Week 27


Nate Langley
2 min readJul 19, 2019


Songs I’ve been listening to this week 👉 Week 27 🎧

A lot more conversations about more people and teams this week. Making sure we have the right people in the right place and that the people have the right place to do the work right. Phew!

I’ve been thinking a lot about how and where I spend my time. Like I have said in previous posts, I am responsible for the design output and the designers across 4 teams. These are Co-operate, Membership (including Digital Offers), Communities and Causes, and Health. They all have very different needs, designers and backlogs.

I work out how I spend my time using this checklist in my head:

  1. Team health — are the team happy or are the team working in an environment that design can flourish? Are the team working well with other disciplines?
  2. Design direction — is there an opportunity to push design? Does it need some direction?
  3. Design influence — is there an opportunity for us to leverage or showcase our ways of working?
  4. Recruitment — have we got the right people in the team or enough people to do the work?

It’s rough and rudimentary but seems to work. At the beginning of each week, whilst fretting over my calendar I go through this list:

‘Are people happy?’
‘What’s the backlog and roadmap look like? Do we need more people?’
‘Is it a customer-facing? How are users reacting to a new design?’
‘What are the objectives for the business here? Are they pressing?’
‘How is the product teams profile?’

Staying calm

I had some nice feedback this week, which I always react in the wrong way to (why can’t I take good feedback with grace? I mumble something incoherent about the team). I got told that I have a calming, unifying presence on a team and how could I build those behaviours into a team? I still think I’m too immature as a design leader to answer this, I can only think of my immediate influence. So if this is the effect I happen to have on a team I’ll keep that in mind and when conflict arises elsewhere. Not that it’s likely to happen every case!

I can try and be more present in teams and be mindful of that feedback. If I can be more like that and exhibit these behaviours within a team maybe that will be beneficial. Active listening has helped too. Lead by example and all that.

Design! Yay!

I did design a leaflet this week, which was fun. A small test for the Health team to see if a more personalised experience would improve sentiment. Can’t wait to get these in our packages.

Share and share alike

I have recently had the pleasure of sharing our work and workspace with other designers and thinkers. I love doing this so if you fancy a knowledge sharing tour, hit me up.

I need to take more pictures of things to make into a header for these weeknotes.