Work stuff

We’re trying a new way of prioritising work at Farewill this quarter. It’s called DIBBS, a method apparently popularised by Spotify. I’ve some reservations, but it’s meant we’ve been cracking through work as a team. It’s also formalised a way for people to submit ideas for us to work on as a company - no bad thing.

Most of my time on this week was spent on a DIBBS I submitted myself about bringing together our two marketing websites, Wills and Probate, which are completely separate at the moment. We’ve got a few motivations for doing this, most of it being about building good foundations for ourselves as a business.

Materially, this’ll mean designing a single global navigation and creating a farewill.com homepage. Homepages and navigation can be dangerous territory for a business - when the priority becomes satisfying internal politics rather than serving users. We haven’t stumbled into that (yet! As far as I can tell!) But we’re all being extra mindful of who we’re building these things for.

I ran a workshop with people across the business for our new homepage, but decided not to run one for our global navigation. I thought it was too knotty a problem, and that I’d keep everyone involved with regular check-ins on progress. I’ve been wondering if that was the right decision. We went round the houses on a few issues, usually ending up back with the solution we started with - things that could have maybe been tackled better with everyone in the same room. Oh well, live and learn.

We managed to get to the point of having a prototype for our homepage and global nav that people seem happy with, which I reckon is a good position to be in at the end of week 1 of the quarter.

Our first user researcher, Clare, is joining us on Monday! I’m ridiculously excited.

Other things

I’ve been re-reading Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, a book of conversations with Robert Irwin. I was reminded of it because I got to visit DIA:Beacon recently, a museum designed by Irwin. It changed the way I understood art when I first read it a few years ago, so it’s a pleasure to dig back into.

Coming up with an answer to ‘What is design’ is usually pointless naval gazing, but I did come across a definition this week that I really like - ‘Design is the process by which a designer creates a context to be encountered by a participant, from which meaning emerges’. It’s from Rules of Play, a book about game design. I think I like it because it acknowledges that a designer can’t create meaning single handedly.

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