Scroll welcomes new staff member Beck Thompson

First week at Scroll – introducing myself

This week, I joined the Scroll central team. I’ll be helping to look after Scroll clients and content designers, scoping out projects and providing editorial guidance and quality control – amongst other things.

I’m really excited to be doing this role: I’ve worked alongside Scrollies in content design teams, and I’ve also been a Scroll client, so I know how much expertise the team has. Now I’ve got the chance to be part of it and help shape what Scroll is doing.

Work in government content design

I’ve got 18 years’ experience in digital content. I was a senior editor on the Directgov website before the Government Digital Service (GDS) was formed. Then I worked as a content designer on the award-winning team that launched GOV.UK. After that, I became the GDS content lead for digital services, managing content designers working on 25 ‘exemplar’ services as part of the Digital Transformation Programme. I also led the content design work on the GDS Agile Governance Principles, which were published in the Service Design Manual.

Most recently I’ve been a content lead at Citizens Advice, working with a team to develop user-centred content for a website that was visited 36 million times last year by people looking for help to solve their problems.

A content geek at heart

I suppose I’m just a massive content geek at heart. I love taking complicated things and making them simple, or helping others to do that. I love championing user needs and talking to other people about digital content. It’s an exciting field to work in at the moment, with the opportunity to learn and collaborate with some brilliant brains – and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

Don’t miss this – advice, tips and tricks for content strategy and content design

Here’s what you might have missed last month while you were busy with Brexit and related drama…

This blog is a round-up of the best of the Digital Content Academy newsletter in June. The newsletter is itself a round-up of the best advice, thinking, news and events in content strategy and content design.

The newsletter goes out every second Thursday. Don’t miss out.

News, advice, thought pieces

Government digital needs you!
The Government Digital Trends survey shows that, while the digital transformation agenda is a growing force in government, lack of skills is a major blocker.

Data + narrative = user journey
This is a brilliant case study, showing how you need to understand the analytics and also the narrative, the story arc, if you really want to craft a journey that works for users. So imaginative.

How millennials behave online
Confident, error-prone, different to everyone else.

Practical advice and how-tos

How to do remote moderated user testing
Common excuses for not doing user research: 1. no budget 2. don’t know what to test 3. don’t know who to test it on 4. actually don’t really know how to do it. (If you want to keep using those excuses, don’t read this post.)

Link to 1 thing, once only
This is the user experience rule we probably don’t follow enough.

Google’s style tips for UI
Writing copy for user interfaces? These will really help you up your game. Sample: ‘Focus on the user and what they can do with your app, rather than what you or your app is doing for the user.’

Tools

Amazing visual search tool
We love this tool. It scrapes Google search suggestions to provide keywords, but powerfully grouped into question facets. And then beautifully visualised.

Exactly what people do on your website
HotJar is a brilliant little tool to help you (and your clients) understand how people are using your site. Heatmaps, visitor recordings, conversion funnels and form analytics. Free to try.

And finally….

Exit strategy
A level-headed look at why you need a strategy in case you need to exit a position – be that a CMS, a social media channel or, say, a political union of countries. Emphasises the need to plan carefully, to account for what could go wrong, and to be prepared to act if the worst happens. Deserves to be widely read.

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Sign up here for the Digital Content Academy newsletters, every second Thursday.