Day in the life of a content designer

Read a composite account of the day in the life of a content designer.

When I open my calendar app, the first notification says “workflows”. Looks like today I’m rostered to check work requests from people who want to publish changes to the website. I’ll set aside some time to check the inbox; shouldn’t take too long.

I also plan to check the team inbox for any requests from parts of the business that don’t have their own content designers yet. There may be a few quick tasks I can do or that I can send to another chapter member for review.

Before I can open the inbox, I get a message from another content designer. “How do I update the banners on the device page?”

I’ll quickly send through the relevant URLs from Adobe Experience Manager. I’ll take a screen recording of the steps or maybe just a few screenshots. I’ll need to add this documentation to our Content Design wiki when I get a chance.

The rest of the day depends on the designer’s area of focus, either customer, product or brand:

Customer

As the content lead for the next flagship device launch, I’ll drop in to our daily stand-up. Pre-order is next week, so I’ve started working with customer marketers on the design for the landing page. The front-end developers from another squad are already working on it too, but I’ll need to create the page for them and add the banners.
I’m also waiting on images for some of the accessories that are accompanying this launch. I’ll raise that in stand up, otherwise we might be in a mad rush to get everything live by midnight on the day of pre-order.

Meanwhile, the monthly offers are changing out soon. Later in the afternoon I’ll spend a bit of time peer-reviewing the content and meta details for a new offer page that will be created by our agency partner. I’ll double-check the terms and conditions text for consistency, link formatting for accessibility, and other details, like whether the page shows up in the menu navigation. It’s all in the nitty-gritty!

Product

I also attend the stand-up for the new device launch. This launch is exciting because it’s accompanied by a new Pay Monthly plan and new technology that’s been enabled on our network just for this device. I’m working with the channel readiness team and the New Technology squad to draft the content for iBase and customer help pages.

When this launch is over, I’ll need to circle back to the Internet of Things (IoT) squad. I’m helping with the documentation they use to onboard new customers.

Brand

Today I’ll spend a bit of time making a mock-up page that we’re migrating from an older version to a newer version. In this case, it’s the Spark Music page. I’ll show the stakeholder my proposed design, which has elements of the page in a different order than originally envisioned. I made the changes to match our “One Spark” standards of content and visual design.

My squad has their sprint review today. I’ll present the work I did for my squad on the menu navigation under spark.co.nz/shop. It needed a bit of a tidy up. I’ll explain how I used data analytics to sort and organise the menu items that will make sense to customers.

Before I shut my computer for the day, I remember that there’s a new campaign from the Brand Experience Tribe going live in a few weeks that’s related to 5G. I need to find time to comment on the terms and conditions draft the team sent – hope we can get that done sooner rather than later because I want to focus on building the form for that campaign!​​​​​​​

Web content design

The project

In 2016 I signed myself up to be a web content intern with the Human Interface Technology Lab NZ at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand – also known as HIT Lab NZ. Go to the HITLabNZ website

As part of a special scholarship programme with my university, I had a stipend to use on research. So I contacted research labs affiliated with public universities in the South Island of New Zealand, offering my skills as a science writer and web designer.

My proposed internship was happily accepted by Rob Lindeman and Christoph Bartneck at the HIT Lab NZ.

So for about ten weeks, I worked part-time at the lab. I wrote new content and updated graphics and photography on the website.

New content

I interviewed students and staff to create content about the primary research areas at the HIT Lab:

I also wrote “featured student” profiles for several of the PhD candidates.

Featured student profile on the Virtual Reality landing page

Updated assets

I directed a professional photographer to take these shots. I then wrote the content that accompanies each photo.

New graphics

I used Adobe Creative Cloud tools to create new graphics that align with the lab’s refreshed branding guidelines.