Week 64

We released unified search this week. On Monday, we made it the default search option in our preview environment, and on Tuesday I released it into production. As we’ve actually been releasing it to production regularly as we’ve gone along, hidden behind a feature flag, this week’s deploy was all rather straightforward. So far, we’ve had some good feedback about it. Ben wrote a blog post which goes into a bit more detail.

Later this week, I picked up a piece of work to build a basic user interface for the new Search Admin app. The Search Admin app is going to manage ‘best bets’ - items which we force to the top of search results for particular queries. I gave it the regular Bootstrap treatment, and then added some validation on the main attributes for each 'best bet’.

I went along to observe some user research sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. These were the first to use the brand new user research lab that’s inside our office. Despite it being very warm, and pretty busy, it was great to be able to drop in to observe for an hour without having to trek over to Shoreditch and back, as we previously had to do.

And I was on the other side of user research on Saturday, when I took part in the final testing trial for Heathrow’s new Terminal 2. I assumed the role of a passenger departing for Alicante, and then a passenger arriving from Copenhagen. Later on, it all got a little bit chaotic, but overall it was fascinating to get an insight into how such a huge piece of infrastructure gets put through its paces.