The last 12 months
12 months is a long time, but a year later Iâ€™m wondering where the time has gone.
Last September I left FreeAgent – a company I really enjoyed working for. I was there 2 years, did a crazy commute and learnt a lot about researching, designing, and building great products.
I surprised myself by leaving. I was finally persuaded by the opportunity to work with the Government Digital Service (GDS) and to be part of Leisa Reicheltâ€™s User Research team.
It turned out to be a great decision, not only did I get to work with GDS, Iâ€™ve been researching and designing for a Digital Transformation Exemplar project closer to home in Preston.
Itâ€™s been challenging, but weâ€™ve built something good in a way that means weâ€™re still working hard to meet user needs.
Itâ€™s been great learning from the other researchers and designers at GDS. I still stand by the importance of having good design principles – something Iâ€™ve always talked about. Working with the GDS design principles on a complex Government project was exactly why I took the job.
While Iâ€™ve been working on this project Iâ€™ve had a unique opportunity to blog and talk very openly about the work weâ€™re doing. The following are some of the posts Iâ€™ve written over the last few months:
Do less â€“ Problems as shared spaces
Reversing a circle of mistrust
Metrics that matter and user research
6 case studies: using research and data to improve a live service
Case study: Improving the Carerâ€™s Allowance guide on GOV.UK
Working with GDS has led to speaking opportunities this year. I has a great time speaking at CodeFest in August and Iâ€™m looking forward to NUX3 in Manchester this November – Iâ€™ll be bringing together lots of the thoughts in my recent blog posts.
So last Friday marked the official end to my time with GDS but Iâ€™m pleased to be staying on in Government to work in a new role of Digital Head of User Experience at the Department for Work and Pensions. Iâ€™m looking forward to seeing what happens next.
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