I found this a really helpful and thoughtful piece. I used to work in a huge UX / UI design team. I noticed that the older more experienced designers solicited customer feedback LESS, and the younger more inexperienced designers were eager to do more user research. The thing was the design work of the older designers was often better thought through, with less for customers to complain about. There's a balance to be struck between always asking for user feedback, and trusting your experience and following best practice as a designer.

I met my co-founders, thought up a business idea, and gained pre-seed investment in 12 weeks. I learned a lot.

In September 2020 I waved goodbye to my job as a UX Designer at Sainsbury’s. It felt like a wild move in the midst of a global pandemic. Online shopping sales were booming, it felt like the safest industry to be in. My colleagues were awesome, and I felt my design-work improved as I got feedback from software engineers and more seasoned UX/UI designers.

On the side of my Sainsbury’s day-job I’d been working on an idea for a new mental health business, I wanted to provide group therapy cheaply at scale. I’d started to create an online presence for…

Decorative image with 4 files on a green background
Decorative image with 4 files on a green background

Rate yourself to find out what kind of file organiser you are. You could win Chief of the Files.

When people talk about good collaboration within digital teams, they often talk about:

  • good team structure
  • delivery management
  • working in sprints
  • design of the workspace

The boring cousin of good collaboration is proper file organisation. File organisation allows for internal memory within teams and better communication. When I start a new team, I want to be able to find what has happened before me. I want to be able to swiftly share my workings out with my colleagues. The larger the organisation the messier the files, the harder it is to find stuff in the digital haystack. …

Screen shots of a financial technology app
Screen shots of a financial technology app
Financial technology app — practicing user interface design

I recently switched from a service design role to a user experience design one. Before working Sainsbury’s I felt frustrated with the lack of implementation in Service Design. When I started job hunting I was looking for a role where I could work on live, user-facing services. I saw lots of jobs at organisations that delivered user-facing services being advertised, but they seemed to be looking for user experience designers rather than service designers. Sainsbury’s were hiring, the role appealed to me because Sainsbury’s is a huge digital-first business, providing food for 70% of the UK population. …

Gif of a doll thinking. Photo by author in Southend Arcade.

Here’s how I took a Think Week 💅

I wrote this sitting on a beach, coming to the end of my self-proclaimed ‘Think Week’. Taking a Think Week for yourself is a great indulgence, and if you have the time and funds you gotta do it.

I watched Netflix’s Bill Gates documentary. Now I don’t want to idolise Bill Gates, but he does have some good ideas. He goes on a Think Week twice a year and shuts himself in a cabin alone with books to think. I didn’t want to emulate BG’s Think Week. I wanted to create my own. …

My least successful projects have 4 things in common.

Over the last 5 years I’ve worked on lots of different service design projects. Some of my projects have resulted in meaningful changes to an organisation, which have improved people’s experiences of using their services. But there have been plenty of projects that never became services that people actually use.

This is the first time I’ve stopped to analyse the failed attempts. This seems just as important as celebrating the successes. I want to build capability in organisations to improve services. I want all my future work to reach people. Lack of implementation is a service design industry wide issue…

Let’s move toward a stronger evidence base in digital health.

Blog originally published on Department for Health and Social Care’s digital blog.

Imagine you’re a product manager who works in public health. You lead a team in developing a digital health product for quitting smoking. The product has thousands of active users across the UK.

Your organisation wants to know what effect the product has had on people’s health, but there’s no budget available to evaluate it. The team did not build indicators in, so you’re unsure if it’s successful in achieving its intended health outcomes — primarily, quitting smoking.

Evaluation Guide

I attended the final day of the Service Design in Government conference, all about designing and commissioning public services. Ade Adewunmi, a Data Transformation Consultant, previously to be Head of Data Infrastructure at GDS, why it’s important to share data across government, and highlighted the challenges to doing so.

One key challenge is that data that doesn’t include context around how it was collected, can be difficult to reuse. Taken out of context, the data can be misinterpreted.

This keynote talk set the tone and theme for the day, people inside and outside government shared their experience on collecting, sharing…

I wrote this blog while working at Snook, a service design agency based in London and Glasgow. Read the original here.

After many projects and workshops with young people on topics as sensitive as alcohol awareness and mental wellbeing, we came up with a lot of fun, interactive ways to engage young people.

Here’s our tips:

1. A more meaningful icebreaker

During a workshop, you only have a short time with the participants. So why waste time on an icebreaker? It is important to make everyone in the room feel comfortable from the beginning, no matter what age they are. …

This was originally posted on the Department of Health and Social Care digital health blog.

Digital health products— like the apps found in the NHS Apps Library — have enormous potential to improve the public’s health.

At Public Health England (PHE), we want to make sure our digital health products address the health outcomes they intend to. So we’re carrying out a project — Evaluation of digital public health — to help better understand their impact, cost-effectiveness and benefit to public health.

We are in the alpha phase of designing a process to support teams working in this space, and…

Charlotte Fountaine

Service designer, eager to use design to reduce inequality and influence positive social change.

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