Weeknotes 5-9 August

It feels like we’ve reached ‘deep summer’ here in Essex. The days are long and the corridors are quiet, but even amidst the flurries of out of office bounce-backs, we’re squirrelling away exciting bits of work for the months ahead.

User research

Magda’s mainly been focusing on recruiting for user testing. She’s been phoning people to arrange testing, which feels pleasantly retro when it’s a sample of 50, but less sustainable if it’s 500. She’s been thinking about tools that would help the team recruit at scale.

Georgiana, Ben, Magda and Bhupinder have been working out the logistics for testing some of the patterns work.


Caroline A’s back from holiday and has hit the ground running, diving straight back into the planning and development section.

Caroline M’s been starting discovery work on the Essex Welcome Pack site, and doing some planning and admin for the content workshop.

Sheila and I have also been preparing for the content workshop. I’ve been looking at some forms stuff, which has been really interesting.

Hannah’s been tweaking her Trading Standards content, as well as looking at pages for the Essex Teaching Awards.

Service patterns

The service patterns team have been refining user journeys for the ‘check my nearest’, ‘check eligibility’ and ‘apply for something the council does’ service patterns.

They’ve nearly finished mapping these, and are looking at how they should work in an ideal situation versus the real world.

Excitingly, they’re also nearly ready to reveal how their patterns work fits in with the Service Design Kit and content strategy.

Team highlight

Nothing brings people together like a slightly ridiculous problem. Whether it’s unscrewing the top of an ancient pickle jar, or in this case, freeing a headphone wire trapped in the wheel of an office chair.

Instead of gathering round to test our strength, the team immediately snapped into their roles.  Matt, for delivery, allocating work. Bhupinder, for service design, thinking about patterns to understand the problem. And Magda for user research, meticulously documenting (by taking pictures and laughing).

Needless to say, the headphones were soon free. Music to the ears of our budding team: no problem beats us.

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