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Hi I’m Alastair from Pilot Works. We’re a digital product and service design consultancy. We’ve been working with Bath and North East Somerset Council recently. They have a large website, with thousands of pages, that has grown organically over time, with each service area (e.g. Waste and recycling) looking after their own section of the site.

The result is a site that’s a bit like a poorly maintained garden. It has lots useful information, but it’s often buried under less useful stuff, or stuff that’s out of date. …

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Thanks to Steve Parks from Convivio for the image!

Hi, I’m Al from Pilot Works. We’re a consultancy specialising in digital product discovery.

We work across sectors, doing product discovery work, but also helping teams adopt best practice through coaching and training.

We are particularly in interested in the public sector and the way that the Discovery and Alpha phases are working in the development of digitally enabled government services in the UK.

So we went to UK Gov Camp and One Team Gov Wales recently and facilitated sessions to discuss how things are going.

Here’s what we learned:

Discovery remains undervalued and misunderstood by many stakeholders and sponsors

Again and again, we heard about situations where senior people had pre-conceived ideas and just wanted to get on with building them. …

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How to ensure your public service transformation gets off on the right foot.

Hi, I’m Alastair from Pilot Works. We’re a digital product and service design consultancy focused on the Discovery and Alpha phases of public service transformation.

We’ll be at UKgovcamp this weekend, keen to talk to others about their experience of these phases so we can continue to learn and share best practice.

We are also running a two-day training course starting March 21st on How to do Discovery for those planning a Discovery phase.

For now, here are some tips for anyone planning a Discovery. …

Although it seems counter intuitive, I think that sometimes it’s actively a good thing to ask users to spend some effort to do a task. Why? Because by spending the effort, they add meaning to end result.

As communication methods proliferate and it’s made easier for us to send messages than ever before, I have been wondering what impact that has on the meaning or interpretation of our messages. Then something happened to me which brought it into focus.

I go to a few Meetups these days. I used to go to a couple when I was in London, Minibar and Open Coffee. Nowadays I go to some in Bristol and Bath, including SWfounders, SWmobile and BathSpark. It’s good to meet new people and get a sense of the local tech scene in my adopted home. Just before Christmas I went to a BathSpark event and the next day I got an email from Meetup. …


Alastair Lee

Helping teams design products in tune with humanity. Co-founder at Pilot Works, a product discovery consultancy.

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