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Prototyping Weeknotes #12 (30/04/10)

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Chris Godbert | 12:51 UK time, Friday, 30 April 2010

Monday: Louise, the R&D librarian, comes in to explain their wonderful library system, how to order periodicals and abstracts, see our (small, very tech focused) book shelf, and introduce herself to our team. We take some colleagues from central FM&T through a prototype we built last summer - good to see the learnings are still useful. Tony explains his proposal for his project to be done over the 6 months he's attached to us - a cheap remote camera which could solve a real challenge being faced in production. There are a couple of major questions to answer before he can start scoping it, but it sounds interesting and is definitely a prototype.

Vicky, George and I are hard at work on the work plan for our section, to show R&D management this week. Chris N has made a couple of final changes to Coventry to get it deployed, so this should be ready to go live soon. Look out for a detailed blog post on the project. Chris B has done some work on fetching and displaying on-demand video for the multi-touch EPG work.

On Wednesday Ben, a final year student on the University of Northumbria's Industrial Design MA, came in to show us his project work on an intuitive TV remote control system. We grill him on some of the issues his work raises and see his physical prototypes. All good stuff. Mel from the UX team comes in to see our new multi-touch prototype in the afternoon, then it's back to the work plan.

We're making good progress looking at inbound links on the micro-blogs project. Sean's prototype is revealing some interesting results (especially watching Gordon Brown's mid-week comments zoom up the chart) which is being shaped into a simple information presentation. Chris N has started refactoring the ingest code to support the prototype.

Vicky and Theo have been out and about this week meeting lots of interesting people: Pierre in Vision who's working on a project about public artworks; Rob who's doing some work on Redux with the R&D Audience Experience Team; and a really exciting meeting with Nick Durrant and Gill Wildman from Plot to discuss their storytelling approach to service design. We hope to continue that conversation soon.

Sarah from the R&D press office is working out of our office on Thursday. Always good to see her, and we go through possible plans for a recent prototype, and discuss the concepts and possible press angle. We submit our slides for the big section review meeting tomorrow. Duncan has finished off the Dashboard spike and has integrated Anthony's work on train times; he's also started writing a document to understand what we would want from a Redux API. Next week he'll be starting the P2P-Next quiz sprint with Sam which is part of our June deliverables for the project.

It's Friday morning and we're doing a final run through of our presentation for our big meeting this afternoon. Chris B gives us a demo of what he built yesterday; a simple Flash and PHP-based audio ingest client-server chain for a wider R&D VoIP project (looking at audio contribution over the web) - amazing work for one day! No stand-ups this week (we've been distracted with lots of longer term thinking) but everything is on track; it makes me wonder whether we need them every day. Hopefully it will be more settled next week and we can put the focus back on our current projects.


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