Weeknote 30th September 2022 – Reviews, goodbyes, and testing, testing, testing

Feels like another week has gone fast!

This week I’ve been mainly working on better understanding mental models of document based form creators. Or people who make paper, Word or PDF forms for the public to give information to government. The reason for this is that we are starting to get into designing some features for our form builder that are a bit more complex, and start to move away from how they might work on a traditional form considerably.

We’ve been running some workshops to try to get into this. We had one this other day which was a partial success. The participants were great but I wasn’t totally convinced about the way I had planned and constructed it, so have spent some time re working it before the next one.

A few more ongoing things this week, including feeding into our round of accessibility research my fellow User Researcher Leo has been leading on, and looking at the technical side of setting up workflows to test with production code of Forms. Up until now we’ve mainly done user testing in the design prototype created with the GOV.UK Prototype Kit.

It’s mid year review season at GDS, so I’ve been completing the many requests and google forms asking for feedback. My plan to approach this efficiently completely failed, and I managed to sent two sets of feedback to a couple of colleagues.

It was nice to get lots of positive feedback from people, and my own review went well and was constructive.

We said a say goodbye-for-now to our Product Manager for GOV.UK Forms Harry. It’s not been long but he’s been great to work with, and I hope our paths continue to cross in the future.

I also had a nice ‘virtual coffee’ with my old friend Bill Lord, who has made the move from education to User Centered Design. We had a nice catch up sharing experiences.

I’ve decided to try to stick to having a virtual coffee with different people (outside who I work with directly) every Friday. Let me know if you’d like to be one of them!

Next week we’ve got a GDS away day on Tuesday, where I’ll be doing some demos of Forms. It will be the third time in a few weeks I’ll be seeing the majority of the Forms team in person, which is unusual but always welcome! I’m also continuing the mental models work, running some usability sessions with some of our Private Beta partners, and running a session for other User Researchers to share tips on running accessibility testing.

A busy week behind, another one in front. Before that I have a very rare weekend at home by myself. I’ve got some vague plans to push on with some personal projects I’ve been neglecting, including some music production, finishing off that ebook I mentioned and maybe starting something new… more soon!


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