Friday, again. Time to peer through my week’s notes and pull out the NHS beta stuff.
Monday: I was in Leeds, and spent most of the day watching user research sessions in Londson remotely. We’re looking into user needs for sexual healthy services. We listened to people talk about their experiences find they had thrush, how they sought advice and information, and how they had it treated. I say it time and time again, but it takes a lot for people to come into a user search session and open up to someone they’ll be with for no more than an hour. We’ll be taking learnings from these session to shape users journeys so people know what NHS help they need and where. As always, more to understand, but we’re on the way.
Tuesday, end of sprint, so was all about the ceremonies. Nick gave strong hipster type game as he took us through our pickings through data.
Good news for us: We’re not going to design and build a data map from scratch! There’s been some excellent work done before by the NHS’s data and digital teams. We know the needs, and there’s something that meets those needs (at least from a data that can be turned into info perspective). No need to add any unnecessary work to our load. And it’s always good to give a nod to the great work others have done previously. Stand on the shoulders of giants and all that.
With our delivery manager Dom off ill I led the retro. The team were great, and with some Strict Timeboxing we recognised the good, the not-so-good, and confusing. For some of the stuff raised Joe was in great form. He picked it up straight after a team lunch, to make sure everyone understood who was doing what. It was something we’d prepared before, but the repeat value of going through the roadmap of what we are doing and where a few months on also is a good chance to check if anything has changed.
And, yes, a team lunch. The recently enlarged team ate and talked together. And, don’t worry — we split the bill between us, Middle of the week, Brooke and Sophie went to London so all the user researchers on the NHS beta programme were together. Digital can help us bridge those geographical divides, but there are time when just being in the same room makes things faster. Sharing our research themes and sessions is a strong strategy and allow us to have a wider perspective whoever possible.
I ended the day giving up on updating Ruby. Some days you just know when you need to just give up and go home. Thursday the time in Leeds was altogether again. To understand people’s needs around Book a GP Appointment we’re spending time at a GP surgery next week. This means a little planning. What’s the problem we are looking to solve? There’s the short term gains here as well as the long term gains. We’re nowhere the start on this, and the hope next Wednesday’s visit will mean we have a locked down journey — which we an look at getting out into the wild. Yay.
Things to note: We’re sniffing around not just appointments with a doctor here, and we’re mindful of the wider picture of how this could be adaptable into booking an appointment with another NHS service.
In the afternoon we had an excellent design review as a team, going through GP information pages. Alex, the other interaction designer in Leeds, led the session, going through his and Dean’s work from the previous couple of days. Some really strong work from the team here, Alex showing the thing. Reviews are about honesty. We can only design with what we know. And they aren’t about ripping the work or any person to shreds. It was just a great session. Stuff to do next: Improve the design, review it again, and get them in front of people. Onwards and all that.
The walls were given a refresh. With two sizeable pieces of work going on we needed to make sure there were two decent pieces of wall estate available to each. It’s the little things. While we move quick, we want to make sure we are as clear and un-messy as possible.
And as a reminder of some of the order amongst the chaos, I ran off the team principles to put up. Keeping your head and respecting others at all times is key.
Also on Thursday the Register with a GP team were up in Leeds, looking at how we can share work and know who is doing what. With that Leeds and London fusion present a small party went to the Tetley for the Scientific Method. Field trips as a team are great. They get you out, get you thinking about design outside the sphere of your everyday work. We need to do more.
Further afield Tero — a designer working on the NHS Identity programme — and I had a natter about Tero’s team hosting the next design brown bag lunch. These are an informal lunchtime hour-or-so for the cross-NHS design community to get together. We’ve had two of these sessions before, and I have written about the first session when we got these going and the second session popped up in weeknotes s01e01. It’ll be good to have another part of the wider NHS design community get leading a session.
All this user centred design stuff in the NHS means we need people to do it. We need more good user research people in Leeds to create user centred digi services in the NHS, for you. Join us. Details are here.
And, finally, with the inauguration of the new president of the United States today, Mikey Dickerson leaves USDS. Mikey wrote a great blog post on working there. Sad, but Matt Cutts (yes, that Matt Cutts of Google) is going to fill in running USDS. Imagine that three years ago. You couldn’t have. An amazing feat. This kind of work has come so far. And there is still much to do. These are disruptive times, but there’s only one way to look at stuff. Not backwards, but as Mike Bracken used to put it: Onwards.