https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2014/04/30/just-doodling-telling-the-story-with-a-few-pen-strokes/

Just doodling: telling the story with a few pen strokes

One thing visitors to the GDS office can't help noticing is the colourful selection of cartoons and doodles stuck on the walls.

Paul Downey - just doodling

Many of them are the work of GDS technical architect Paul Downey. His witty drawings do more than just brighten up the office and put smiles on people's faces - they also act as useful reminders about the principles that guide our work.

Many's the time one of us has used one of Paul's drawings in a presentation, because they say such a lot with just a few pen strokes.

We thought it would be nice to get Paul in front of a camera and ask him where the ideas come from, and how the doodling began.

(This film is an experiment, the first one we've made about an individual, rather than about a team or a service. As always, feedback is welcome.)

Join the conversation on Twitter, and don't forget to sign up for email alerts.


3 comments

  1. Comment by Steve Ward posted on

    Excellent - illustrates how a picture is worth a thousand words. Not much room for large posters in our office environment so really like the use of post it notes. They are easily transferable to the 'post it patch' on our intranet site or just randomly appear on desks, walls etc.
    Also really nice to see the work of individuals rather than the big picture stuff (which is also good).

  2. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Hey Giles,

    You've got it all wrong. I'M the architect! 🙂 (and so so says everyone else).

    Did I point you at this one? It's one I always throw into the "architect" discussions. http://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/networking/19/314 There's always a schizophrenia between the content people, like GDS, and the guys who run the networks for individual departments. I really like Paul's doodle of the web. But that's a bit like considering the chassis of a car and ignoring the engineering of the engine.

    I was just revisiting what roles need to be assembled for "the team". https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/the-team Not a network guy to be seen. N.B "The working environment" graphic.

    Still, it is nice to see that no one gets fired for choosing open source rather than windows in your end of the world. Would you mind coming down to Aus. and converting a few CIO's?

    One doodle I could really use from Paul is something like this which has bubbles for all the individual departments, and then has an overlay of the (peer) groups which are working across/between departments. Slide 15. http://www.slideshare.net/mathew.lowry/do-we-have-an-eu-online-public-space

    You can see I've been having a discussions with John about 'groups'. This need for having a fixed place/environment for peer groups (like the inclusion guys and their peers) is going to become more obvious as time goes one. https://insidegovuk.blog.gov.uk/2014/04/03/your-new-favourite-group/

    It's a bit impossible to stay across the various topics that get scattered around these blogs when you're not taking note of design principle 8. Understand Context(s). e.g. This post needs "style content and design (group)" as metadata. If we are ever going to become able to keep content in COMMON contexts, it will be easier if we can get people to think in topicalgroups. And everyone will have a least of a few of them. e.g. Paul's context groups will be will be 'technical architect", "style content and design", "GDS", "doodlers" and so on.

    As Steve says, it's always nice to COMPARE the work of individuals. And comparing pics is so much more fun than just talking, especially considering the language challenge in the EU.
    Hasta Luego.

  3. Comment by simonfj posted on

    I thought you might like the doodles on this one. (the ppt). https://tnc2014.terena.org/core/presentation/11