Communicating customer access

I’m at Channel Shift Camp in Birmingham today, organised by my good friend Nick Hill. It’s an opportunity for people involved in customer services in the public sector to talk about ways of delivering services using new channels, such as online. The point for organisations is that online channels tend to be a lot cheaper […]

Change is hard

It isn’t said enough, I don’t think, that change – particularly in big organisations – is hard. Really hard! If it wasn’t, it would be happening all the time. At events there are regularly discussions that go on along the lines of ‘my boss just doesn’t get it’ – tales of woe where someone wants […]

How to show utter contempt for your users

I was never a regular user of Whatsapp, the mobile messaging app recently purchased by Facebook for gazillions of dollors, but now I’m never touching the thing again. Why? Well, after a recent update, every single time I open the app, I am greeted with this: It’s an annoying pop up thing telling me to turn […]

Use what you already have

When planning a new project or activity, it’s easy to decide to get something new. For instance, you might see it as the perfect opportunity to buy a cool web service to help you deliver this piece of work. Or maybe you know that you could do a great job customising WordPress to do exactly […]

Loving lurkers

I couldn’t agree more with Mozilla’s Laura Hilliger: We can’t force people to participate, and if we really care about educating people, we shouldn’t try. We should build and design for the people who are participating, and we should be careful to ensure that the lurkers feel welcome. We should create safe spaces of learning […]

Embrace constraints

Sometimes it’s better to embrace constraints. Why not even invent some? Constraints don’t need to make things harder – they can make things easier. Why take a year to deliver something if you can get it out of the door in months? Constraints focus the mind, especially on what is important and what isn’t. Say […]

In praise of the clipboard manager

A clipboard manager is an insanely useful bit of productivity kit. It’s one of those things that you may not know even exists, but once you start using it, you can never go back. A quick reminder: the clipboard is the bit of memory on your computer (or phone, tablet, fridge etc) where the content […]

Find a problem, and fix it

There are a lot of problems out there that need fixing. Some are big, and complicated. Others are quite small, and simple. Why not try picking one of the small and simple ones, and fix it? Back in 2007, I started a new job in local government. I was a risk manager! I hadn’t been […]

Just what is digital, exactly?

I’ve seen a few comments bouncing about Twitter and other places debating the meaning of the word digital, and why it hasn’t caught on in some places at all. I’ve also seen some people saying that ‘digital’ is an unhelpful term, given the broad range of things it seems to describe. I’d agree that it […]