I am an experienced content designer and copywriter.

I have been writing professionally for most of my working life. I understand how user-centred design is better for the person using the content and for the organisation serving it

I am an advocate for end-to-end service design and believe that digital can not stand in isolation from non-digital interactions.


EXPERIENCE

June 2014 to March 2018: Content Designer at HM Revenue & Customs

Tasks

Write user-focused content for digital services in line with the Government Digital Service (GDS) Style Guides.

Achievements:

  • I successfully delivered clear, concise, and accessible content used by tens of millions of people on various digital services. Feedback from users shows that the content helps them to understand their Income Tax affairs.
  • I was a board member responsible for organising and delivering Content Conferences in locations across the UK.

August 2013 to September 2013: Digital Manager for the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office

Tasks

Manage social media accounts, write content for GOV.UK pages and other project-specific websites.

Achievements:

  • Working in a high-pressure environment at the heart of Government I successfully curated Facebook, Twitter and Flickr profiles managing content and monitoring feedback. When volumes of offensive feedback became extreme I implemented systems to automatically filter and delete offensive posts.
  • I worked with Twitter on the early stages of the globally successful ’Britain is Great’ campaign to understand how they could support campaign objectives.
  • I wrote the content for the Deputy Prime Minister’s project telling stories about how apprenticeships were helping the apprentices and the companies offering those apprenticeships.

January 2011 to June 2014: Content Designer at HM Revenue & Customs

Tasks:

Write user-focused content for a variety of HMRC projects.

Achievements:

  • I provided micro-copy for an HMRC income-tax mobile app which received praise of its ease of use from users.
  • Using analytics and feedback from users I successfully reviewed, planned and drafted VAT-related content, transitioning it from an old HMRC website to the new GOV.UK offering. I reduced thousands of pages of mostly unread content to hundreds of user-focussed pages written according to user-needs and in line with GDS standards.

April 2008 to date: Freelance Copywriter and Content Designer

Tasks:

Working directly with clients, or with marketing agencies, I write creative content and manage social media accounts for clients from sole-traders to large corporations, working to their tone of voice and brand guidelines.

Achievements:

  • My content increased membership for a newly launched East Coast Railways rewards scheme using persuasive language that explained the benefits membership brought.
  • I increased follower count and interaction with ‘influencers’ for two tech start-ups by writing and socially-sharing blog posts written to target those with an interest in the services the start-ups provided.
  • I have persuaded businesses to focus less on writing about themselves and to focus more on the benefits for those using their services or products. This change of style has resulted in better outcomes for those businesses.

Pre April 2008

Senior Business Analyst: HMRC Government Banking Project

  • I was responsible for analysis of 70+ IT Systems to understand their interfaces with commercial banking systems. I drafted the IT specifications to move those interfaces to new Government Banking providers. This was a time-sensitive Government ‘Top 40’ project. It had to be implemented without disruption to flows of money into or out of the Treasury. It successfully went live without any disruption or loss of funds.

Programmer

  • I was responsible for writing code in Sybase SQL to interrogate and extract data from an HMRC system holding the tax records of UK population. I worked with users to understand what data they needed and how best to present it to them in a way that they could understand.

Various IT-related jobs for DWP and HMRC

  • I was responsible for business analysis on a variety of major projects. I was responsible for drafting, discussing and getting sign-off on IT System specifications for these projects so that the project met time, cost and quality constraints.

Skills

I am:

  • proficient in user-focused writing
  • able to write in Markdown and HTML
  • IT literate across MS Office, Google Docs and other office software
  • familiar with Content Management Systems including those used by GDS
  • able to work as part of an integrated agile team or alone or remotely without supervision
  • can collaborate with others and persuade them of the need for clear, user-centred design and writing
  • able to undertake user-research and desk-research and use the findings to write better content that meets the needs of users in language they can connect with