https://dwpdigital.blog.gov.uk/2019/08/29/returning-to-dwp-digital-things-ive-learned-in-my-first-month/

Returning to DWP Digital: things I’ve learned in my first month

Image of Mikey Cattell outside the Leeds hub office
Mikey

In June I returned to DWP Digital after spending almost 3 years working as a digital designer at Sky Bet in Leeds.

My previous stint for DWP Digital at the Newcastle hub was one of the best times of my career, working with some of the best design thinkers in the north east – most of whom are still there. Working as part of a proper multi-disciplinary team really made me up my game and pushed me further in my career than I could ever imagine.

Sky Bet was a great place to work, but I always missed designing ‘for the people’ and delivering things that are needed, as opposed to just wanted. In short, I missed making a positive difference.

Focusing on making thing better

Working in government is challenging yet motivating. Our focus is on making things better, working out in the open and collaborating as part of a team.

My current design team at the Leeds hub consists of content designers, interaction designers, service designers and user researchers working closely with product owners, engineering colleagues and business analysts to improve DWP’s digital services.

Mostly I really enjoy the challenge; speaking to people of all differing skills from different parts of the business, presenting to stakeholders and giving them the data they require, and working in a proper agile environment.

And the challenge is made much easier as I’m surrounded by people I can trust to ask questions and seek advice from.

Our purpose sets us apart

The set up at DWP Digital varies a lot from Sky Bet. For example, at Sky Bet, User Experience is labelled as a job title, a ‘thing’ exclusive to designers or experience architects, whereas here it’s seen as the responsibility of the team and should be vested in everything we do.

Also there’s a huge difference in the size and purpose of the task we have in DWP Digital. It’s often said that the most important project of your career will be at DWP, and a couple of months back into it, I agree with this. The project I’m part of will affect many millions of people’s lives.

I enjoy knowing the work I am doing is giving people hope, making their life better - this was a major reason why I joined the team.

So far, so good

Am I enjoying it? It’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot.

It’s very different from my previous roles (removing previous DWP experience). One thing I noticed on my first week back was the amount of intelligence that is in each meeting. It blew me away when I took a step back to listen to what people were saying and sharing their experiences. It validated my decision to join and really makes me want to step up and share more about my design opinions, whilst hopefully adding value to the team.

It’s an interesting and progressive environment, one where I’m fully motivated to become a valued member of the community and really help grow the value of the design practice.

If this sounds like the kind of place you’d like to work, check out some of the roles we currently have available on our careers website.

You can also stay up-to-date with everything that’s happening on our Twitter channels @DWPDigital and @DWPDigitalJobs, and on LinkedIn.

Share this page

Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.