Weeknote 10th Feb 2023 – Analysis as a team sport

Missed a week or two on these notes for various reasons, but back on it now!

Since I last wrote I’ve been pulling together a round of usability testing and doing the analysis with the team. It’s great working with a team who are very up for getting involved in user research, and the analysis workshops we do are some of the most useful. As well as getting the work of analysis done, and giving everyone a chance to really think about and engage with the research, I learn lots from them. It’s always interesting to see what aspects of the research people prioritise, the things they gain insights from.

For example, we had quite a few participants this time around either expressing that they wanted to preview what they were building, or saying things that made many of us think of preview right away. It wasn’t until our analysis discussion that I really questioned this. I realised that this wasn’t necessarily about previewing the live form they were building, but needed to be drilled back down to the need they had; to be able to visualise what they were building. It’s a subtle difference, but expressing it as a need like that opens the door to more possible solutions. Some of these could be a lot simpler and less work that literally building a dynamic preview feature, so that insight could be quite valuable. Great to have it come out of an analysis discussion with content, design, development and product people involved.

I did some work this week with out latest partner department in Private Beta. This was to understand how they process forms. This has become a fairly standard session that I run with all partners, but the insights are never standard, and this one was quite different to what we have seen before. This partner doesn’t have a form already, they want to structure what is currently an email conversation process into an initial structured contact through a form. Lots to unpick there about what can be distilled into a data collection activity and what needs to be a conversation with the richness but additional time and effort that takes.

We’re moving towards the service design and development of turning our product into a self service one that departments can pick up and use without the intensive collaboration that we are doing during Private Beta at the moment. I had some discussions this week on how to join this up with other work going on at GDS with some products that are more mature. It’s good to do some work branching out from my immediate team and learn more about what we can take from other services and products.

Outside of work this week has been a strange one dealing with some issues with Covid that meant we had to cancel our planned trip to South Africa for a family wedding, which is very sad. After all the stress and admin I’m planning on taking it easy this weekend. I’m going to keep the first couple of days of next week as leave as I had planned, and hopefully do something nice closer to home.

Then I will be back into organising the next round of accessibility testing for Forms…


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