© Crown copyright 2019
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/content-designer-skills-they-need/content-designer-skills-they-need
This content is part of the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Capability Framework which describes the DDaT roles in government and the skills needed to do them.
1. What a content designer does
Content designers are responsible for creating, updating and reviewing content around the end-to-end user journey and are comfortable using evidence, data and research.
They build relationships across government to focus on the needs of the user and to influence stakeholders. They contribute to and use the style guides and design patterns.
2. What skills they need
A content designer needs specific technical skills.
All roles have essential skills, and some have desirable skills.
Each skill has one of 4 skill levels associated with it:
2.1 Essential skills
|Skill||Description of the skill||Skill level||What the skill level means|
|Stakeholder relationship management||Identifies, analyses, manages and monitors relationships with and between stakeholders. Able to communicate with stakeholders clearly and regularly, clarifying mutual needs and commitments through consultation and consideration of impacts whilst focusing on user needs. For example, managing customer and supplier relationships, ensuring that recommendations deliver maximum benefit and facilitating workshops with stakeholders.||Working||Identifies key stakeholders, tailoring communication to their needs, and works with teams to build relationships whilst also meeting user needs. Can take opposing views to reach consensus. Understands how to work with stakeholders and contributes to improving these relationships, using evidence to explain decisions made.|
|Strategic thinking||Able to have an overall perspective on business issues, events, activities and an understanding of their wider implications and long-term impact. This could include determining patterns, standards, policies, roadmaps and vision statements. Can focus on outcomes rather than solutions and activities.||Practitioner||Able to define strategies and policies, providing guidance to others on working in the strategic context. Evaluates current strategies to ensure business requirements are being met and exceeded where possible.|
|User-centred content design||Able to design content to meet user needs and make complex language and processes easy to understand. Understands and implements style and standards.||Working||Able to work autonomously. Creates effective content for digital channels.|
|User focus||Understands users and can identify who they are and what their needs are based on evidence. Able to translate user stories and propose design approaches or services to meet these needs and engages in meaningful interactions and relationships with users. Puts users first and can manage competing priorities.||Working||Identifies and engages with users and stakeholders to collate user needs evidence and understands and defines research which fits user needs. Able to use quantitative and qualitative data about users to turn user focus into outcomes.|
2.2 Desirable skills
|Skill||Description of the skill||Level of the skill||What the skill level means|
|Agile working||Is aware of and understands agile methodology and how to apply an agile mindset to all aspects of their work. Has the ability to work in a fast-paced, evolving environment and utilises an iterative method and flexible approach to enable rapid delivery. Unafraid to take risks, willing to learn from mistakes, and appreciates the importance of agile project delivery for digital projects in government. Able to ensure the team has a situational awareness of what each other is working on and how this relates to practical government objectives and user needs.||Practitioner||Able to identify and compare the best processes or delivery methods to use, including measuring and evaluating outcomes. Helps the team to decide the best approach. Able to help teams to manage and visualise outcomes, prioritise work and work to agreed minimum viable product (MVP), print and scope.|
|Prototyping||Able to apply technical knowledge and experience to create or design workable prototypes, both programmes and physical outputs. Understands parameters, restrictions and synergies.||Working||Knows when to use a specific prototyping technique or method (for example, sketch, code, Loc2). Able to show the value of prototyping to the team.|
3. Civil Service Success Profiles Framework
The Civil Service uses The Success Profiles Framework to assess candidates during recruitment.
It is a flexible framework, used to assesses a range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles.
Find out more about Success Profiles.
4. Other roles in content design
There are 5 other role levels in content design: