Nigel Jones is one of our new trainers and is due to deliver our Manchester courses. He is the lead content designer for HM Prisons and Probation and has previously worked with Sarah on interesting and challenging user-centred content projects.
What’s your content background?
I trained as a journalist, that was my first love. I got involved with a local TV station in Manchester (run by the Guardian, called Channel M). And, because I could write, I was ‘given’ the website.
I’ve worked in web content ever since. I’ve run a start-up, worked in national and local government and in the private sector. I’m currently content lead at HM Prisons and Probation.
What do you like most about working in content?
Having to find stuff out. In order to do it well, you need an enquiring mind – because if you don’t understand everything: the context, the user, the goal, you can’t make it simple.
I also like making things better for people who need it most. Content design has taken me to places I never thought I’d go. I currently spend time in prisons talking to prisoners (my users) and have presented back findings to senior politicians who could make a difference. Whether it works or not is a different story, but I’ve been able to put the authentic voice of some particularly vulnerable people where it needs to be heard.
What’s your biggest content hate?
Getting the “we’re about to go live, can you just cast your eye over it and work your magic?” call. Firstly, I am not a magician. Secondly, I am passionate about content designers being included from the outset of any project. Including content design from the outset will benefit your research, design and build a better product. Fact.
What’s the best thing about Content Design London courses?
They now happen in Manchester.
(They’re also practical, realistic and inclusive.)
What’s your funniest content story?
I’ve written book reviews for The Sport.