A few days ago Mike wrote a post about the prison visit booking system we're working on with MoJ Digital. He visited HMP Rochester, "This visit opened my eyes to just how hard people will work to cope with inadequate and unsuitable IT systems."
Leisa wrote a blog post yesterday about Joy and the huge notebook she has made to enable her to use the computer system she needs to do her job. Leisa writes "She told me that each time they upgrade the system it seems to get harder, not easier, to use."
It shouldn't be like this. You shouldn't have to write a book to help you complete simple tasks on a computer.
As we say in design principle number 4 "With great power comes great responsibility — very often people have no choice but to use our services. If we don’t work hard to make them simple and usable we’re abusing that power, and wasting people’s time."
This is true for more things than government. Making things easy to use isn't easy. But it's worth it.
Remember One Second Everyday? You take one second of video everyday and it stitches them together to make a little video. I started doing it a year ago today. I haven't done it everyday but I have managed 252 days out of 365. Not bad.
I'm glad it's over to be honest. The app is a bit crashey and seems to take up loads of memory on my phone. It's interesting to watch a year but I wish someone else had videoed my life. Inevitably the most memorable bits of the day aren't videoed. It works well when you're doing A Thing, like going to a football match, but it's not that great for everyday life.
You have probably seen but in case you haven't, Newspaper Club have launched a new thing. PaperLater lets you save the good bits of the web to print — so you can enjoy them away from a screen. It’s similar to ‘read it later’ services like Instapaper, Pocket or Readability, but delivered to your home in a beautiful newspaper.
It's a public beta and UK only at the moment, but go take a look.