Weeknote 27th May 2022

This week I joined Government Digital Service and started my new job as a Senior User Researcher on the GOV.UK Forms team. We’re working on the problem of making all forms on GOV.UK accessible, easy to use and quick to process. There’s a podcast here if you’re interested in the detail, which features Senior User Researcher Moyo whose role on the project I have picked up. No doubt I will write some reflections about my move and more on the aims of what I’m doing, but this is a week note so on to what I have actually been doing…

  • Meeting my new colleagues. There are 16 people on my project team, I think about 800 in GDS, and 475,000 in the Civil Service. Coming from an organisation of about 150 that feels like a lot of people to get to know! I joke about the size of the Civil Service, but I will be working with Civil Servants across multiple departments as we’re building a tool for use across government. So far I’ve focused just on getting to know my project team and fellow User Researchers at GDS, all of whom have been really welcoming and clearly amazing at what they do. Looking forward to learning from and with them.
  • Getting inducted to the Civil Service. It’s a large and complex organisation with lots to understand. It’s all been really organised so far and I’m getting up to speed with the systems and ways of doing things.
  • Understanding the overview of our project and getting into the research that’s been done. The project has been through the Discovery and Alpha stage and is now in Private Beta. It’s also building on lots of other work that has been done before so there is plenty to learn from. I’m tuning in to the research that’s happening at the moment as well as the background so I can build on it.
  • Getting into working primarily in a GDS agile team. I’ve worked in agile ways before, but I’ve not had the entirety of my work framed in a truly multi disciplinary agile team before, and not one of this size and range of disciplines. The pace feels quick, in a positive way, and the documentation of work is great – a big help to someone like me coming in part way through.

Next week I will be continuing building my understanding of the user research that’s been done and is underway for the project, honing in on the detail after getting to grips with the overview this week. I’ll also be heading into the office for the first time. It’s not that far from where I live so I’m planning to cycle when I’ve got my access to the facilities sorted out, although from the Autumn I could also take the new Elizabeth line which us Londoners have been getting so excited about this week.

A very positive first week in a new job.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *