It’s coming to the end of my first month working as a Content Designer in the Welsh Local Government Digital team, and after a few weeks full of introductions, training, reading and generally getting up to speed, I wanted to take stock of what I’ve learned, and look ahead to the future.
First though, a bit about me. In my role I’ll be working on specific projects as part of the WLGA’s multidisciplinary digital team; you can read more about the kind of projects the team works on elsewhere on this blog.
I’ll also be advocating for content and content design across the whole of local government, helping ensure the right skills, networks and initiatives are in place for us all to succeed.
While I could (and probably will!) talk about the importance of good content all day, there isn’t space in this post and there are many resources out there that explain things brilliantly. The Government Digital Standards has a fantastic introduction to Content Design, and the Content Design book from Content Design London is another great starting point.
At its heart though, content is the foundation of every web page, every service, and every interaction between government and its citizens. Your users will need content to help them achieve their goal, whether it’s finding out information relevant to them, or completing an important task.
Good content can make this experience intuitive and effortless, while bad content causes confusion and stress. That’s why local authority digital content and services need to be as good as they can possibly be.
Being the first dedicated content designer in local government in Wales, I’m excited about the opportunities on offer – but I don’t want to be the only one of my kind for long!
I’m hoping we can build a network of people interested in content design – whether it’s in your official job description or not – to share best practice and feedback, and raise the profile of content across the board.
I’ve been so inspired by the fantastic communities already established in the local government space, as well as in public sector digital more generally. What has struck me most in my short time here is the creativity and innovation on display, and the passion and commitment to making things better for citizens.
It’s also amazing how open everyone is with sharing what they’ve learned so that others can benefit, through communities of practice, webinars, show and tells and blogs (just like this one).
Of course, I still have lots (and lots) to learn as I continue to immerse myself in the world of local government and digital service design. To that end, please do say hello if you see me on a call or in a chat, and feel free to send your experiences or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or @emmwillis on Twitter. Just be prepared to help with some of my newbie questions in return!