In 2018/19 I worked as a content designer in the RSA Digital team for 20 months. I worked on a home insurance transformation project, designing new and innovative content experiences for the personal insurance market.
I collaborated with a team of UX and UI designers, using tools such as InVision and Axure, to create content led designs based on user stories. I also worked with product owners, stakeholders and scrum masters.
Working with UX designers, I created content for a transactional journey that included:
- help text,
- error messages,
- field labels, and
- form validation.
Stakeholder approval and governance
I led the content creation and approval process from start to finish, working with both internal and external clients. This included six rounds of approvals with senior stakeholders and financial compliance teams. I was also involved in multiple usability testing sessions.
The examples below show the before and after versions of some legal terms and conditions, which I rewrote with a colleague. We used plain English and content design principles to make it easier to read and understand.
Brighton & Hove City Council
As the Digital Communications Manager of Brighton & Hove City Council, I was responsible for the content design and UX on the early stages of the beta site.
The aims were to:
- make council services easier to understand and interact with,
- create plain English content that was mobile friendly and significantly shorter,
- make the the calls to action more prominent, and
- deflect phone calls and increase self service.
Writing for the web, plain English & search engine optimisation (SEO)
My passion is for crafting well written, easy to understand, SEO focused digital content. This includes content for:
- social media,
- emails, and
I have a lot of experience dissecting complex, lengthy and wordy source material and turning it into concise, well structured and easy to understand content.
I’ve worked on many large-scale migration projects. Working for the faciliates management company OCS, I wrote content for a migration of all their global websites. All sites were written with plain English and SEO as key principles. These are three examples of the thirteen sites I wrote the content for:
I worked on a new customer help section for the MORE THAN website. Using call centre data, we discovered people often called up asking the same questions. The aim was to answer these questions online, allowing users to self serve and therefore reducing call centre traffic.
I have also written various content strategies.
- researching what customers are currently doing,
- analysing site data,
- researching competitors,
- writing reports for managers,
- writing a tone of voice and style guide,
- producing a content calendar,
- recommending best practices, involving what content types to use, and
- writing a governance document.
Innovation and embracing new technologies and new ways of working are two of the hallmarks of a good digital communicator. When I took over managing the Digital Communications team at Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), I introduced a range of new tools and ways of working.
I set up a trial of the work tracking tool Asana, aiming to introduce greater accountability and transparency of workflow through the communications team. I also introduced Trello, to allow for better project management in an agile environment, as well as Jira.
I also pushed forward a project to develop a new ‘beta’ website for the council.
I also encouraged team members to blog about the ‘Digital First’ programme. You can read my Digital First blog posts here.
Marketing, emails and newsletters
I have four years experience working in the marketing department of a large international insurance company, primarily on the MORE THAN brand. I have experience writing:
- enticing marketing copy, to maximise click throughs from affiliates,
- banner adverts,
- newsletters, and
I also have experience in SEO (search engine optimisation), analysing what people are searching for and skillfully working the keywords into copy.
I wrote monthly content for dynamic customer newsletters, with various content variables based on customer segmentation and data.
I also worked with the marketing team to write customer and non customer monthly email newsletters. This example of a customer newsletter shows how we:
- promoted the cross sell of other products,
- sold customer benefits, such as personal customer managers and discounts, and
- promoted social media platforms.
I studied for and passed my CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing in 2012.
I have a lot of experience working in an agile framework. I first used Agile at RSA, working across multiple scrums to deliver work in time batches of a few weeks using user stories. I really enjoy working in this way, as it allows me to work closely with and learn from colleagues in professions from front end developers to designers and analysts, as well as giving me the satisfaction of constantly delivering new work.
I also worked using Agile at Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), introducing the concept of regular usability testing to the digital first programme, so that the work delivered was truly customer focused.
Digital team management
At BHCC, I managed the digital team. I introduced regular weekly work planning meetings, monthly team meetings and regular one-to-ones, so that my team could work more effectively as a team, I had a better understanding of the work being done in the team, as well as having a closer relationship with me.
I encouraged my team to plan and lead meetings by rotating who led the monthly team meetings, as well as encouraging the team to work more independently on projects, so that our delivery rate improved.
Whilst I have skills and experience in digital communications and web content, I also have skills in UX. I ran multiple usability testing sessions with residents at BHCC. As we developed new releases, I recruited panels of residents. Recording sessions with ‘Silverlight’, I invited the business into sessions, so that they could see how their users interacted with the service online. I then wrote reports on the sessions to inform further digital development.
I also worked a a project to migrate adult social care content onto a new website My Life. This involved working with a panel of service users to usability test all our releases.
I’ve also run card sorting sessions to help inform information architecture restructures, as well as consulting online card sorting exercises and group discussions.
Managing the digital communications team at BHCC, I had responsibility for their social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook. BHCC had over 48,000 followers on Twitter, and I frequently managed the day to day answering of enquiries and proactive Tweets using both Hootsuite and Musterpoint.
For example, I led on developing all of the Tweets for the BHCC annual public health report, working with design to create images to be tweeted, and then reporting on the impact of the campaign back to the public health department.
For full details of my digital experience, please see my Linkedin profile.