Week #34 at the Digital Service: Notes for 19–23 December

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A colourful poster on energy saving approaches at DigitalService with recommendations on efficient heating, saving energy and other instructions communicated with short sentences and little icons and illustrations

This was my last and short working week of 2022. It was the same for various colleagues, so the office was much more empty than in past weeks.

My colleagues Daphne and David didn’t hesitate and put up some colourful posters to communicate energy-saving approaches at DigitalService – for people who decide to work in the office. While not every sheet in our office space is this carefully designed, every employee and visitor should be able to see how much the organisation values design when entering the office building.

To make our design culture and the impact our communication design artefacts have more visible, Daphne and I are finishing a blog post on clear communication and how graphic design supports government transformation.

If we can, we’ll get the blog post out next week. With various examples, it talks about main 3 application areas for our visual communication output:

  • Sharing our insights and principles
  • Supporting learning experiences and transformation processes
  • Capturing milestones and celebrating delivery goals

The office poster above sits beyond these categories. But it’s no less important. Paying equal attention to entirely internal communication as we do to the material that leaves the building matters.

Good communication works better, gets seen and is more likely to make the desired impact. I feel fortunate we have the capability in house.

Wrapping things up and preparing for 2023

Of course, I didn’t tick off all items on my to-do list. However, I managed to finish some feedback for colleagues and left our recruitment as sorted as possible. We made multiple offers for both design and user research roles. Some have been open since summer, and we have looked at many applications. I expect the user-centred design team to grow further in 2023, so this is just a short recruitment break before continuing in a few weeks.

Before we resume our recruitment activities, I’d like to get our design and research page sorted and published. As part of our ‘how we work’ section of the website, it’s supposed to tell how we – and the other delivery disciplines – work and what it entails and looks like.

After a short break, we will welcome several new starters in early January and rerun our new accessibility introduction with Nadine. A post about it on Twitter and LinkedIn received some positive responses. And colleagues from the UK Department for Work and Pension highlighted their new accessibility poster on designing for people with dyscalculia and low numeracy would benefit from a translation. So we’ll look into it. 

What’s next

Not much. That’s the idea. I might read some pages of ‘Org Design for Design Orgs’ and see what could be applied to our setting.

I’m also hoping we can get the blog post published. Apart from that, I should mostly stay away from work.