Content Design by Sarah Winters

In the early 2010s, Sarah and her team at the Government Digital Service looked to user-centred design techniques to transform their content.

The team used this new approach to set out a system of content design in the UK Government’s content. In this book, Sarah explains what “content design” really means, and shares how to put it into practice in your organisation.

This book is short, lively and practical. Using real-world examples and imagined examples, it takes the reader through the content design process one step at a time, explaining everything along the way.

What’s in the book

Chapter 1: Why content matters

How content has changed recently, different types and what content design is.

Chapter 2: The science of reading

How we read, including eye fixation zones, memory and typography.

Chapter 3: Content discovery and research

Discovery is a technique to find out more about your audience, including how they speak and think, which channel they are on and what they need.

Chapter 4: User stories and job stories

There are 2 techniques for producing content in an agile environment. Both help you to produce really sharp, on-target copy. Whoever your audience is.

Chapter 5: Bring your organisation with you

Most of us don’t work alone. If we want good content, our organisation needs to understand why we do what we do. This chapter is about managing tricky stakeholders.

Chapter 6: Design content

Understanding how to display information the way the audience wants it at the time that they want it is the fastest way to successful content

Chapter 7: Writing content

Learn how to correctly use headings, writing and punctuation, plain language, emotional language and images for usability and accessibility.

Chapter 8: Pair writing

This technique can help speed up content production and sign-off. Pair writing with peers and stakeholders can take you a long way to faster content production.

Chapter 9: Crits

A ‘crit’ is a nickname for a critique of work. It is to move the product forward, build teams and work on style guides. It is never about the person; it’s only about the work.

Chapter 10: Finished pages

Throughout the book, we have used an example of a fictional company so you can see all the advice and guidance in action. Here, you’ll see the finished content.