Category Archives: UK

2 hours every 6 weeks, or why watching people use your thing regularly makes you a better designer/developer/product manager

At the Government Digital Service, we user researchers have a mantra: “2 hours every 6 weeks”. This means we expect everyone to attend 2 hours of user research every 6 weeks. This doesn’t have to be observing a usability session, or in-home interview (although that would be nice). It can be going to a research playback session, or attending a user research show and tell.

Even though we repeat this mantra in our training, and we have posters on our walls, it’s a really easy thing to forget to do. And teams I’ve worked in forget it all the time. In my experience, it’s not a natural thing to look out, to people outside the team. Teams have a tendency to look inwards, towards the centre, towards each other.

So I wrote a blog post to remind everyone, and to have something to remind myself of why it’s so important.

Government Content Conference: ConCon5

How do we measure if GOV.UK is any good? How do we measure if it is working for users? and if we’re getting better?

At ConCon5, I gave a talk based on the great Gerry McGovern’s method for top tasks. I proposed that we all need to share in some collective measures, that are focussed on the people who use our website rather than the output of the teams we sit in.