Weeknotes 11

2nd-6th July 2018

Skipped Weeknotes 10. The arrival of Evelyn Ada Duckworth over that weekend meant those notes didn’t get turned into a blog post. Written but not published.


First day back from paternity leave. Working from home.

Sent an email to the programme team with some context about the birth etc.

Appreciate the environment and warm response from everyone in NHS Digital. Makes it easier to come back as well as plan some more time with my family.

Wrote up some stuff for my personal development review. Found it tough going. Took inspiration from Matt Edgar and put in some tweets about my work.

Took some time to go through some emails and prioritise work.

Arranged meetings through the week to catch up on work.

Medical appointment for myself at lunch. A very painful one but sorting a long-term issue.

Worked through the user research show and tell I missed as well as accessibility review.

Reviewed the new designer job descriptions.


Worked from home again.

Wrote up some more personal review stuff.

Spent some time working on a new prototype content architecture for my service. We have hit a point where we need to expand what we point people to. As new needs emerge and services are developed, we need to be able to easily scale the site’s structure to handle this. Right now, we are hitting the natural scaling limit of the pattern we are using.

Went through a couple of stories on Jira and cleaned them up.

Created a new interaction flow for a potential service integration.


First day back in the office.

Cleaned up an issue on Jira for the development team. Got a lovely card and gift from the Thunderbird team. Really appreciated it.

Checked up on the status of a ticket that really improves the user journey of our service.

Caught up with the product manager for Thunderbird. She’s now in control for the two programme projects. Had a good catch up.

Arranged with a colleague to do a “hypothesis backlog generation” session. He had worked on the service before and we’re going to run a session we did when I arrived. Blog post coming soon!

Talked through with a colleague some page navigation work. Shared research and ideas.

Cleaned up a developer point on a ticket.

Met up with the service owner and programme manager. We talked roadmap, future integrations and design work. They mentioned how much they needed me in the next few months which was nice to hear.

Caught up quickly with the user research team. Quick word before the lab on Thursday.

Jumped into a call with the delivery manager for the NHS app. Arranged to meet up with the design and research team in the next week.

Talked through links and downloads with a colleague tasked to explore those issues. Shared some scenarios and ideas.


NHS 70th birthday. Tweeted about my little service Easter egg.

Early start with a usability lab. The lab focused on mobile users and digging behind some numbers. The hypothesis was that many of our users preferred not to start the transaction on mobile. We wanted to see if that was true, and if so, why.

We also wanted to evidence if the service was easy to use on mobile. And that we weren’t the cause of people avoiding using mobile.

Some things we saw in the lab:

  • People really love the NHS
  • Most people are willing to trade off personal data for the greater good
  • Giving people a sense of control, even if they don’t choose to use it, influences people’s willingness to share data
  • Making authentication straightforward, clear and obvious increases people’s confidence in an organisation’s ability to handle sensitive data
  • Service comprehension remains high
  • Having a dropdown/reveal near the service start green button caused a little confusion on mobile. Proximity appeared to cause more issues on mobile
  • Many of our users just prefer their laptops over mobiles

In the afternoon I walked over to the design huddle. Ben talked us through some of his research on icons. It was a great talk. Ben is one of my favourite people at NHS Digital. His talk was great.

Late on remembered to share some data with a colleague. Couple of heatmaps showing how people ignore thumbnails on download pages. People prefer links. People just don’t click or hover over thumbnails.

The value of a thumbnail is in creating a pool of focus.


Shorter work day due to my longer Thursday. Meetings most of the morning.

Quick update with the developer team and then lots of chats. Talked to the NHSUK redesign team about folding in work. Lots of stuff to do here.

Chatted to Ben about hub pages and differing styles of navigation. The key being consistent but also mixing things up when the need arrises.

It’s very easy as a designer, with the whole website in your head, to over-value uniformity. Users don’t notice small differences. They notice if what they want to do is hard.

Caught up with Matt (Head of Design). Chatted about my service and how it is going since live. Family. And how to make your siblings like you (by peeing up walls as an infant).

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