Weeknote 2nd to 29th March 2021

Some of the things I was involved in this week

Worked with George, Claire and Peter to start looking about how we iterate the central UCD team and work moving forward.

Had a catch up with Jonathan at GDS to talk about all things user research strategy and then later in the week met up with all the other Heads of User Research to talk more.

I worked with Tosin, Claire and Shilpi to hatch a plan to combine work the research ops team are doing with the content development of the user research profession site

Worked with Nat to condense everything user researchers have done to support the covid response into a paragraph of words! Luckily Nat is very good at this but a paragraph could never do it justice.

I worked with a newly forming programme team to help them understand user research, what it is, what researchers do and how it can help them achieve the outcomes they need to deliver. I also met with a colleague that leads the programme and project profession about how we may be able to support them in a similar way.

Had a follow up meeting with the team helping to develop OKRs for our work making sure it aligns with our service design maturity work.

I chaired the covid UCD community of practice where we had so many people wanting to present we didn’t have time to hear from all of them. Highlight was Joe, Wunmi and Callum from the NHS UK social media team talking about examples from the great work they have been doing to gather and utilise social media insight.

We said goodbye to Matt Edgar this week who is leaving to a new role. He has had such a huge impact here and it has been a privilege to work with him. Big thanks to Emily and Anna who turned around in record time a collection of videos, pictures and quotes into something for him to remember us by.

What made me think

A couple of reactions to the term user research made me think about the language we use and also why we use that specific term. What we do is research. When academics talk about research, do they use the term academic research? What about other research? What user researchers do is all based on the same robust methodology and ethical practice. Why do we use extra words to define it?

This post also got me thinking about the difference between mentoring and sponsorship. https://jessiandiorio.medium.com/shes-not-strategic-the-sequel-women-are-over-mentored-and-under-sponsored-8323ea6fb16e

Some of the things I plan to do next week

No work — I am on leave

No thinking about work

Spend time with my family

Relax and refresh

Head of User Research @NHS Digital. Views my own.