The permit’s in the post

The question of whether there should be a local version of the Government Digital Service rumbles on. I wrote about it a couple of months ago, and lots of other people have too, most of them far more expert on the question than I am. That amounts to a lot of well-informed and passionate commentary, […]

Imagining the future

There is a lot of pseudo-scientific claptrap published about the future. There are people who carefully extrapolate trends, construct complex scenarios, weight many outcomes, some of whom necessarily get some things right through sheer chance, but many of whom appear to rely on nobody checking back from the future to see how well they did. […]

Nativity scene

Harry has a new baby. The baby needs a passport. Or does she? Just used for reals to look up passport requirements for #baby. All questions answered quickly & definitely better than the booklet — Harry Metcalfe (@harrym) November 27, 2012 It is easy to be swept away by visual design, by clarity of […]

Alpha conversation

This is how conversations work, or rather how one conversation played out on twitter this morning. Tricky subject, no right answer, constructive discussion.* But perhaps most important of all, those issues are being discussed in public for a government proof of concept which hasn’t yet even been launched. It is that which is more radical […]

Blurred reading

When I was 17, my first proper paid job was in the public library just down the road from the Elephant and Castle. It was the first time I had come across large print books. They had their own section, and there was a huge demand for them. But though it was much more intensely […]

Reality distortion fields

Every person and every organisation has some form of reality distortion field. Some are more severe than others, and according to Stephen Toulouse, Microsoft has a particularly severe version of the problem: The Redmond Reality Distortion Field: The field that influences Microsoft employees and product designers to make wildly incorrect assumptions on the use of […]

Design Jam

I have written a couple of times about the gap I see between the brilliance of hack days, as exemplified by Rewired State, and the need to build customer needs and user experience into the mix: These projects can get off to a great start using their originators as their own use case, but they […]