Another three weeks have flown by and today I am celebrating my 20-week anniversary of writing week-notes 😱 An absolute game-changer for my brain so again, a massive shout out to Gaz Aston for getting me going on these.
Here are my top ten stories from the past few weeks ⬇️
Start your Monday with a Motive.
Every Monday at dxw, we have a quick-fire check in where the team share a picture of the weekend, one main goal of the week and something were looking forward to or fearing. The past few weeks have picked up massively with lots of new faces topped with a bunch of exciting, hilarious and heart-warming stories. We changed it up last week, changing the host and picture theme to ‘What makes you happy?’ — I cheekily said myself since I have re-discovered the value of self-worth, care, acceptance and love over the past few months 💛 Really looking forward to see how ‘Monday Motive’ progresses but so far, it’s been the perfect start to the week.
Working with Ofsted.
It’s been nearly a month since we’ve been working with Ofsted. We’ve spent a chunk of time running research sessions, facilitating co-creation time and really used our voice to shout about the power of design in not only improving a users experience but bringing the business together. This specific team have never worked with a service designer before so it’s been a real learning curve for me to take stakeholders on a journey through storytelling. I’ve done this by clearly explaining what each phase is about whilst subtly helping the team to feel confident in embedding these practices beyond our time with the client. There have definitely been some real fuzzy moments, but as with most projects, the amount of knowledge you’re left with is priceless. Really excited to have had another dxw service designer, Don, join me on the project too — two’s better than one ✌🏼
A new mentoring vision.
You know how much I bang on about mentoring so I am very chuffed to have become part of the mentoring working group at dxw. We are planning to launch a mentoring programme but how we exactly we do this, is something we are in constant discussion about — but how bloody exciting! I have soaked up years of experience being both a mentor and mentee within businesses, design, university and so on, so I was able to spend some time last week, presenting my experience and inspire the team on how we could potentially run this programme. Keep you updated 👀
Get yourself a dream tracker.
Growing up, I have always been obsessed with the Willy Wonkas, the BFGs and all the other films and stories that scream the power of imagination and endless limits of the world. If you have worked with me before, you’ll notice I always like to make things a little bit quirky (borderline cheesy) so instead of setting ‘goals for my personal development’, I’ve created a ‘Chan’s dream tracker’ trello board which is an iteration of the ‘Growth doc’ I wrote about in my last weeknotes. On here I’ve set some affirmations and visions for the future. Some of them have an end, but most are actually regular habits that I want to start getting into to enhance my career as designer (design disrupter to be specific). I can set myself weekly reminders PLUS it’s an amazing way to track progress and stay accountable with my line manager every couple of weeks. #dreambelieveachieve 💭
The #DCC is growing.
#DCC WHAAAT. The design community champions are growing here at dxw with two new members joining us this month. After an amazing workshop at our design forum, we got the input of the wider team and thought of three new ideas to implement in the next month including a lightning corner session, daily stroll slack channel and team huddle (crits). We have so much to think about like; What does success feel like? How do we balance video time with slack? How can we shout about stuff way before and after it’s happened? We plan to start discussing and sharing this kinda stuff externally soon, but in the meantime, any ideas or questions on ‘building design communities’, message me 📥
Team bonding is special.
Last week, I was invited to run a 15-minute icebreaker for the commercial operations team away day, and wow, it’s incredible how much you can learn about people in such a short space of time! I basically went around the room and asked everyone a random question, BUT they only had 20 seconds to answer it, so it was literally the ‘first thing that pops in your head’ type of vibe. I was heavily influenced by the ‘Pecha Kucha’ storytelling method when creating this but instead of presenting something, I turned it into a game.
I received some really heart-warming feedback from this. Firstly, it was the first time where the whole team were together in real life for the last 18-months so this was a great way to relax everyone. Secondly, a member of the team was upset at the start of the day but relaxed hugely after this and commented that if it hadn’t have been for this session they would have really struggled to stay. And that right there, is the reason why I do what I do 💛
Missed giving a facial.
Did you know that besides being a designer, I am also a trained facialist? Just before lockdown hit, I thought I’d take my obsession of skincare to another level and decided to go to a skincare academy and get a facial qualification. Not long after, I started a small business in my old Manchester flat which kicked-off and took up every evening of my life for a good year or so. Then the dreaded COVID hit which put me on pause for a while and I was no longer comfortable in letting clients into my home, especially around vulnerable people. Fast forward to now, since my work and other side-hustles take up the majority of my time, I only do facials for close family and friends on request — I did my first one to my bestie last week after so long! It felt so good, and even better when my clients see results 🌟
Cuppa coffee in Leeds.
I had an absolute rollercoaster of a trip to Leeds where slowly every single plan I had made, flopped, one after another. Train delays, air bnb scams and dinner cancellations just about touches the surface of this nightmare. Saying that, I managed to get out of the house and visit the Leeds office (even though I was the only one there) it felt good to be in a physical working environment. I enjoyed some time with old friends from university and of-course grabbed a cheeky eggs benedict at a quirky coffee shop called ‘If Up North’. Go check out my instagram reel here ☕️
Can you believe that I have only been trick or treatin once in my life? It was never a thing for us growing up but since I have a little 9-year old sister it is somewhat a thing now, which is cute. I didn’t actually get involved in it this year as I had other bits to do, but I did get my fashion hat on and style my sisters outfit and make-up. We then did a mini photo shoot where I got her into character — two minutes later, she was smashing up the door with a baseball bat 🤭 Calm down, Aaliyah.
Re-location, yay or nay?
I moved back home last November due to COVID to support family and save a bit of wonga, but after working and studying away for so many years, it was definitely a shock to the system. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful to be able to work from wherever I want and enjoy the benefits of home life, but there is something about my own space that I crave for everyday. Something is calling me up north. Maybe Leeds? Maybe Manchester? I am looking forward to reflect on this in a few months time to see if anything changes, but right now, a fresh-start smells like the perfect opportunity for the new year, wherever that may be.
Happy November ✌🏼