Weeknotes 26: user research is a team sport

This week I’ve given myself time to think about a couple of areas I’m working on — governance as a service, and KPIs. They’re both big topics, and I need to read and learn more before coming up with proposals. I guess I’m in a little discovery phase on each. Following Richard McLean‘s advice I’ve been conducting some user research with colleagues on governance, to establish what different user needs we have.

On Monday it was Richard, our lead user researcher’s turn to be my participant — useful not only for the insight on governance, but great feedback on how I could improve my questioning techniques. Later on I tried my new improved questions out on Nic and Dennis — getting their views as delivery managers on what they need from governance. I’ve got a couple more sessions planned next week with colleagues from our application support team. I’m planning to write the results up as a separate blog post once I’ve finished

Also on Monday I welcomed Joanne Moore on her first day — she’s started as our new lead service designer (and already written her first #weeknotes)



Began with the dentist (1) but got rapidly better. Stephen, Jackie, Karim and I got together to map out the current process for paper procurement. We mapped out the current user journey, pain points and ate cake whilst we worked. At the end of session we’d identified some key questions to answer, and have got some ideas and hypotheses to test with users.


Early morning swim #3 of 8. Remarkably quieter in the pool this week as the sunshine disappears . . .and a really enjoyable swim. This could become a habit.

I had a useful conversation with Simon, Nic and Matt about the product roadmap for the manage a repair project which reminded me about this blog post I’d spotted last week via twitter

View at Medium.com

Dennis and Soraya gave a brilliant show and tell on the income collection project which we’re working on with Made Tech— really exciting use of gov.notify and seeing our APIs in the cloud. There was engaging discussion about data, content design, and process improvement afterwards from a wide range of people who’d come to the show and tell to learn more about the project.


A day full of meetings on Thursday — all interesting, and I learnt loads, met lots of new people including a visit down to Southwark to learn more about the work that Doniya and Cameron are doing at the Greater London Authority on digital skills and apprenticeships. Also it rained which was good (2).


I worked from home — a break from meetings and a chance to work on draft KPIs. Lydia from Rainmaker Solutions did some remote user research with me on the pipeline prototype which was really interesting. It was great to be a participant – and to spend time really thinking about the prototype and how it’s progressing.

Things I read/watched this week

This from Citizens Advice on content that works hard for the user is excellent.

I watched this video from Mark Schwartz about business value

and last but not least our new lead front end dev Riccardo gave a talk at a dev meet up a couple of weeks ago on the 5 W’s of atomic design:

What I struggled with this week

(1) the dentist. I have a lovely dentist but I still really don’t like going. Other than that though, it’s been a really good week.

(2) I wouldn’t normally say this but in the spirit of every cloud has a silver lining etc, I did get to wear my nice new raincoat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s