Weeknotes 2022 #4


Weeknotes #4 – One over twelve

Week 4 is done and dusted. Just a reminder that we’re almost 1/12 of the way through 2022.

Clearleft HQ and elsewhere

We wrapped up the immerse phase of our current project on Friday. Playing back everything we’ve learned about academic publishing, and the researcher discovery and access experience.

Dylan and I have crammed an astonishing amount of work into the last 14 days. We’re both looking forward to taking out foot off the accelerator as we move into the investigate phase for the next 3 weeks.

This week Clearleft welcomed Veronika, our new events manager, to the team. We have more new faces starting next week too. Exciting times!

Eairlier in the week Andy laid down a micro-mixtape challenge in our music-themed Slack channel: create a 5-track playlist that defines your taste in music. Although it was pretty tough to make my selection, mostly because Spotify doesn’t list my favourite artists or albums, I managed to pull together a second-best compilation along with Andy, Rich and Veronica. Listen to it at your own risk… 5ive (the unlistenable).

Track list:

  • Bragg – Melt Banana
  • Answers To Your Questions – Loose Fur
  • Small People – Wevie Stonder
  • amotherfucker – Amen Andrews
  • Cloudy – Kevin Drumm

I’ve been in the office this week enjoying the coffee and conversation. Discussions between Rich and I quickly turns to the topic of bikes. Exchanging war stories of riding the South Downs Way, especially the last 3 big climbs into Eastbourne, we got talking about one stretch of path that is particularly rough. Rich compared it to the Roubaix cobbles. He recommended the delightfuly sounding 1976 film A Sunday In Hell documenting the French Paris-Roubaix race and the notorious unforgiving stretch of the course. Lorenzo brought up the topic of reseach repositories that quickly turned into a very thought provoking discussion, a theme that I might use for my talk at UXCampBrighton this year.

We wrapped up the week at our all-hands Thursday afternoon meeting (TAM). Rebbecca and Chris arranged a hilarious food-themed Off Menu inspired quiz. I know my colleagues were into their food but this was another level.

UXup and beyond

It’s been a really fun week of supporting the UXup team by stepping in as co-organiser of the January meetup. Lorraine Heller treated us to a fascinating introduction to conversation design followed by a mini-workshop. I had a lot of fun pretending to be a voice assistant helping Luke make plans for dinner. It generated some really interesting discussion.

Here’s a few of the links we shared:

  • https://elliq.com/
  • https://voiceprinciples.com/
  • https://clearleft.com/posts/introducing-voice-guidelines-for-all-your-voice-ui-design-needs

We also discussed potential themes for talks and workshops at the upcoming UXCampBrighton. Jo raised the shocking and outrageous topic of dubious contractor contracts. I honestly had know idea how shitty they could get. I was genuinely shocked and appalled. Fiona was keen to explore how UX research methods could be used to understand the learning process. She shared some really interesting resources including Liberating Structure 25/10 and the Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation Model.

Fiona also made a great suggesting of a book swap. Keen to get things started I created an Airtable with some of my many books collecting dust. A few other meetup members have added their own books too. We’ve already got a great foundation to our community library.


I half overheard someone at Clearleft talking about Ikigai, the concept of finding one’s sense of purpose in life. Apparently there might be some Clearleft events news based on this so keep your eyes peeled.

Masami Shinoda’s album Compostela has been on my playlist a lot this week. It’s a really fun album, especially played loud while packing up the office.

Yanaka, a sector of Japan, is very close to being added to our itinerary of places to stay. An area of Japan that avoided being bombed during the war, it has retained a lot of it’s original buildings. It’s also home to Sawanoya Ryokan a beautiful traditional Japanese inn with a touching story.

Our copy of Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide arrived this week. A well researched and fascinating guide to Japanese folklore ghosts and goblins. Within hours my son had made a set of Top Trump cards based on the contents.

I finally got around to watching Audition, the Japanese horror classic directed by Takashi Miike. I meant to watch it as part of last week’s slow-themed content for it’s slow-burn structure. Remembering Miike’s filmography I wasn’t surprised by it’s grim content.

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