Weeknote 30th August 2022 – Digital confidence, forms and music marketing

A late one this week as I jumped straight into the bank holiday weekend at the end of last week for a break!

Last week I pulled together what we had learned about form processing from interviews with colleagues at the Maritime and Coastguards Agency. We’re working with them on a form for recruiting volunteer Coastguards. The form builder tool we are creating is designed for replacing low volume forms, and it’s been really interesting to see the various different ways this form is dealt with as it comes in across the country.

I spent a good bit of time designing a way to test the time and effort spend processing the form by colleagues at MCA. This is so that we can understand improvements and challenges we introduce to the process with a fully digital online form.

I also did a lot of looking forward towards future testing that we will need to do. This included lots of thinking about making sure we are working with the right users to get the insights we need. A challenge is that the people who step forward as interested in beta testing the tool are inherently interested in innovation, while we want to make sure this tool is designed for people with lower digital confidence and experience.

We’re making sure we have plenty of people who are lower in digital confidence to work with. However, it does seem like a lot of people in the Civil Service have skilled up to a certain amount during the pandemic, with home working causing them to make much heavier use of online collaboration tools. We still think plenty of people are less confident with creating digital tools like forms, but we have realised we need to think about digital confidence a litter differently when recruiting them.

In other projects, I’ve been writing an ebook pulling together everything I’ve learned about online marketing of independent music from working on my record label Cirrus Sounds. I’ve enjoyed writing something long-form that is largely stuff I know inside out and just need to get down on paper. I’ve got a bit more to do on editing but the majority of the book is written now after a few weeks of sessions in mornings before the ‘day job’.

I also took some time to compose some more of the ambient music I’ve been sharing for the last year on my YouTube channel.

At the weekend I went on a couple of nice bike rides. The first was with family who came to visit and we took them around Olympic Park that is down the road from us, cutting up to Hackney Marshes and Walthamstow Wetlands before coming back down the River Lea for lunch at The Breakfast Club at Here East. It was a really nice ride, largely on paths by rivers and through woods. We’ve got some great cycle routes in East London.

Yesterday I took a similar ride by myself, but had a tyre blow out when I was about as far from home as I was planning to get. I’ve not experienced such a dramatic explosion of an inner tube before! I seem to be having weekly punctures at the moment, I need to invest in some heavier duty tyres for my Brompton.

This week I’ll be pushing on with processing tests, planning some research on mental models of document-based-form-creators, and editing and hopefully finishing this ebook. I also need to get back into writing my newsletter after what has become a bit of an unintended break.


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