Weeknote 15th July 2022

It’s been one of those weeks of lots of coordination and lining things up for big pieces of work that are coming up. I’ve been mainly…

  • Working with colleagues to line up partner departments for our next few rounds of research and testing for GOV.UK forms. There are lots of things to balance in order to make sure we can usefully work with people at the stage the prototype is at. We’re still building features so for now we need relatively straightforward forms, with the right number of transactions to be realistic candidates for the service, and without other contextual factors that might make us unable to publish their form. The more departments I talk to the more it’s clear how bespoke many processes are, and this brings some really interesting challenges to building a generic tool for any government department to use.
  • Lots of planning for research workshops and sessions that will be happening over the coming weeks. While we line up future partners we’re getting lots in place as I think the research is going to get really busy as they start to come on board. The first stage with them all is understanding the whole process a form goes through, from identifying it is needed, through creating it, and to being filled in by end users and having the results processed.
  • Working on some music. I got out my modular synth for the first time in months and played a bit. I’m considering putting some proper effort into practicing and doing some sort of live shows. I’ve also been refining and editing some of my ambient music to make more of a listening album, as opposed to the super long atmosphere pieces on the YouTube channel.
  • Falling behind on my newsletter. With being away and then being ill I’ve missed some issues from my self imposed schedule. I’m not stressing about it too much, but I am going to try to get back into the rhythm with it now I am feeling better. To be honest I’ve fallen out of quite a few habits in the last month that were serving me well, so next week I am going to focus on getting back into my routine properly.
  • Trying to keep cool. My colleague Tris recommended these personal cooling fans, which have been doing wonders for me! Not quite an air conditioner, but it really does produce a nice cool breeze that takes the edge of this heat. Not cheap (and I got a deal which has sadly ended now), but given the unprecedented weather we have forecast in the UK in the next week I shelled out.

Next week I am going to be kicking research off with a new partner on GOV.UK forms, continuing to try to keep cool during what could be the hottest UK heatwave in my lifetime, and pushing on with the music.


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