Last Thursday was No Email Day in ERG, the bit of the Cabinet Office GDS sits in. It's easy to mock such an initiative, but I thought it was great.
There is too much email in your life.
Whenever email goes down, or there's a powercut like there was when I was still at w+k, people are delighted to have the chance to stop emailing and get back to working. Here's what Neil wrote during the famous powercuts of 2010.
"It's amazing just how much extra time you have when there's no email."
It's easy to romanticise this too, clearly no email at all would be a massive pain in the arse. But less would be good. And mostly the problem is because we tend to use email as a task list rather than a messaging service. We should stop doing that.
Luckily GDS is already pretty light on email, there's certainly less than anywhere else I've worked. This is partly becuase the boss encourages us to "publish not send" and partly because we believe in sticking stuff on the wall.
Last Thursday I set an auto reply to say I wasn't looking at email all day and to call or come and find me instead. Worked a treat. I'm going to do it again this week. Maybe it will become A Thing and we'll all start to look at Thursdays differently, and more importantly start to use Thursdays differently.
A friend of mine has started a publishing company concentrating on books for kids. Or as they say,
"We produce books for babies, toddlers and children about the things we love – learning, stories and, most importantly, fun! We believe in a thing called quality – in making books that last longer. We integrate innovative design and editorial to create high-quality illustrated books. We make books we love and believe in."
They are looking for new illustrators and I thought some of you might be interested, if you are contact Phil direct - phil dot dauncey at reallydecentbooks.co.uk
On Tuesday night GOV.UK won Design of the Year. Which is pretty incredible. I've written about it on the GDS blog and you can see lots of the press coverage here, including an article from the Daily Mail which calls the website boring.com and Gizmodo who've redesigned the site as they imagine the Daily Mail would like it too look.
And here's what the Prime Minister had to say, "I am delighted that the GOV.UK website has won the Design of The Year award in 2013. This government is committed to being the most transparent in the world. For the first time, people can find out what’s happening inside government, all in one place, and in a clear and consistent format. It is just another example of Britain’s world class design talent standing out on the global stage; in this case helping to enhance the modern relationship between the public and government."
There is still a lot of work to do. As the boss would say - onwards!
I've not used the service in anger, but lots of people tell me it's very good.
I want to talk about the logo for a little bit.
It's great, isn't it? Simple, fun, tonally right. Works well on apps, on the side of cabs, on leaflets. The form does a reasonable job of describing the function. It even has a touch of humour about it.
I walked past a Hailo driver office today. That looked good too. There even looked like there was a place to get your cab washed out the back.
All good. Bigger brands could learn from this small one.