What I got from the Content Design Academy

This guest blog post is written by Jonti Eccles. He is a content designer who took part in our first Content Design Academy.

As someone aiming to build a career in content design, signing up to the CDL Academy was something I gave a lot of thought. It sounded fantastic. I was excited by the opportunity to be taught about the content design process by Sarah and Hinrich, with all their experience and a fantastic reputation in the profession.

There were some logistical barriers. I was going to have to travel from Bristol to London and back once a week. Available transport options meant I’d get home around 1 am after each class. It was a significant investment, which as a freelancer it was up to me to make.

In the end, I just went for it. I realised I wasn’t going to get this good an opportunity to learn another way. It was an investment in skills and knowledge. It’s a decision I’m delighted with myself for making!

How I’ve applied what we learnt

Following what we learnt through the academy:

  • I’ve run a content discovery workshop for a client and co-delivered another workshop alongside a UX design team.
  • I’ve worked with clients to produce user stories and job stories for their audience’s needs.
  • I’ve produced content template documents helping clients to keep their content consistent and focus on needs.
  • I can contextualise the content and analytics data in more helpful ways for my clients.
  • I’ll soon be running my first content crit session with a client.

What I’m getting out of the course now

The biggest change for me has come from seeing a content design process through from discovery to production with a client. I can talk about that process with a lot more clarity. Advocating real investment in content design, championing user needs in client meetings is carrying more weight because of that increased knowledge.

I’m starting to find my feet with those ‘tricky conversations’ with stakeholders who are struggling to see the value in good content practices.

The community of support from content designers and fellow alumni of the academy has been amazing. I’ve never been on a course where the whole class were as enthused and engaged with what we were learning. Throughout there was a willingness to share and help each other get the best very out of it and that’s continued on since. In short, it was wholly memorable and valuable in lasting ways.

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