Bathcamp 44

I attended Bathcamp 44 after a fairly lengthy absence. Both sessions were from former Government Digital Service (GDS) product managers and were highly enjoyable, unlike the one hour drive to Bath. Here are my notes from both talks combined:

Sarah Prag up first

  • Fix publishing, Fix Transactions, Go Wholesale – make everything widely available and let others build services from you
  • Simpler, Clearer, Faster
  • Saved £42,000,000 in 2013/3 and they started late into the year
  • Highest priority is understanding user needs – it’s all down to understanding user needs NOT your needs as an organisation
  • Data is your friend – what to your users Google? what are the most frequent phone calls? With this data you can set your priorities
  • Following user needs enables you to choose which battles to fight
  • Data tells you the language to use, for example should a section be headed annual leave or holiday entitlement (winner from the data)
  • Tell stories – As I… I want to… So that I can…
  • Content designer encompasses more than being a writer
  • Create a style guide – plain English first, then the official term
  • If you can’t figure out the answer from the data ask real users
  • We aren’t just fixing websites we’re transforming government said Mike Bracken at Sprint 14

Ross Ferguson notes

  • His work was to change the culture and lead on organisational change – “but we can’t, I can’t, we don’t normally…”
  • Bringing the civil service with us
  • Always be shipping
  • don’t tell, don’t show, ENGAGE

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