Weeknote #029

— 16 minute read

Busy, busy week. A bit overwhelmed, as I am learning too many new things. Last week was even worse, and that is the reason I skipped my weeknotes. But I am back at the writing game, sharing a few highlights.

Starting with my favourite article/post of the week: the article Taming complexity. Hear hear:

The benefits of creating any capability or process may be obvious and immediate (and a customer or a boss may be demanding the innovation in short order), so the organisation mobilises quickly to make it happen. In contrast, the costs of complexity accumulate and manifest slowly or episodically, so removing an element is unlikely to be a priority.

Check it out the article, as there are some pretty solid points. Benefits of complexity, agency, decentralisation and experimentation are some of the topics.

Good things permalink

A herculean task permalink

Another great week with the Experience Strategy team. We keep bumping in philosophical discussions about personalisation and user needs, but is really fun. Things change fast all the time, and making sense of all the complexity in healthcare is not an easy feat. I am lucky to work with so many talented people that are cracking this with a smile in the face.

Contribution methods for design systems permalink

We had some significant progress documenting the process of extending and creating new documentation and components for our design system, Babylon DNA. Linsey and Jack, as always, are shining and delivering great work.

Learned things permalink

Departures in times of Corona permalink

When I joined Babylon last year, Jane Austin made a joke about her role being only to hire talented people. She is spectacular at this, and I've learned a lot with her.

With all the instability in the world, everyone is adapting fast. Location is not a thing anymore. And companies will offer unmissable opportunities for our people. So the new challenge for us is retention.

This week, someone I work with announced its resignation. I was pleased because it is a great opportunity. But I confess it isn't easy to see someone I hired leaving the company. Even when there is no reason for it, you can feel a bit incompetent as a design leader.

I have a lot to learn about this topic. I am glad I can rely on Jane and Dan "Wizard" Harvey to guide me and deliver those pep talks everyone needs sometimes.

Linting permalink

Linting is the process of finding issues that can lead to bugs or inconsistencies in your code. A Bell Labs computer scientist coined the term in 1978. The name of the tiny bits of fibre and fluff shed by clothing inspired him.

I was publishing an update in the design system and the changes I made triggered errors in the build. So I had to spend a few hours learning about Prettier and how to set up linting in VSCode.

There is also a similar process for content and documentation, but it's rocket science. Only a few OG's like Rahel Bailie know this. It requires structured content and a pretty solid style guide. But you can have an automated way to check if your sentences are following the style guide. More on this later, as I will have to interview my content empress for clarification.

Teaching and learning permalink

Had my fourth peer mentoring (skill swap) session with Angelo Lucas this week. I shared with him a few tips on how to explain design work in English, and he taught me CSS and flexbox.

I also joined a new mentorship program initiated by the product guild at work. I am learning about Product Management with one of our Product Directors, and sharing some bits about Experience Design - UX and user research - with two Product Managers.

Things that bring me joy permalink

Brazilian sausages permalink

One of the recipes Leili is writing for her book is how to make sausages. The last two weeks, I am the happiest beta tester in the world. I know the British are very proud of their heritage in producing bangers. Leiliane seasoning, made with the secret Brazilian chilli-peppers is out of this world. The most delicious sausage I've ever had on this glorious island.

More music permalink

Amy Keeling asked me to share with her some of my playlists. An excellent excuse to preach about the good and old rock and roll.

Healthcheck permalink

I am having a series of annoying migraines, due to some absurd variation in my blood glucose. Other than that, I am feeling ok, and I keep trying to stick to healthier food.

Weight: 99 kg

Food: a great week without delivery food.

Drinks: Just one glass of bubbly.

Smoking: About 10 Juul pods

"You know you have achieved organisational adaptability when employees stop complaining about reorganisations and start suggesting new structural changes" - Jurgen Appel.