Weeknote 14th Oct 2022 – Too much research?

This week I ran the last of our usability sessions with colleagues in our second partner department for GOV.UK Forms private beta. This was with the team member who originally created the form we are looking at, and will be taking the lead on the new online form. It was a great session, lots of feedback both positive and developmental.

The first part of the week was quite taken up with the end of sprint wrapping up and planning for the next sprint. We ended up running a lot of concurrent research with users at the end of last sprint, so I was gathering some feedback and doing some reflection on that. We have two user researchers on the team so we have the capacity to run a lot of sessions with users, but we need to be mindful of the capacity of others in the team to engage with these. We’re fortunate to have great buy in to research, and many colleagues working hard to observe and help with research through note taking and analysis. They have their own disciplines and work to get done too though. I think this sprint we took on too much for everyone to have capacity to engage with it all in the depth they want to, and I’m reflecting on how to manage that better in the future.

I spent a lot of time going through and analysing the sessions we did on mental models of document based form creators. I had four interviews of people showing me how they make forms. They all seemed quite different on the face of it, and it took some time to really tease out the lessons I think we can take from the work. Ideally I’d like to run this with a lot more people to really understand it in depth. However, I think we’ve hit the balance of getting just enough insights to help us do what we need to right now.

I’ve also been working away at a side project in the world of online music marketing. Early stages but it’s had some good developments this week.

Next week I’m sharing the mental models work I’ve been doing with the team, as well as the usability testing I worked on with my colleague Leo. Then I’ve got some more general projects for the rest of the sprint – starting to actually share our research work in the open, and get some systems and research operations things set up. It will probably be back to the research with users next sprint in 10 days or so.


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