Content Design

This course is for people who have some experience in writing for the web but would like a complete grounding in producing user-centred, evidence-based content. For an explanation about content design, please see Sarah Richards’ content design vs editorial blog post.

By the end of this 2-day course you will:

  • be able to write in a way that works with how humans read – the most efficient way of getting your message across
  • know how to find and use the vocabulary your audience uses
  • have different methods of creating very targeted, user-focused content
  • be up to date with the latest research on digital user-behaviour
  • know how to have tricky conversations with data (perfect for getting sign-off)
  • have techniques to work collaboratively with others

Day one

  1. Why call it content design – difference in formats, difference in skills
  2. basics: finding your audience
    1. find your audience’s vocabulary from your desk
    2. find your audience’s mental models from your desk
    3. using active language and other human-language behaviour
    4. formats – what to use and when to use it
  3. basics: page behaviour
    1. making titles work
    2. f-shaped pattern, scrolling behaviour
    3. structuring a page

Day two

  1. Content discovery: what it is, how to use it
  2. user needs: writing user stories/job stories – the difference between them and which to use
  3. psychology of reading
  4. pair writing – why do it and how it can stop arguments with lawyers/marketing/people with sign-off
  5. pull it all together and write
  6. content crits: why have one and we’ll run one
  7. evidence for not using jargon
  8. having conversations using data

Next open courses


18th and 19th April 2018
 Book Tickets for London 

01st and 02nd May 2018
Book Tickets for Manchester



What our customers say
  • “The course really met my needs. I found it motivating; I learnt from and enjoyed the pratical exercises; I felt reassured that my team are approaching content in the right way, and I questioned some of the things we do. Sarah’s style of delivery was accessible and approachable and made the course very enjoyable.”
    Ali StraekerRed Cross
  • “Sarah’s one of the best in the business." “Sarah truly believes we can improve lives with good web services, and her passion is infectious. You can’t leave her sessions and not feel like you can and must change the way things work. She’s certainly inspired me!”
    Persis HoweContent Community Manager, Government Digital Service