• Government Digital Service (GDS)
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Introduction to Content Design

Discover the fundamentals of content design. Learn about user-centred content that's easy for everyone to understand and access.

Introduction to Content Design
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $69Find out more

Learn how to apply user-centred design methods to enhance your digital content

On this course, you’ll get to grips with the main concepts of effective user-centred content design.

You’ll develop your skills and confidence in designing content that is accessible, backed by user research and written in plain English.

As you explore the role of the content designer, you’ll learn the value of journey mapping and prototyping and how to use data to improve and iterate your content.

You’ll also learn how content designers work across government and the public sector, and have the opportunity to exchange tips and best practice with other learners on the course.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsJason: This is An Introduction to Content Design so it's quite a broad course. You'll find out what content design is about accessibility and about what the next steps in furthering your content design career are.

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsNigel: Content design is used in government to take often really complex policy driven information and put it in a format that's accessible and as simple as possible for majority of people to consume

Skip to 0 minutes and 30 secondsJane: That we're not just looking at redesigning some content on a particular page. We're looking at whether it's appropriate to have content on that page, whether things are in the right place.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 secondsJason: Anybody that is interested in online communications should do this course. If you want to understand how users read online, the best way to present information online, to make sure that people read it and understand it.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 secondsJane: The people who should do this course is anyone who's working as a content designer who is maybe new to content design or who just wants to know more about the skills, experience and techniques you can use with content design. The course is structured based on the activities that you need to do as a content designer and the key skills you need as you go through the process of content design.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 secondsNigel: It's about getting a sound fundamental understanding of what the discipline is and how it might be slightly different to other ways of working with content.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsJason: I think this course will make you a better writer, a better editor and a better listener.

What topics will you cover?

This course covers important content design principles. It is based on the Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) framework, and includes:

  • content design as a profession, including what content design is, what a content designer does and the skills they need
  • a focus on users, including accessibility, user needs, user research, journey mapping and prototyping
  • producing good digital content, including using plain English and structuring content to make it easy to understand and navigate
  • improving your content, including managing the content lifecycle, and how to use data to improve and iterate content and influence stakeholders
  • improving your career, including understanding the different roles within product teams and joining a content community

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • demonstrate the principal skills and knowledge needed for user-centred content design
  • interpret common data measures in order to make content decisions
  • apply principles of accessibility to content design
  • reflect on your own skills and professional development
  • contribute to the content community by sharing your experience and insights

Who is the course for?

This course is designed specifically for new content designers or for those who work in roles which involve content design.

The principles and ideas covered in the course will be useful for content professionals across all sectors.

What software or tools do you need?

To take part in this course, you’ll need to be able to access video and audio content (or you can use transcripts).

Who will you learn with?

Content Designer, Department for Work and Pensions. Part of the cross-government content community. GDS Content Campus peer learning alumni. Training and workshop designer.

Lead content designer at HM Prisons and Probation Service. Content design trainer.

Who developed the course?

Government Digital Service

The Government Digital Service (GDS) leads the digital transformation of government.

We work with departments to help them with their own transformation, building platforms, standards, and digital services. Together, we work to make public services simpler and better.

We are agile and put user needs first.

We run GOV.UK – the best place to find government services and information. We also build platforms like GOV.UK Verify, GOV.UK Notify and GOV.UK Pay.

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