Typing this weekly #weeknotes is a reflection exercise every time. The classic Ira Glass text about having the taste but not the talent resonates a lot with me as well. As any UX person, I do care a lot about my small and infrequent audience. But since I am trying to write effectively, my editor’s opinion is more important. When you have the reassurance that you will learn something new the effort pays-off. The conversations and guidance from your editor are great rewards. My dear editor and writing coach is gone, so forgive me about the quality. And please let me know if anything sounds silly or incorrect.
On a positive note, I had a moment of joy reading something unedited things that I wrote 10 weeks ago. It is nice when you past self sends you that bit of insight. It renewed my energy to keep doing this.
My random #weeknote of the week is from Eero, a designer who works at @nordkapp. What I liked about his weeknote it is because it is full of design goodies. He shares the weekly highlights for each team member and cool design links. The one that got my attention was about Fiskars, a (real) product design that won the Red Dot awards. Hooray to Finnish design! Onward.
Good things permalink
Back to basics permalink
With Amy Hupe's early departure, the DNA Design System needed an interim Product Manager. So I was happy to join the team again and help to reshape/refresh the backlog. They are so talented and united! This week, we worked together to improve the Design System information architecture. The goal is to support a new platform and provide better accessibility documentation. Linsey, Elliot and Jack provided great perspectives that helped me a lot. Information Architecture is about contexts. It was such a joy to work with them and discover more about theirs. I got the opportunity to do some wireframing and content design, but I feel really rusty. More news about this next week.
Interviewing smart people permalink
One of the perks of my job is interviewing people. We are not hiring as much as we need, but we are recruiting for a few specific positions. I interviewed three incredible people for the Product Manager role in the last two weeks. Diverse backgrounds and experiences. A pattern I spotted: All candidates were so honest and open and asked hard questions. This is something I value a lot.
Super Warbz, Accessibility Lead permalink
He works so hard that I am sure he hadn't shared in public yet. So the breaking news: Fred Warburton got promoted to Accessibility Lead! We joined on the same day at Babylon. A few months later, we started to work together in Design Operations. His progress is incredible: he created a new practice, trained hundreds of people and defined new standards. He worked in strategic plans and business cases. At the same time, he worked in hundreds of QA tickets to make sure everything was right. It's a pleasure to see that his work has been recognised. Now he is moving to his next chapter, and I am honoured to help him in such an incredible mission. Elevating our inclusive design practices and making every possible experience accessible, starting with digital.
Learned things permalink
My boss and mentor Jane Austin is out, recovering from a surgery. While she is away, I feel privileged to have people like Daniel Harvey to support me. Dan's ability to be pragmatic and at the same time empathetic and positive is refreshing. This week we had great conversations. One specific thing about self-care was an important reminder for myself. Thanks, Mr. Harvey.
This week Emma Boulton invited me to watch the Global Design Operations conference. I watched a few talks live. Some good stuff and the feeling that design teams across the globe have the same problems. Her talk was really, really good. She shared her practical approach in Research Operations. Having the full context of the work and the opportunity to observe how someone really talented talks about it is great. I am sure the knowledge she shared will be very helpful to many in the near future, including myself. It was also a great opportunity to reflect about the impact of research operations in the experience design community at Babylon. Emma is excellent, a great speaker and a wonderful human.
I am always helping the teams with reflective practices, as this is part of the job of a design leader. But I never had the chance to explore and learn about how individuals learn and think. One thing that I am interested in is Metacognition. Is about thinking about thinking. The strategies and mechanisms that help you to learn. An interesting subject that I am exploring next. I recommend the article Getting started with Metacognition if you are curious.
Things that bring me joy permalink
Having the right excuse for shopping permalink
Boris decided to open the country again, besides scientific advice. I can't be flexible as my risk factors are too high. One of the things I miss a lot is exceptional coffee. So we decided to invest in an espresso machine. It started wrong, with me trying to surprise Leili with a Delonghi model. She hated. We returned the next day. After many hours watching YouTube videos, reading reviews, and debating we finally made a decision: Sage Bambino. Can't wait to learn the dark arts of the perfect espresso.
Getting used to exercising permalink
This week was incredible from a perspective of sticking to a plan. I might be starting to enjoy physical activity. I had at least 30 minutes of lightweight cardio every day. Big progress for me.
Health check permalink
The week before, I thought I was having COVID-19, but the fever is gone. I still have some strange pains in my body and stomach. I am recovering, for sure. But following up with my GP next week anyway. The practice is allowing video consultations but removed the ability to book online.
Weight: 96.5 kg (significant progress from last week)
Food: Some healthy stuff. We are back on track this week, and we didn't order too much on Deliveroo. I bought some fantastic mangoes from a Spitalfields vendor.
Drinks: One beer
Smoking: 20 Juul pods.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” - Marie Curie