back at work it was sprint review and sprint planning day. I can’t believe we’ve got to sprint 5 already — the team has made brilliant progress but there’s still lots to do before we go into public beta and before our assessment at the end of May.



We held our sprint 4 show and tell: Philippa had delegated the introducing of it to me as lots of the team were out at a design thinking course (run by the excellent Rebecca Kemp). We showed the results of some remote testing, the initial analysis of how the current website footer is performing (and based on that what we’re including in the new one for testing), and wireframes for landing page templates. Charlotte had a genuis snack vision: ice lollies. Perfect for a packed room on a hot day.**

Thursday evening was coding course session 3. Philippa, Cheryl and I are working together to build a simple website to help us advertise and manage bookings for our in house yoga. I think I’m starting to get the hang of it . . .


I woke up feeling really enthused about building the yoga website so started with a quick half hour starting to build the page I said I’d work on.

Later on we had a good conversation with our enterprise architecture colleagues about the beta website and how we’ll make sure we’re making the right decisions at the right time together.

What I’ve been reading:

I’ve been rereading the Kristina Halvorson book: content strategy for the web. Ace stuff, and very clear.

CSS Zen Garden was suggested as further reading on the Code First Girls course —amazing site with v useful styles and suggestions.

Richard McLean published this:

View at Medium.com

which articulated lots of things I’ve been thinking about recently about how to get the right governance at the right time and at the right level. I can’t wait for part 2. . .

In other news:

*I’m moving to Hackney LA to be the new Head of Delivery. I’m really excited about this move, and looking forward to joining Rob Miller Matthew Cain and the rest of the team in June.

View at Medium.com

**Our office does not react well to sudden changes in temperature. It has pretty amazing views though.

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