Three months in the world of responsible tech

Joe Massey

As we return to the office after our Christmas break, I’ve been reflecting on my first three months at Doteveryone. Working at Doteveryone is so different to any other place I’ve worked, not only in terms of the type of work we do, but also in the truly familial nature of the office. I love working in such a diverse team, there are so many different ways of working, backgrounds, and frames of reference – it creates an inclusive atmosphere which in turn encourages innovative and exciting ideas. I’m learning so much, not only in terms of skills but also about myself and how I work. The first three months have been fascinating and hugely enjoyable. I can’t wait to get stuck into the next three. 

I have primarily been working on our Better Redress project which is funded through the Legal Access Challenge. My initial task was to write an evidence review for the project so we could understand the online redress landscape, and identify the gaps we would need to fill with our prototype. With this, I was able to get stuck into Doteveryone’s previous work as well as wider literature, and get  a clearer picture of the difficulties facing online users and in seeking redress when the online world fails to respect their rights. Adding in an open public consultation, and interviews with a diverse set of experts from organisations such as Facebook, the ASA, and the Legal Education Foundation, it quickly became clear of the need to remove the friction of standing up for your rights online and I’m excited to see how the prototype one-stop-shop we’re developing might help. 

One of the main things I’ve learned is about how to write in the Doteveryone way. Jacob assures me that having your first project returned to you covered in red pen is a rite of passage at Doteveryone, so I’ve taken the constructive criticism in my stride. Presenting our findings during a team meeting showed the truly collaborative nature of Doteveryone projects, everyone has their own unique suggestions to the same problem. The fact that these ideas are always heard, valued and often combined together is one of my favourite things about working at Doteveryone.

But it’s not just desk-research and report writing here. After having surveyed the landscape, Richard Pope, Service Design Expert, working with us on the Better Redress project, provided me with an invaluable introduction to user research. Through one-to-one interviews and workshops with members of the public, we were able to get a clearer picture of how the public act online, and what they might consider to be good redress in the online space. We’re now using these insights to help us build a one-stop-shop prototype for redress that will be truly useful to the general public and help build greater trust and accountability into the online platforms which have become so ingrained in our lives.  

Aside from this, taking over the Doteveryone Twitter account has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. Sharing our findings and engaging with other members of our community is a really important part of what we do. But on a personal level, acting as the voice of the organisation has arguably been the most difficult part of my internship so far – whether that be online or at events. Luckily, Hannah has been there to help with the most difficult scenarios, and I’m enjoying the challenge of broadening my horizons.

Now, settling back into office life at Somerset House for the New Year, I’m looking forward to getting stuck back in after the well deserved Christmas break and very much hoping the steady stream of homemade treats I’ve grown used to over the past three months don’t end now!

The annual Doteveryone Christmas Skate at Somerset House