The year is 2000. I am a product manager. I’ve worked with designers and a usability specialist to specify a new feature for a consumer news service for a major telecoms operator. But what comes back from engineering is unrecognisable. It doesn't work as we specified. Worse than that, the engineers have added all sorts … Continue reading Delivering digital service: this much I have learned
In 2015, Tom Loosemore asked if anyone had written a blog post about how “most of government is mostly service design most of the time”. I couldn’t find one, so I wrote it myself. Thanks in large part to a link from the awesome UK government design principles, that post has been viewed more than … Continue reading Mostly service design: the health and care edition
A couple of conversations recently made me realise I should write this down. Jane tweeted: "Public Sector Digital peeps, what is now the best definition of a ‘Service’ for people not used to working in our world? The end-to-end journey which enables a user to ‘do a thing’ - am sure many have put it … Continue reading What I mean when I talk about service
On my holiday, I started reading into some topics I ought to know more about: artificial intelligence, genomics, healthcare, and the fast approaching intersection of the above. Here follow some half-baked reckons for your critical appraisal. Please tell me what’s worth digging into more. Also where I’m wrong and what I might be missing. 1. … Continue reading AI, black boxes, and designerly machines
Mick Ward is sick of people trying to sell him electric woks. As chief officer leading transformation and innovation for social care in Leeds, he sees a never-ending procession of providers claiming to solve enduring human problems with expensive, complicated, isolated, digital solutions. Mick believes we'd do better to start with people and their communities, … Continue reading Electric woks or eating together? Time for human-centred designers to care about the community
Doteveryone CEO Rachel Coldicutt’s Medium post, ‘What if tech conferences don’t matter that much?’ landed just as we were wrapping up Leeds GovJam 2017. Here's me posing awkwardly with the awesome volunteer team who made this year's event happen... Every one of these people could, and should, stand on a platform and drop pearls of wisdom to an … Continue reading Now that’s what I call doing not talking
https://twitter.com/mattedgar/status/75309 Today, for me, marks a decade of 140 character updates, 10 years of paying continuous partial attention to hundreds of wonderful people around the world. So I downloaded my Twitter archive and munged it in an Excel pivot table. Here's what I learned... 2006-2008: what are you doing? Following just a handful of people, I … Continue reading What are you doing? 10 years of continuous partial attention
“In Elizabethan amphitheatres, like the 1599 Globe Theatre, performances took place in ‘shared light’. Under such conditions, actors and audiences would be able to see each other... This attention to a key original playing condition of Shakespeare's theatre enables the actors to play 'with' rather than 'to' or 'at' audiences. Actors therefore develop their ability … Continue reading In shared light: why making thing visible makes things better
Among my favourite times working at Orange - and there were many - was the chance to lead the UK organisation's design and usability team, doing user-centred design across the mobile and broadband business units. At the start of the assignment I talked with heads of all the teams whose services we worked on, to understand what was going well … Continue reading Put down all behaviour hurtful to informality!
Without exception, everyone I meet in the public sector wants to help make their service better. Most of them are in some way frustrated. The domain is massive and the activities disjointed. People engaged in any given service - from users and frontline workers down to managers and policymakers - can go for months on end … Continue reading Most of government is mostly service design most of the time. Discuss.
I love that the working title of Martha Lane Fox's proposed new public institution is Dot Everyone. Yes, the "everyone" bit is like motherhood and apple pie. It's important, but it's not a strategy. But dots (and we all know that @ signs are so last decade, don't we?), dots are cool. Dots are so cool … Continue reading I ♥︎ Dots: Why I signed Martha Lane Fox’s petition
I first wrote this as a comment on Joel Bailey's excellent blog post titled 'This thing called agile might kill us all' but thought it worth re-hashing and expanding here. For context, Joel writes about "working for a big high street bank. The brief is to redesign the ‘end to end mortgage experience’. The timescale is to reach … Continue reading The Last Target Operating Model You’ll Ever Need™
2015 promises change in the way that Leeds, Yorkshire and England’s north are governed. Not before time, decision-making and funding are to be brought closer to us, to the cities and localities where we live, learn, play and work. This new settlement will arrive at a time when cities and governments everywhere are challenged to design … Continue reading Three things a city in charge of its destiny ought to know about software
On Friday, a group of us spent a couple of hours chewing over the question of wellbeing; specifically wellbeing in a smart city; more specifically still wellbeing in a smart city that happens to be coterminous with the Metropolitan Borough of Leeds. We were talking about this stuff thanks to Tim Straughan and the "Smart Cities – … Continue reading On wellbeing in a smart city: when I hear the word dashboard…
"Boy in the bubble" David Vetter passed his life in a sterile enclosure breathing purified air and touched only with plastic gloves. While his parents and doctors attempted to make his life as normal as possible, they lived in fear of the tiniest exposure to common impurities and infections. He died aged 12 in 1984, after a bone marrow transplant given in … Continue reading Real work only begins when we break out of our bubble