Weeknote #026

— 17 minute read

After 25 weeks, I skipped writing my weeknotes for the first time. I had to write a lot of things about Design Operations and Strategy for a presentation. Much of it, I didn’t used in the final presentation. I was feeling exhausted. Skipping was the right thing to do: it allowed me some good reflection time. The post about the conference is on my backlog.

My recommended blog post this week is by Indi Young, who doesn’t need introductions. In the post Compassion is a type of empathy she introduces types of empathy and how it relates to compassion.

Good things permalink

On compassionate colleagues permalink

One of the things I enjoy most working at Babylon is the people. It’s a bunch o very talented ones, and the scope of different skills and knowledge is impressive. This week something also caught my attention: how empathetic and compassionate they are.

After an hour of a very dense user research session, I had to stop watching. The participant was an alternate timeline version of my deceased grandma. She was battling a chronic condition that I have as well. It was triggering me, and it took me some time to understand that. I have been doing design research for more than a decade for now, but research in healthcare is new for me.

As soon as the session finished, two lovely colleagues reached out. Dan Harvey and Emma Boulton, slacked me almost at the same time, to check-in. I am grateful for the kind humans I have the privilege to work with: they are not only smart but caring.

Good principles permalink

We are on our way to having a robust version of our design principles. The work started in our offsite last year, with a great session led by Ben Sauer.

This week we had a workshop with the entire team, to present a first draft of the themes. Kudos to Michael Delange, who led a significant part of this work and the team for the great contributions.

I had the opportunity to work with the team to develop the criteria we used to test design principles. I was so happy to see that we landed in a fantastic set of hygiene rules and tests. I am planning to write a blog post about this soonish.

Right after the workshop, I got a message from Ben Brignell. He is writing a book about design principles and curates a website with a great list. I have been exchanging ideas with him and asking infinite questions for months.

He shared with me an excellent example of how to test if a principle is memorable. He is writing a blog post about this topic, so I will not spoil the surprise.

Advanced Markdown with Elliot permalink

Our developer, Elliot, is leaving next week. Of course, we could not be happy with simple handover notes. Elliot suggested to teach us advanced markdown tricks. It will allow non-developers to publish any documentation in our design system. Learning something complex was fun and rewarding, and just spending time with Lindsey and Fred Warbz was great.

Learned things permalink

Be kind with yourself permalink

I have my dream therapist, Helena, this Wednesday. Every session, I learn something valuable, and our time together is always great. We had a conversation about the things I’ve learned this year about myself. It was a revelation moment for me.

The year I’ve learned not only how to be more flexible with others, but also with myself. How to control my expectations about myself when I am not in my best moments. The year I’ve learned about my limits like never before.

Many others helped me with this, but Helena’s approach was pivotal. Get a therapist: you will never regret

Unstructured peer mentoring permalink

In Brasília, about five 13 years ago while working at AgênciaClick (later renamed to Isobar), I met three brothers who work creating things for the web. Estevão Lucas, Angelo Lucas and Rafael Lucas. We worked together in a few projects and agencies, and we became great friends. I use to joke saying that they are a full service agency as Estevão is a very senior engineer, Rafael is a talented designer and Angêlo is an excellent front-end developer.

Recently, I tried to hire Ângelo to join the Design System team, but he was not interested in relocating to the UK. Our conversation was great, and we decided to keep meeting every week and try a peer mentoring scheme.

He will teach me CSS again. We are redesigning Leili’s website. This website was designed a long time ago by Rafael and was coded by Lucas. And I am keen to learn how design proper responsive breakpoints and to improve accessibility and performance. In exchange, I will help him with design, accessibility, and business English.

Things that bring me joy permalink

My quarantine love permalink

With the impossibility of travelling as we always do, we are making the effort of being comfortable in our lockdown cave. Leili pampers me so much. This week we tried new pillows, she bought special grapes for me and cooked my favourite pork steak—all of this while writing her book and shooting amazing photos.

Berry Galette - scene with, strawberries and blackberries. Sugar sprinkled in a wooden table

Using the force permalink

I have treated myself with a new game this week: Vader Immortal, Episode 2. The plot is about meeting Darth Vader and learning the Jedi tricks. In Episode 1, you learn how to use a lightsaber. In this one, is all about using the force to manipulate objects. It is awesome. The sound design is incredible, and the haptic feedback interaction is so cool. Lucasfilm transmedia storytelling practices are the best in our industry. The entire world-building and story is impressive, and everything is connected and new at the same time.

Healthcheck permalink

I am having some trouble with my diabetes this week and some migraine attacks due to the heatwave.

Weight: 98 kg Food: Great week, with my favourite salad and home-cooked rice. Drinks: One Caipirinha Smoking: 8 juul pods.

When people realize they’re being listened to, they tell you things. Richard Ford