I've now been a Web Content Editor here for 10 months and thought it might be a good time to review what has been an action-packed introduction to the University.
I'm happy to have been involved with some great projects so far including:
- Induction/Applicants website
- Study - using our new template and producing lots of new content!
- Launching some great new country pages
Getting out meeting prospective students and conducting focus groups and user testing has been really rewarding. As a content editor it's so important to know your audience. Luckily that is a priority here, alongside building relationships within the University.
With a background in higher education I was familiar with how things work at a university - however, I wasn't used to working in a team with web developers. Our team here is mixed; developers, content and design. One of the first challenges I faced was learning how to speak developer. I'd now estimate I understand at least 80% of what they say!
Coming to work with such a varied team has been really beneficial, my own technical knowledge has improved vastly - and I've also learnt lots of clever things, like shortcuts to make tedious jobs much quicker. We also share websites we find interesting, articles we love and discuss what's happening in web and education.
Very early on I was happy to see that I would be supported in getting out to conferences and keeping up to date with new ideas. I attended the CASE Conference 2010 and will be going to the Content Strategy Forum in September.
We've experimented with different project management processes to see what works best for such a multi-skilled team. There were times at first that I found some of these methodologies hard to get my head around. It was difficult trying to demonstrate how developing strong marketing content has different requirements to creating a new web application.
Whilst a challenge, I believe that going through that time of change has given us all a greater appreciation of each other's roles.
There is currently a new role for a content editor within the team. I'm looking forward to having someone else to share tips with, including my key tip so far: developers love cake...