S01 E03 – week ending 11 February 2018
I’ve been thinking a lot about the neutrality of user experience over the last week – the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ of user experience is more personal than it is production. Some of this has been around the casual language attached to ‘doing the UX’, ‘UXing the thing’, ‘ready for UX’ which negates this neutrality and assumes UX is an improvement after the design of the thing, not an intention made in the design. It seems like such a small thing, but sometimes noticing the semantics can help unlock a greater understanding.
I’ve also been thinking about the responsibility of specialists in seeding culture change and transformation – that we not only have the responsibility to inform stakeholders but to guide them in making good decisions for a channel they may not personally be experts in. Guiding good decisions in the digital channel and for digital customers is part (small as it may be) in helping organisations become more digitally mature and the best guidance helps to shape a consistent experience across channels, optimise in specific channels, and meet business requirements to boot.
Both of these thoughts put me in mind of a post I wrote four years ago – about the Cookie Monster and the Cargo Cult – and all the reflections come back to the importance of understanding beyond your UX / digital team on not just the what, but the why and the how of what is being aimed for.
Journalism and writing
This week hasn’t had much space for writing – a few interviews for Storge (Mayor of Derby / The Beyond frontman John Whitby, street portraiture from Carl Bull, and the experimental noise of Biscuit Mouth), and a first piece for a new-to-me publication. Always great to see a new issue of Louder Than War magazine get ready to hit the shelves too – this one has my interview with The Spook School and reviews of the Pearl Harts and Dream Wife amongst its pages. Find it in WHSmith or pre-order online here.
I’m slowly working my way through a literary / plot edit of my second novel and its fascinating (to me) how much of the story I’ve forgotten writing. I find myself pre-empting dialogue but not so much the twists and detail of the story, and what I’m really glad to find is it excites rather than drags me to the finishing of the third book. ICYMI – the books are a trilogy and the first instalment is out this year.
This week the nu-gaze duo I am in – SeiSui – released the first track from our forthcoming EP. Long Road Home is the first track we’ve put out in a while and featured guest vocalist Hannah from Dactylion, a brilliant band signed to our label Reckless Yes. You can hear it on Bandcamp here or watch our video here. I’m working on lyrics in a more focused way at the moment but as always the creativity has started to bleed, and ideas for other projects are nudging in around the edges.
We’re also in the planning stages for another release through Reckless Yes so this week has involved matching production and communication plans, and starting to map out the channel plan and specific activity.
I’m looking forward to my first LocalGov Digital Unmentoring call in ages and chatting with my random pairing and I’ve also got another day out this week with Dan Slee and Comms2Point0 as we deliver another sold out Essential Digital Skills for Comms workshop in Leeds.
It’s also the kick off for the next two Reckless Yes campaigns this week so looking forward to sharing music and news from two very, very special artists. And we’re in the planning stages for a special project for the label (as well as the aforementioned next release) so we’ll be having some conversations around that.