Open Thinkering


Weeknote 09/2021

Abstract image with concentric circles

This week seems to have gone rather slowly. It seems a long time since last Sunday afternoon when I launched, my new side project. I later found some time to refactor it down to a mere 6.6KB in size and change the default to dark mode. It’s a fun thing to work on.

I’ve worked more hours this week than I have since the pandemic started, I reckon. We’ve just finished Week 8 of the 11-week Catalyst project I’m leading, and Week 3 of the one of which Laura is in charge. Both have their challenges, I guess, but I’d definitely answer “yes” to my late grandmother’s question, “are you winning, son?”

I published a post on the Medium publication about the project I’m leading to help people be able to register more successfully for Universal Credit. We’re testing three prototypes, progress on which you can see below:

Screencast of three prototypes from ‘Sector Challenge 9: Claiming Universal Credit remotely’

It’s a pleasure working with the digital team we’ve put together. Dan, who’s organisation Bay Digital I’m partnering with on this project, wrote a post about the difficulties we’ve had doing remote user testing. I’m looking forward to writing the report when we’re finished.

I’ll give you three guesses as to what happened to my decision to give up refined sugar for Lent? Well, reader, I feel like my friends and family conspired against me; my co-op colleagues told me I was “definitely grumpier” and then my daughter, mother, and wife baked sweet delights on consecutive days that it would have been positive rude not to taste.

In addition, my back is hurting. I’m trying not to whinge and I really should seek some medical advice, but I’ve got all of the symptoms the NHS list of a slipped disc. I did go for one (what I’d be ashamed to call) ‘run’ this week, but then was popping ibuprofen like a junkie the next day. I exaggerate for comic effect, but something’s not right.

I’ve done a decent amount of business development for We Are Open this week, talking to people about blockchain, digital credentials, and getting their processes sorted out. I’m never quite sure where the next bit of work is going to come from, but it always does. I guess that’s what happens when you work as part of a talented collective.

On that front, we had a chat with a mortgage adviser this week about our options for moving house. We’re not entirely sure whether to stick or twist, knowing that we’ve got it good where we are for the moment. However, that’s likely to change for a number of reasons, so it’s just deciding when (and how) to make the jump.

Things I published this week:

Next week, it’s the Mozilla Festival. This is usually an event I’m excited about and enjoy the heady mix of meeting new people and ideas. I’ve bought a ticket and even helped Outlandish with the sessions they’ve had accepted. I just haven’t been able to prioritise going through the 500+ sessions yet to pick out the ones that I can attend alongside getting my work done. A first glance at the schedule suggests there’s a lot of sessions about AI and not loads on the open web…

Image by Adrien Converse

2 thoughts on “Weeknote 09/2021

  1. I also gave up refined sugar for Lent and it has been particularly hard now I’m back in school. Last night I dreamt that I ate some cake and then spent a good amount of time justifying it to the people around me. Even my sub-conscious is against me.
    The Universal Credit work sounds so important, pleased to hear someone good is on the case!

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