Tom Ward by Tom Ward

Week 146

What do 1 x “Creatable 80-Piece Dinner Set”, 1 x “3M Command Hooks Value Pack - Medium”, 1 x “Bodum 1801 Assam Tea Press with Glass Handle and Stainless Steel Filter”, 1 x “Sanyo EM-G255AW 17 litre 700 watt Touch Control Microwave Oven with Grill” and 1 x “Premier Housewares Athana Stainless Steel 24-Piece Cutlery Set” have in common?

They are all things we’ve ordered from Amazon this week, to try and make our office a little more comfortable to work in. We now have enough cheap white plates and cutlery to open a small café. Not to mention pots and machines to make every caffeinated drink you can imagine (if you have a limited imagination). Personally I most looking forward to seeing what the “Fruit Bowl and Banana Hanger” looks like. Are the two combined in some weird and wonderful way?

When it comes to actual work, it’s been another big week working on gov.uk. We always try and get as much feedback from real users as early as we possibly can, so it was great on Monday to meet editors from several government departments for a show and tell. It was a valuable meeting. While they seemed impressed with what we’ve built to date, they didn’t hold back with their comments. We came away with a long list of suggested improvement, things we’ve overlooked and new problems to solve.

We’ve already added features based on their feedback, such as the ability to quickly publish content without having it reviewed. We’d assumed that most content would be written over a number of days or weeks, which will be true for the vast majority of thing. However, departments like the Foreign and Commonwealth Office often have to react to world events that change minute by minute. In these cases, they need to get news out fast.

Other things we’ve worked on include new filters for admins, being able to delete items (revolutionary!), and general admin functions. It’s all coming together quite nicely.

Finally, Friday was the last day for gov.uk in the ‘non-descript office building’ Hercules House. The team will be moving to Aviation House (opposite Holborn tube station), and we’ll be joining them (when we’re not in our own office). As usual, if you’re nearby, give us a shout.

All the best for the coming week,

Tom

P.S. Assignment of the weeknotes is supposed to be random. Our Harmonia tool chooses one of us each week to write a few words about what we’ve been up to. Yet of the 9 times we’ve written notes, I’ve been chosen 4 times. I’m starting to get suspicious. If I get chosen next week, I’ll be calling D.I. Ben Griffiths in.

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