3 min read

23. Drift

Mental models, tools, and feedback
23. Drift
Photo by Jeremy Thomas / Unsplash

If this series is unusually rich on links, it's for a reason: I was on annual leave (and in some informal ways, a study break) for most of it. I had a few weeks reading (I highly recommend Data Feminism) and then attended several design conferences (GDS's Design System Day, Smashing Meets Design Systems, Service Lab London, and Civic Design 2022). Normal transmission has resumed as I started my new role on Monday as UX Lead at the Student Loans Company.

I had some intentions to do #NaBloPoMo, but I later chose to use my time off to go through the Teaching Public Services for the Digital Age materials (which I don't regret, they're excellent), However, I did get a few posts written which I mention in my roundup. I've still got a few more in my brain that I hope to write up in the next few months.

This month in digital government in design

A couple of blog posts of my own: a history of the UK government's Service Standard and 3 tips on moving from the private sector to the public sector as a designer.

Storytelling for social impact - it has a lot of potential but a lot of challenges including power.

Creating an environment for successful service design in local government - also applies to any place with existing relationships and no clear metaphorical 'stick' to use.

Donna Spencer does a deep dive into the UX of web 3.0 - it's not great right now, partly because it involved new mental models and is still a niche user group.

Lessons Learned from the Transformation of the Government of Canada's Pay Administration Initiative - some important points, though from chatting with other public servants, may minimise the real harm that was caused (in their words "people lost their homes".  

Building your leadership team - you need people who have experienced the end state so aren't daunted by the changes.

Design systems aren't just about capturing the best practice: the LATCH model from Caroline Jarrett and Calvin Lau has some more details.

The US Ministry of Defence's advice on agile practices - a great read, if long.

That said, this is a quicker take on agile UX - 'do it' or 'do research'.

Eddie Rich added one single meeting that really helped his team (PS: timings may not work for those of us in the public sector where flexi-work time is one of the few perks. Anna Goss has done it 15:30-16:30 on a Friday)

Designing for users with dyscalculia or low numeracy.

Not all types of prototyping are the same.

Similarly, 'democratising research' has different dimensions of control against access.

And speaking of democratising, the US Department of Homeland Security's Usability Testing Kit 'so easy, anyone can do it'.

What is data science? told by a data scientist.

Closing the gap between policy and user experience design.

Classic HCI demos.

Ethical tools for designers.

Benjy Stanton gives some tips on accessible Powerpoint presentations.

And an Agile meme


Tips from 6 months as a mobile warrior on the East Coast line - from me.

Creative directors give their take on the John Lewis ad 'The Beginner'.

How to take uncomfortable feedback.

I'm not even going to go into what's happening on Twitter, but did like these Mad Men takes on Elon Musk.

Speaking of Elon Musk: if Tesla ads were honest (OK there are no Tesla ads, but run with it).

Newcastle's DIY music scene.

How about making your dreaded icebreaker activity about being a serial killer?

Madonna, Karl Marx and Madonna in one Venn diagram.

And finally, happy Christmas all

Until next time,