Weeknotes 27 December 2019

By Matthew Solle on 28/12/2019 — 2 mins read

“Inbetween one place and another place. Inbetween where technology sees me and where I stand amongst the woods.”

I can no longer take a gung ho approach to sports and exercise. Eventually your age prescribes preparation. My first experience of heat exhaustion and meltdown by deciding to red route it in the midday sun without any breakfast. One word. Idiot. Meanwhile my son glides in turbo mode across red and black with his earphones dangling haphazardly. I’m going back to road cycling/

Working in government under the Conservatives has always been a slight issue for me. Always nagging in the back of my head. What would it be like doing digital stuff under a Labour majority? The new Conservative majority seems much more than a nagging problem/

I like buying books from Daunt Books. Drawn to books that end up as if a curated holiday read/

I’m not just writing it down like some cheap Borges trick but books are currently flowing into each other. From the caves, sinkholes, mountains and climate crisis foreboding of Robert McFarlane’s Underland to the caves, sinkholes, mountain sides and dysfunction and gruesome acts of Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God to the beginning of Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive your plow over the bones of the dead with more woods, mountains, vast open spaces and difficult men/

Sometimes you have to waver to realise you are doing a good thing. For the last almost three months I have been sticking to a non-dairy, no eggs diet. I’ve eaten meat a couple of times but didn’t really need to. This holiday away from home I’ve wavered and it has reminded me that choosing what you eat is a good thing/

The strongest form of defence is often silence. For every reaction there is a mistake. For every mistake there is a consequence. For every consequence there is a silence/

It is hardly revelatory but the majority of designers working within government who try to avoid or ignore the GOV.UK Design System – the type that find it too restrictive – come up with poorer and more unsuccessful outcomes. There, I’ve said it. The challenge isn’t to be clever or creative or god forbid innovative but for something you design to be usable. Properly usable. Getting designers to see the benefit of a design system is time consuming enough but the real challenge is educating business owners and senior stakeholders who are the people who ultimately benefit the most/

More and more I’m splitting people into two camps. Those that have fallen into everything they do. That have never chosen a specific vocation or trained or gone to higher education for a specific purpose. They have just ended up doing what they do by chance or circumstance. And then those that have always decided what they want to do, trained for it, educated themselves for it, and then done it/

Visited Zeitz MOCAA and the William Kentridge exhibition ‘Why should I hesitate: putting drawings to work’. Architectural phenomenon/

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Bright & Matt is a small product and design company working across digital transformations in government, non-profit and commercial with a wide range of experience in leadership, product management, interaction design, and user research