Weeknote 4th November 2022 – Interviewing

This week has mainly been about the interviews I mentioned last week exploring how people might use a feature we’re designing to collect documents from people who complete forms.

Recruiting civil servants to take part in research can be challenging. There’s lots to understand to figure out who the most useful people to talk to are, to find them, and to find time that works for them to spend with you.

The start of my week was pushing on with some recruitment work, and then some threads I started came together with many more that a couple of my colleagues had started and we got some interviews booked in. I needed to be able to show the interviewees some content to shape our discussion, so I worked with some of the team to put together some mocked up completed forms.

We hadn’t really designed this yet, although we’d discussed lots of the decisions we want to consider. As is often the way with these mock ups though, putting them together revealed a few decisions that needed to be made about the detail. They won’t be set in stone, but in order to have a mock up to show people we had to design something, so I worked with our content designer and a developer to get the mock ups done so we could test the things we really wanted to test.

Then I cracked on with the first three interviews. So far they’ve been very useful. We’ve had some clear answers to some of the questions we had, and also had some assumptions challenged that we’ll have to adapt to. All good learning.

I also continued with the documentation work I’ve been doing, updating our internal index of research and looking at publishing some version of it openly on GitHub. I’ve used GitHub before, but not for some time, and not in a repo set up for a decent size development team to be using. So I had to do some re learning how it all works and the workflow to get research summaries up on there.

Next week I’ll be continuing with more interviews for this feature until we’ve got enough insights to make some decisions with. Also trying to get all the documentation caught up on. Then it’s on to the next set of features, and probably setting up for some more usability testing.

In other projects, I’ve been getting note into writing this week so hope to get some blog posts out next week, and Sundays newsletter is already lined up. I want to do some more work on my music marketing project, and might look at turning what started as a book into an online course.

Quick on this week as typing on a tube on the way for some dinner in central London. Catch up next week!


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