Weeknote 12th August 2022

This week has flown by. Not sure if it’s just coming around to write this weeknote after a late one from last week, but it really does feel like this week has gone quickly.

I started the week running an analysis session on the usability testing I ran last week looking at the new navigation and some new features for GOV.UK Forms. Brought lots of the team together to discuss and figure out what we had seen, before pulling it all together into a playback. Last time I did this by sharing the analysis on the Mural board we had taken notes on throughout the process, but I thought a more standard presentation would produce something more summarised that we could archive and go back to so went that way this time.

Then I moved on to some tricky work with the other user researcher on our team and our analyst to try to figure out now to quantify the time that people are currently spending processing forms and the challenges they face. We’re hoping that our solution will make things quicker and easier for people processing forms, but getting a robust understanding of the workload processing currently creates has been challenging. I think because the people working on this side of things are usually a different group to those that are building the forms, and because processing workflows can be very different across different departments.

For various reasons we also needed this to be unmoderated research, which I find is always more complicated to think through than when you know you are going to be there and can shift with the flow of anything that happens. After lots of thought I am relatively confident we have an activity that’s going to get us to the information we need.

I’ve also been doing lots of forward looking to research we plant to do with other partners, and trying to find more people to test our form builder who are more used to creating documents rather than online services.

In other projects I keep making a start at blogging on a couple of topics, including a post on starting my job at GDS while it is still relatively new, and some things I’ve been noticing about cognitive load in usability testing sessions. I also need to get back to writing my newsletter as that has slipped a little over the last few weeks. No shortage of ideas to write about, just ability to get in the flow and get stuff down. I blame the heatwave that is once again upon us in the UK. I have a tendency to over think writing – but quite like this medium of weeknotes as a way of just getting thoughts out.

The weekend sees some more painting to do in the house, although planning to just do a small project first thing tomorrow before it gets hot and just relax for the rest of the weekend.

Next week it’s more work understanding processing, and a bit of re-prioritising research questions with the team for the next stage of our work.


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