A Slack for ResearchOps: why and what next?

This week, I had a spontaneous idea: to start a ResearchOps Slack.

I started the Slack because I wanted a community where we can all share and formalise the knowledge we’re developing around helping user research teams operate maximally and efficiently at scale (AKA ResearchOps), a need that’s growing as big in-house user research teams become more commonplace. The ResearchOps Slack has been up and running just a few days and we’ve already got 180 members. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one feeling the need for community. Read More

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A blog post about user research in an R&D environment

BBC R&D blog post: User research in an R&D environment

I’ve been so consistently busy working for clients over the past few years that I’ve found very little time to write, which is a pity because there’s always lots to share. (Though I’m ever grateful for the consistency in client work.)

I recently completed a two-year stint working on an editorial algorithms project with BBC R&D; as my last task for the team, I wrote a blog post about what I learned working as a user researcher in R&D. It seems a good idea to share the post here – for one thing, it proves I’m still alive and working! And so, here it is: User Research in an R&D Environment.

Outside of BBC R&D, I’ve recently done some copyediting for A Book Apart, which was fun, and I’m currently doing user research in the pharmaceutical industry (Pfizer specifically) for Aktiv Research. Never a dull moment.

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Musings: a year’ish on from The DO

The DO 2016

Thanks for the image @Timleroyis

This is one of those blog posts that I wrote, didn’t like, and never published. I’ve just found it, reread it and thought that it wasn’t too bad afterall. It’s almost an entire year since my first (and thus far only DO) but I feel the words are still true, so let’s set them free.  

The DO Lectures is a super-special unconference set in the rolling hills of South Wales, UK.

Read More

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2014 – 15: What I’ve been up to at GDS

GOV.UK

I’ve been quiet (blogging wise) over the past year. It’s not because I’ve had nothing to share. Quite the opposite in fact.

I’ve been really busy doing two things:

  1. Working for Government Digital Service (GDS) – which is why my writing style is significantly more terse than it used to be. (I think that’s a good thing.)
  2. Hanging out with really brainy and out-the-box thinkers at BBC R&D, where I do stuff I can’t talk about and which is fantastically interesting.

But I can talk about GDS. Read More

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A content strategy clarion call: get out of the sidelines and onto the field

a rugby game

I was blessed to work on a project last year in which I was hired as a Content Strategist and yet made no documents. Not one.

Instead the entire project was about balls-to-the-wall making, coding and breaking. It was strategy in the midst of a muddy game, I guess. Whatever it was, I’ve not been the same since. In terms of finding projects that are truly going to satisfy me, I’m near ruined. I’ve tasted the nectar. If you’re a Matrix fan, I took the red pill. Read More

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Down gizmos: a wee rant

multi-electric-vibrator

In our very clever digital age of apps-for-everything it can be tempting to hook ourselves and our clients up to magic and cure-all wonder-machines.

As digital makers we have a plethora of gizmos and gadgets at our disposal to help people and teams get things done more efficiently, creatively and perhaps more delightfully. Read More

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Content strategy for startups: blazing a new trail

Wright brothers take flight.

During the first half of this year I was contracted to develop a content strategy for a newly formed organisation. I say ‘newly formed’ in that at the time of starting the project I didn’t know very much about the client and, bizarrely, hadn’t quite wrapped my head around the idea that they were a startup. Read More

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