Change and grow

5 years ago I wrote ‘It’s time for something new‘.

I’d decided to leave traveljunction and join the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) under Ben Holliday’s design leadership.

At the end of my interview with Ben Terrett and Ben Holliday, I made my intentions clear.

Ben Terrett asked if I had any questions.

I turned to Ben Holliday and said “Only question really is when can I have your job?”.

To this day joining DWP Digital and asking that question has been the best decision I’ve ever made.

Within the last few days the design team reached 60 people.

Supporting the team with their skills growth and personal and professional development has always been first and foremost in my list of duties. Serving them has only multiplied the effect of embedding user-centred design.

An anniversary and time for change

August this year marked my 5th year with the Department. For the last three years I’ve held the role of Head of Interaction and Service Design.

Friday was my last day as Head of Role.

All the reasons why I joined the Department are still right and true to me. I still believe designing for user needs and supporting design strategy in DWP is the right thing to do so I’m joining an area called ‘Shared Channels Experience Directorate’ as the Design Lead. It has a large remit and needs to undertake some of the most important work for years.

Ultimately the new role brings accountability for design strategy, building the design team, and creating the design standards for all areas encompassed in the Shared Channels work.

The ‘Head of Role’ role has significantly changed in the last couple of years. It has reduced accountability in terms of design strategy and over time I’ve began to miss it as it’s something which is much needed.

The Team

DWP Design Meetup in 2019

I’ve been involved in almost every hire we’ve made as a design team and I can remember every interview. An incredible team has been assembled to do great work and as much as I’ll miss being their Head of Role, I’m excited for what the possibilities are in the new work.

I’m excited to get back to the practice of design. The doing. The actions. The outcomes.

I’m most excited to share the work – it’s something I’ll become vocal about once more very soon.

I can’t wait to share a new journey.