February 15 2019

Weeknotes

Monday

Bashed out a very simple visualisation of an ideal 111 online to pharmacy journey as a “vision piece”, or whatever we call these things. It’s amazing how short user journeys can really be in a world where we know who you are (you’ve signed in somewhere, somehow) and we’re able to lever what the various bits of the system know about you. As opposed to repeatedly asking you about things we should know already.

There’s very little chance of building such things off the bat — particularly when they involve joining up two services. It’s a classic annoyance really. There is no shortage of “visions” of what joined-up healthcare could look like. Let’s pop another on the pile, eh?

On the other hand these ideas give us something to aim at. When we build features for our product, can we build them as stepping stones towards where we want to get? At the very least we can try to build in a way that won’t add obstacles down the line.

Tuesday

Ceremonies day. In sprint review I presented an update to the pharmacy work, trying to show how design, research, the input of the team and others go into distilling what gets built. I do think there’s a lot of value in showing our working in a forum like this. Showing work in progress of whatever kind can help to build confidence in a product and team (as a set of people) in a way that just showing polished finished features might not.

Then into retro and planning. The part of the team I’m in is trying to be a bit more structured with our planning. It feels positive. We’re spending more time breaking things down. We’re scoring everything now (not just development work) to get a better grip of exactly what’s going on and what’s achievable in a sprint. Investing the time planning in a group also helps us grow our awareness of each other, and what anyone’s up to.

That might seem “well, duh”, right? I think it’s interesting because I think it’s one of the first times I’ve been in a team where we’ve stopped, caught ourselves, and initiated what feels like a decent sized overhaul of how we’ve been working.

In the coming sprint it’ll be time to nail down some MVP ideas for our emergency prescription work — more service blueprints, user flows, and it’s high time to get prototyping.

Wednesday

Lab day. A day of interviews with users, no prototypes yet. People giving us insight into their experiences, expectations and mental models. Finding out what users understand of the services available to them — or if they are aware of these services in the first place.

Stating the blindingly obvious, but working with users is invaluable in order to create something that works. I’m constantly gobsmacked by the processes and services that organisations can create when users aren’t involved.

Additionally lab day is swag day. The holy trinity of drinks snacks stationery.

Thursday

Day off.

Friday

Reviewing and tweaking our proposed user journey for prototyping, getting frustrated at how little we’re really able to offer in terms of a genuinely joined-up journey. Getting talked back round again into remembering there are positive improvements we can bring to the table.

Also more chats with pharmacists about processes and pain points, again giving us the opportunity to design in improvements (even small ones) to their workflow.

Tool time

Been using Realtime Board more and more recently — it’s a really good tool for collaboration on the kind of artefacts that can be hard to expose and keep up to date. Mappings, user flows, the usuals. It doesn’t have the kind of precision of something like Omnigraffle or the Adobe stuff, but it makes up for that in speed and the ability to have many people look, edit and comment at the same time. Definitely worth a play.