It’s good to share

The last two weeks at work have been busy. But several positive things have happened that I hope will continue.

We launched a recruitment campaign for our biggest client

So far the campaign has gone better than expected. Up until launch everyone was a little apprehensive. There was a an amount of risk with the project. The client had never done this type of advertising before, and we had not done anything at this scale.

But the campaign in fact worked a little too well. The volume of enquiries was more than anyone anticipated.

Recruitment campaign

One thing that did not go so well was developing the application form for the campaign. An assumption was made that the client needed to know the applicant’s date of birth.

But when we submitted the work to the client for approval, they were clear that this was not required. In fact they were worried the question may put users off from applying.

Getting that feedback a couple of days before the deadline was a little frustrating. Especially when the team only had two weeks to devliery a fully working system.

Our first discovery retrospective slash presentation

As part of the push towards a better design process, I am keen to improve how we work as a team. It had concerned me for a while that we were reinforcing a heads down culture; doing the work, but not sharing.

So I presented the work we had been doing as part of our first discovery project. It went well, but a mistake I made was doing it a bit off the cuff without a clear agenda. At times the conversation veered into designing solutions.

But I think we will get better with practice. Taking the time to reflect is really important. It brings clarity, builds confidence and nurtures a supportive culture.


We are still finding our feet when it comes to research

It’s been a lot of fun experimenting with different research techniques. on our first discovery project. In the past couple of weeks we tried:

  • Stakeholder interviews
  • SWOT analysis
  • Competitor research
  • Content design research
  • Website audits and site maps
  • Domain research
  • User stories

So far the most useful activity has been the stakeholder interview. We found doing interviews in the client’s environment had other benefits.

For example, we observed how their day-to-day tasks revolved around a single piece of software. We knew they used it, but had no indication how central it was. But being in the same room we could simply see it.

Other activities we found harder to adopt. With user journey maps I found it hard to apply to a real project. I find myself making flow diagrams and not maps.

I think a reason for this is not having enough research on user needs. We gathered some, but few directly from users. But the good thing is that now we know that early on. We know there is a gap and we have time to address it.

— Alexander Blackman