Following on from Charles’s great snapshot into interaction design at TPXimpact, I’m here to give you an insight into our approach to content design.
Content design is the newest discipline in our Design team. We get stuck into all kinds of projects across the organisation and — I like to think! — are breaking new ground in content design.
Our approach to content design
At TPXimpact, we see content design as a broad discipline.
We spend a lot of time working on ‘traditional’ content design projects — in multidisciplinary design teams, prototyping and iterating content for digital products and services along with interaction designers, researchers and service designers.
But we also (classic content designer bulleted list incoming):
- do some problem framing
- create and implement content design strategy (working out how content should be delivered in an organisation)
- incorporate elements of service design into our work
- work with users and researchers to test content and find out what language resonates with them
- train and upskill client teams and other designers in content design fundamentals
One of the great things about practising content design at TPXimpact is that we’re considered equal alongside the other design disciplines. This shouldn’t be novel, but it has been in my career so far!
But, as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. So it’s up to us as a community of practice (and as individual content designers) to define what our working relationships with the other designers on our projects look like.
We know that there can be a lot of overlap between content design and the other design disciplines. But instead of working in silos, we come together as much as we can to combine our skills and perspectives and — hopefully — design better products and services as a result.
What we’re working on
To give you an idea of the broad spectrum of projects we work on as content designers at TPXimpact I want to highlight four of the projects that are working on now or have been working on recently.
At the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) we’ve been working in Funding for the last year or so to design a service that makes it easier for people to apply for funding to improve their local areas. We’ve helped one major fund onboard onto this project — with more to come — and we’re now working on a new tool to help DLUHC employees assess funding applications more effectively.
Throughout this project, as well as working with interaction designers, service designers and user researchers to design and iterate a digital product, we’ve also worked with subject matter experts and funding teams to help them understand the value of using content design techniques to clearly communicate their policy to applicants.
At the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council, we’re designing the information architecture for a new council intranet. The project will bring together three different legacy intranets. The vision is to create a single, streamlined information service that helps staff understand the organisation, complete tasks, and discover relevant opportunities.
We’re also designing a publishing service for the new Greenwich website. The council is shifting from a comms-led publishing model to a content design-led publishing model.
The aim of this work is to make sure the quality of content on the website is maintained once it goes live. We're in beta at the moment, where we're piloting processes and governance models.
We helped Southwark Council change their content governance model from a centralised one where content designers took requests from service areas to make changes to content (which was taking up most of their time) to a decentralised model. In this new model, each service area has a dedicated content champion who is responsible for their website section, leaving the content designers to do light QA, and giving them the time to focus on longer term improvements to the website.
We piloted the model with an initial cohort of service areas — giving them training in content design fundamentals and how to use the CMS, and letting them work with the content designers on some initial improvements so that we could iterate the model before implementing it across the organisation.
We’re helping the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to improve their customer contact journey. This means looking at customer contact that currently takes place offline — usually over the phone – and seeing if those requests could be served with digital content or products.
We're also doing some exciting work with Defra’s interactive voice response system (IVR) — the recorded messages customers hear when they ring up. We're working to make sure the language used by the IVR and contact centre agents mirrors the language customers use to describe the way they talk about Defra services so that it’s easier for them to get help with their query.
What’s next for the content design team?
The above is just a small sample of projects we’re working on at the start of 2023. We work on a wide variety of projects and do lots of different types of content design across the public, health and charity sectors.
We believe in working in the open, and will be using this space to share more about the work we’re doing — from project shares to content design tips and reflections on working as content design consultants in the public sector!
If you’re interested in joining our team and making an impact, we’re currently hiring. Check out our careers page for information on what it’s like to work at TPXimpact, and get in touch if you’d like any more information on the role.
Our recent blog posts
Sharing our updated design maturity framework for government
An approach and tool for better understanding design maturity in organisations and teams.
Design team day - April 2023
How one of the newest members of our team experienced our latest in person design team meet up.
Attending EPIC 2022, and what we learned
Resilience: how the work of design researchers can learn, adapt and evolve in the context of adversity and changing conditions