• Returning to work, and balance in the day-to-day of family life

    A friend called me an inspiration this week, in the context of recent changes I’ve made in my work and family life, specifically a part-time return to work while managing a baby and toddler. The feedback prompted me to write this post. (Thanks, Rikki!) The topic of “work / life pressures on mothers and young families” has been done to death in general, but here’s an example of one way to balance things that is...

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  • First impressions of CGM

    “What’s CGM?” you may ask. Some new User Experience methodology, perhaps, or a research group exploring Web Science through some novel lens? No, CGM is Continuous Glucose Monitoring, whereby a device is implanted to get a stream of data representing your blood sugar level. As someone with type 1 diabetes, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in the past decade pricking my fingertips to extract a little blood and check my level. Recently, I...

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  • On Design Ethnography

    Long time, no post. I’ve not blogged at all about my recent contract work with a design agency / software house here in Vancouver – whoops – but indulge me in a few words about a fun talk last week: The talk was organised by the Vancouver User Experience Group and was entitled “Design ethnography in practice: How to do it, when to do it, and how to sell it”. Alas, an exciting bug in...

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  • Accessing public services: on phoning Southampton City Council

    This post has two audiences: those interested in usability of and access to local government services, and people specifically trying to contact Southampton City Council by phone. For the former, here’s a brief case study. For the latter, I have information that will help you! I needed to get in touch with the Council, but was routed through seemingly endless menu options when I rang. Inevitably, whatever option I chose, I was given a message...

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  • Life in Canada

    Back in the day, I moved from the UK to the Netherlands. One of the things I really enjoyed about this was the inherent change. There’s nothing like living in another culture for highlighting ‘unknown unknowns’: assumptions and ways of doing things that you didn’t even know existed. Like the Netherlands, Canada is not wildly different to the UK, although for different reasons. (NL and UK are both ex-colonial, historically sea-faring powers from a very...

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