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Turning talking into tasks

This week I got the chance to talk with a couple of users that have had different levels of exposure to our service.

One had gone through the process a couple of times and really doesn’t want to have to do so again. Another was just starting out with it, but has already had a number of different issues to deal with.

Useful insights

Just hearing the human stories of what it’s like to use the recruitment service really emphasises the struggles that it brings and the toll that it can take on people.

I’ve seen various bits of data to support experiences such as these, but they are often fragments from various users – this was my first chance to see the recruiting side of it as experienced from end to end (ish).

Something to work with

Despite my big picture views, I am still very keen to deliver so I made use of some of the insights I’d gleaned and used them as a way to start investigating the Government Design System a little more.

2 existing patterns stood out as being applicable to some of the process areas that had been highlighted, and I took each of these and filled them in with some recruitment-related content to create some artefacts for us to talk around in the week/s to come.

Prototyping in Discovery

I’ve been keen as hell to get stuck in and be able to write some code to visualise some ideas using the prototype kit (it’s kinda my thing!).

As soon as I mention the kit and prototyping, the initial response is that I’ve got an idea in mind, a solution – which is interesting because we’ve not carried out much research yet…

I’m an interaction designer, so this is MY discovery.

It’s good to be able to take in some of the info/data from research, qualitative or quantitative, and to do something visual with it. Quick and dirty prototypes are exactly that.

They show what an idea might look like, and they do so in a way that everyone can see.

Do lots of stuff

I’m inspired by one of my  (now) favourite quotes from Stefan Sagmeister:

“It is very important to embrace failure and to do a lot of stuff — as much stuff as possible — with as little fear as possible. It’s much, much better to wind up with a lot of crap having tried it than to overthink in the beginning and not do it.”

I read this quote on the train to Edinburgh on my last day with VisitScotland last year.

It speaks to me and my outlook – I just want to do the things!

I want to have a lot of crap to look back on and it’s one of the reasons I started blogging too.

Thinking out loud, showing your work, practising in public – all of these encourage me (and maybe you?) to care less about the response from others, and to do the work for the greater good.

If my prototypes don’t work out – cool!

We know not to take that approach in the future.


The ideation is still a very valuable part of the process, even if it isn’t a documented step in the Service Manual.