Stephen has been working with us for a year now and has been working with Sarah for over a decade. This month, Stephen will be running his first public course (he runs our bespoke, in-house courses most of the time). We thought you might like to meet him.
What’s your content background?
Workwise I started off with books and publishing. And I’m not going to say how long ago that was. But I will say it’s where I learnt the value of good content – its structure, scope and above all purpose.
I was lucky enough to be a part of the gov.uk story and have been designing and managing content for public / private sector projects both large and small ever since.
What do you like most about working in content?
When you take something that’s complex, a muddle or simply not working as well as it should for the user and turn it into an experience that is simpler, easier and better. And user can mean the people consuming the content or creating it.
My mantra: as far as the user is concerned fairy godmothers do exist. Nothing is too complicated, difficult or precious that it can’t be improved.
What’s your biggest content hate?
Content that’s just crap – may I use that word? If not then, content that’s unhelpful, unclear and unnecessary.
There’s a never-ending list of whys but the ones that make me wish I were a more violent person are:
- content is just the words
- we’ll write it at the end
- anyone and everyone can do the content
No, no and no.
Content is the user experience as much as design.
Content designers must be a part of the process to understand users – their needs, journey, beliefs and motivations – so that the right content is served at the right time and in the right way.
Content designers create the content but everyone can input into that process.
What’s the best thing about Content Design London courses?
I get to share our knowledge, skills and experience with people so they can make a real difference to users and the organisations they’re working for.
What’s your funniest content story?
My hiding people’s laptops so they couldn’t write anything. It seemed to ram home the point that first and foremost we take the time to understand the what, when, why and how before those arpeggios fly across the keys.