Weeknotes #37

— 21 minute read

Travelling to Brazil ruined my plans to write here more. Or should I rename this blog to Monthly Notes?

Ruins, Rub-outs and Trash

World Information Architecture Day happened yesterday. Forty-two cities around the world joined this year. In his keynote for the Egypt event, Dan Klyn shared a pearl of wisdom. He talks about Richard Saul Wurman and Lou Khan. He presents a case against the flight and fight dichotomy and the importance of being careful and thoughtful about process and documentation. This quote resonated with me a lot:

the processes and tools we use are aimed at helping us satisfy the demand for moving fast and breaking things, not to be good, or to better ensure the doing of good work.

Here is the text version of his talk. And while you there, explore the TUG website as they have amazing content.

A Common Point Between UX Design and Politics: Irresolvable Problems.

An interesting parallel between UX and politics. The search for perfection, making compromises, designing for everyone. This article reminds me of previous conversations with friends about design and diplomacy.

Content Strategy Insights Podcast with Rahel Bailie

In this podcast episode, Rahel shares the origin of her nickname, Content Empress. And some valuable ideas around Content Strategy and Operations. She also gives an overview of her popular article: An uneven story of Content Strategy. Must listen.

Good things permalink

Back home permalink

I returned to the UK last Sunday, after working from Brazil for two months. I am not yet in my home, as I am currently enjoying day six of a ten-day forced quarantine. I am counting minutes to get back home. My home office is splendid, with a big screen, microphone, chair. But being in the same timezone as part of the team is already helping me to work less.

WTF is.. permalink

Last year I joined a hackathon project, and the thing we built is becoming very helpful and popular. WTF (What the fu**) its a slack bot. It crowdsources explanations about internal terminology and acronyms. The engineering team is continuously making improvements, and the adoption is growing steadily. Clarifying things and giving context is essential when you have a lot of new joiners.

Learning Canvas and Deji permalink

My conversations with Deji, my mentee in Product, are always interesting. We have been working together with his Learning Canvas since december. He has now a clear perspective on his needs. It helped him to have a focused conversation with his manager about his growth. The Learning Canvas is a tool I've invented while I was working at Publicis/SapientRazorfish. It helps you to manage information flows and accountability. I can't wait to talk with Deji next week for the next iteration.

Experience Principles permalink

The work on Experience Principles is ramping up again. Last week, I spent a few minutes reviewing the previous deliverables—outstanding documentation from Daniel Harvey, Chris Brunner, Michael Delange, Mingxi and Kevin Telfer. As I always say: it's easier when you are Building on the Shoulder of Giants. Onward.

Learned things permalink

Radiating intent permalink

In a fast-paced environment, ambiguity is the norm. And making the information available for everyone all the time it's impossible. Things can fall apart, and people will struggle to think about what exactly happened. An important lesson I've learned this week is that your best option is to radiate intent. Over-communicate. Repeat. "Ask for forgiveness, not permission" is not a one size fits all approach. Elizabeth Ayers wrote an inspiring post about this matter.

Get into the habit of signalling every time you change direction. Signal even when you do not see anyone else around. It is easy to miss someone who needs to know what you are doing.

Moderation tricks permalink

I am learning some silly and simple trick about moderation while using Clubhouse. Since it is an audio-only tool with limited visual cues, it forces people to be very creative. Creating things like switching the microphone on/off to send a message.

Things that bring me joy permalink

A strong support network permalink

I had some stressful moments this week. Long-covid relapse, work-related debates, the terrible UK Quarantine scheme, inconclusive PCR test and so on... When things are not ideal, I reach out to people I trust. I am grateful for having people like Jane Austin and Rahel Bailie in my support network. Work colleagues that became friends. People you can reach out for a pep talk, a perspective or just for listening. Their humanity, integrity and attention is something rare these days.

Confined with Leili permalink

I've shared many different spaces with Leili in the last year. My ballpark estimation is that we have been in confinement - just the two of us - for about 300 days since the last march. She is always making sure my days are better.

Oculus Quest 2 permalink

I've sold my Oculus Quest in Brazil. I bought the latest version as soon as we arrived in the UK. I am getting back to my exercise routine in VR. The Quest 2 is lighter, the resolution is better, and the multi-user feature is helpful.

Ossobuco, Heloisa and Clubhouse friends permalink

I am spending more time in Clubhouse recently. This week I was curating and facilitating a room about Storytelling. It was a pleasure to work with Heloisa Rocha. She leads a social venture I co-founded in Brazil. One of the speakers was Bruno Scartozzoni, a friend and former workmate I adore. I've also had a funny unplanned conversation with Artur Ortega and a friend. More stories about my adventures on the platform coming soon.

Healthcheck permalink

A lot of things happened since December. I am alright but annoyed. The mental burden to deal with long covid stuff, getting tested many times, not controlling your diet, managing diabetes... It's like having another job.

Weight: 98kg Blood pressure: N/A Food: hotel food is healthy but awful. We ordered Deliveroo twice this week. Drinks: No Alcohol for weeks now. Smoking: After a relapse in Brazil, I have stopped smoking again

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn." - Alvin Tofler.