Weeknote: 25 to 29 March 2019

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Posters of NHS digital design principles 5, 6, and 7

1. What inspired me this week?

  • Meeting up with my learning set peers on the NHS Leadership Academy Bevan Programme. Our set facilitator, Caroline, is incredibly skilled at creating the conditions for safe and productive conversations
  • Extended senior leadership team meeting with Wendy, our inspirational exec director
  • The NHS.UK team taking a sprint out of their normal work to prototype, test and build a website for X – keeping it user-centred, and putting the NHS.UK Frontend through its paces

2. What connections did I make?

  • Linking Darren at the NHS BSA with Emma, one of our product heads, to talk NHS Numbers
  • The first of what I hope will be many chats with Martyn, another new profession lead. We’ll need to work closely over the coming months

3. What caused the cold that wiped me out for a day and a half midweek?

  • A virus
  • Leaving my hoodie in the car when out for the day at Newstead Abbey, Lord Byron’s ancestral home
  • The curse of Lord Byron’s skull cup

(You decide!)

4. What goals were met?

  • Quite a few year end things wrapping up this week, including work from a supplier team who have been working closely with NHS.UK for the past couple of months. Deliverables delivered and batons passed to our in-house team
  • The service manual team who have met many of our ambitions set out in the NHS digital, data and technology standards framework, including: accessibility guidance, a content style guide, look and feel and interaction patterns and components, the NHS.UK front-end toolkit and prototyping kit. It’s already helping teams make things better and faster.

5. What do I need to take care of?

  • There were some conversations I found frustrating at work this week. As designers, we care about consequences. We solve problems in the world as it is. (NHS design principle #2 is “Design for the outcome”.) But I found myself talking at cross-purposes with people who had taken a rules-based approach, for whom considering consequences seemed irrelevant or even illegitimate to their task. Challenge for next week: find a different way to have those conversations.

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