Week notes: 27 September 2015

Leaving GDS; WXG conference; GovCamp Cymru; ‘type well used is invisible as type’.

Week

This week, I said goodbye to the Government Digital Service (GDS). It’s been a great experience working in government on digital services for the past 2 years, with brilliant, creative, thoughtful people. I’m sad to leave, but want to concentrate on other stuff at the moment.

There is much more to do to transform government services digitally and make things better. And there are a lot of good people currently working on doing just that across the whole of government. I’m sure I’ll be back in future.

The work I’ve been doing most recently at GDS has been to explore what civil servants need in their work across government. The project began with a discovery phase in spring earlier this year. It’s now moving into alpha.

GDS, the Department for Work and Pensions, and Civil Service Learning are working together on the alpha. There’s a GDS blog post that explains more about the project, the background and why it’s needed, and what’s happening next.

I’m excited to see what the team builds as the project moves into alpha. It’s an important piece of work that will make a big difference across government.

On Friday, I went to WXG web conference, to hear talks about content strategy, artificial intelligence, prototyping tools and the creative process.

One talk which has been noodling in my brain since the conference is Dan Nuttall‘s talk on prototyping future radios. Dan talked about his work at BBC R&D, and how the team went about making, iterating and testing ideas. His talk was playful and intelligent, showing the thinking behind the different prototypes. I love these kinds of talks: the ones that open up to show the thinking, learning and decisions behind products.

Much to learn and take away from all the talks on the day.

GovCamp Cymru 2015 took place on Saturday in Cardiff. I was unable to go last minute, but followed it from afar. The day looked exceptionally good, with lots of discussions about government, public service, and open data. I’m part of the Slack group for GovCamp Cymru, and it’s great to see conversations and meet ups are continuing after the GovCamp. I’m looking forward meeting up with other people in the group to discuss and take action on digital, government, and services built around the needs of people.

Notes

[image: Aviation House, Holborn, London]