James is a content designer, editor and writer. He is an advocate of Plain English standards, the GOV.UK Digital System (GDS) and its style guide.
He uses iterative and agile methodologies supported by tools such as Confluence, Information Mapping®, Jira, Slack, Teams and Trello, as well as content management systems such as Jadu, WordPress/Gutenberg and GatherContent.
He is currently designing content for the Scottish Social Security Directorate.
He has also, recently, designed the content for:
- Borough of Broxbourne Council
- Welwyn and Hatfield Borough Council
- UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS).
James began his career as a technical author in 1986, writing support documentation for air and sea radar systems. He worked on the internet backbone writing user content for Packet Assemblers Disassemblers (PADs) and was in the first cohort of writers to develop information on an HTTP server using the hypertext markup language (HTML) – the early World Wide Web.
He has written content for SAS Airline’s aircraft handling procedures, and designed the information architecture for MyYahoo, Taste for Wine, World Wide Fund for Nature and the Chase Manhattan Bank. For three years he ran a User experience Engineering Practice and has worked as an information consultant with the NHS, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
You can find more information about his content work by viewing his LinkedIn profile.
What does a Content Designer do?
James works with public sector and not-for-profit organisations, typically on either their user journeys or tone of voice and style guides. Such content might include location assets (posters and screens), information on web pages, forms, notifications such as letters, SMS and emails, or operational guidance.
In all cases the job of a content designer is to help audiences do what they need to, in the easiest, clearest, fastest and most accessible way as possible. The content must be consistent, appropriate, structured and precise. And above all else, it must be wholly centred on the people who need to use that content.