Week notes: 11 – 17 March 2024

Drift compatible, BFI birthdays, agile GCSE revision.

Cyberpunk 2077 is calling me so let’s crack on and keep it brief!

Work, work, work

Had Monday off and everything’s nuts so 4 days rattled by. Super productively though I must say (maybe 82% of 18-29 year olds are onto something?)

Tuesday featured our fortnightly Exec Board, and I worked into the evening on a fun collab with one of my Directors in pursuit of clarity and focus for her teams in the next 18-24 months. Love how well we gel! 

Animated gif of two people mind-melding in order to drive a giant robot, in Pacific Rim.
Drift compatible!

Related: people in roles we created to shift from projects to products and have each of the professions at least minimally represented in-house are now marking their 1st BFI birthdays. They’re all terrific colleagues and well bedded-in now with each other and the team, and adding so much value.   

On Wednesday I went to BFI towers for some in-person meets, including getting briefed on process for an ER case I’ve picked up (outside my own area). I’m always happy to do those – emotionally demanding as they can be – and reckon that’s partly cos the motivations are similar to user-centred digital work. Gathering and weighing up evidence with empathy and objectivity, and whittling away at what’s salient is kinda like product management detective work, five whys, double-diamonds etc. Similar vibe.

Later on Wednesday a thing made me apoplectic. This TikTok calmed me down, as did walking over to BFI Southbank for the opening night film of Flare. The atmosphere of joy and solidarity at this festival, and the care and personality the programming team brings to it, are pure magic.

On Thursday I cleared my day to just get shit done. I fed in thoughts instead of joining a workshop on the potential for a future rebrand of BFI Player (we’d posited “BFI+” in the strategy which made a good PR hook and clear funding proposition – but now need to test and think it through properly). I’ve got strong opinions, but they’re loosely held so I’ll respect the outcome of evidenced thinking and help hold back the HiPPOs (mine and others’).

We made good progress towards forming DTAB – (that’s the inevitable initialisation of “digital transformation advisory board”, didn’t take long!) Having weekly check-ins on this to stop it falling foul of everyone’s busyness. 

Cybersecurity (plus cloud, SAM, tech controls) is going to remain a major focus for the next couple of quarters. The British Library report is incredibly helpful reading. 

It’s not all work, work, work

Pleased to have my wife back from Austin, Texas. Not least cos she brought me some cool SXSW socks and these hot sauces.

Box of 5 varieties of yellow bird hot sauce. In a box with bright yellow branding, with funky typography in black that says "yellow".

Dylan got his GCSE mocks results – all 7/8/9s. Amazing, diligent boy. Of course he now feels the pressure to do it again for real. Went to a parents’ briefing on exam prep and stress management – mostly parenting 101 stuff – but there was a cool thing about the retrospective revision timetable method. It entails planning as you go (as opposed to up front) based on your constantly evolving understanding of what your biggest knowledge gaps are. It doesn’t get much more test and learn or test your riskiest assumptions than that! 

Joel has been learning BSL from a friend who is a CODA, and loving it. I’m tempted to get him lessons – and to go with him. 

I’ve made a start on judging the BIMA 100 Tech Pioneers. What it mostly makes me feel is we’ve got SUCH a high calibre of talent and principled user-centric culture in the public sector. You forget it’s not the same in all sectors.💪❤️‍🔥

We made a pilgrimage to Belair House down the road cos we spotted it’s the location where Keith collects his private school chauffeur client in S2 of Marion and Geoff. (We just finished showing that to the kids. Wanted to do Car Share next but it’s not on any streaming platforms, boo).

Still image of a scene from TV Show Marion & Geoff. Keith is behind the wheel of a parker car. Outside the car window is a large dog, and a large posh white house.

🔎 Found, interesting 🧐

Doing Weeknotes is brilliant.. 

“At the moment we are designing our public services like an iPad. Functional but good luck if you want to understand the rules it runs on.” says Richard Pope

A quartet of links that go nicely together:

“The 3 core user-centred design disciplines (research, content and interaction design) are 60% the same job” says Kate Evans

Comparison of decision-making models (links at the bottom to the models).

Via Oliver’s weeknote Transforming a Museum Through Product Management 

Oliver also sent me this great thread on people being fascinated to learn some people (like me!) have no inner monologue. My thoughts aren’t entirely wordless (I hear words when I read, and if I’m actively thinking what to say/write). But the rest of the time it’s all pure concepts, no words, no images. 

Further to Lou’s post, here’s Katherine Wastell on Is it a product, is it a service…? No, it’s a platform (via PFAF) and Lauren Pope on content service thinking.

Mat Johnson’s weeknotes are dead good. This one has a triple diamond for the decision process made by users of complex (health) services.

A couple of really juicy bits in Steve Messer’s latest post too – the bits headed “the framework” and “be the bridge”. I scrapbooked the latter for keeps.

Listening, watching, playing, reading

📽️ Juno. Dylan’s film teacher suggested he watch this for tone inspiration for his coursework. My first full watch-through too. I loved it, but not the unrelenting indie soundtrack. Coincidentally Elliot Page was at the BFI this week with his new film (didn’t go but heard great things) and a career talk.

📽️ Layla. Flare opening night. Engaging and joyful.

📽️ Almost Famous. Bit heavy on the manic pixie dream girl, but full of real heart – and that brilliant truth-bombs scene on a plane. 

📺 Finished The Jinx with the kids, and their reaction to the hot mic “the burping” bathroom bit was everything I’d hoped it would be. 

📺 The Murdaugh Murders. 

🕹️ Cyberpunk 2077 in every spare moment.

🎧 Nonplussed by the new Four Tet album.


“A man in Detroit has been arrested for masturbating in a screening of ‘LOVE LIES BLEEDING’ before falling asleep with his penis exposed.” [Twitter/X]

Why can’t I sleep? [TikTok]

Hyped for Hyperia at Thorpe Park. Here are videos of its unique design elements and the final piece of track being built [TikTok]

Toodles! Thanks for reading 🙂

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