Meet City Hall’s content team

26 April 2019

The content team at City Hall work across the London.gov.uk website and are responsible for designing and optimising content to meet user needs, as well as providing support and training for content editors across the organisation. 

The team is made up of three content designers: Anna Waters, Jay O’Brien and Alice Lambert, and Content Manager, Lindsay Mitchell.

Here we speak to the team to find out more about their work. 

So, what’s a typical day for you? 

Alice: I work a compressed week and start at 7am, so I usually catch up on emails over breakfast at my desk before getting stuck into some work.

My time tends to be split between working on content for large projects, and smaller jobs like creating new web pages. I block out time in my diary for each big project, as I typically have several on the go at once. This helps keep my workload manageable and stops me from getting distracted! 

Anna: A typical day covers a lot of different activities – from working with developers and policy teams to develop content for digital products or campaigns, to supporting colleagues across City Hall to publish content on the website. Most mornings we catch up with the rest of the digital team to share what our priorities are.

What’s the best thing about working at City Hall?

Lindsay: Our great digital team. It’s grown a lot since I first started working at City Hall six years ago and we now have business analysts, a product manager, a digital performance analyst and lots of roles championing digital. 

Alice: It’s exciting to see the Tower of London and Tower Bridge as I walk into work – nothing beats working right in the middle of the capital. As for the people, they are incredibly collaborative. I think it helps that we are reminded about the impact of our work on London and Londoners frequently – either through seeing posters for a new initiative on the Tube or hearing about a project launch on the news.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

Jay: How much my work changes from project to project and how much I learn about policy as a result. On one day I’ll be learning about ways to tackle gender inequality in the workplace and on another I’ll be discussing tools to prevent knife crime. 

Anna: I enjoy the wide scope of our work. It’s really interesting to be able to get involved in a range of campaigns and development projects. I also really enjoy being able to see the impact of our work through user testing and analytics.

What are the challenges?

Lindsay: The most challenging thing about my job is prioritising work. There are many things that we can do to improve the website, so we have to choose which will benefit the most people.

Anna: It can be a challenge to ensure consistency across the website, as we have lots of different content editors working on different areas. Our job is to make sure that everyone is producing high-quality accessible content, so we run regular training sessions to ensure that everyone is on board.

What do you wish more people knew about your job?

Jay: That, as content designers, we do more than put copy on a webpage. We’re content specialists and our job is to help shape messages – not just upload things!

Alice: The amount of work that goes into making something useful or accessible. More than half the work on a big project is often figuring out how to get information across to people in a way that they want, need or expect. We use lots of tools, including user research and analytics, to figure out what the problem is and then come up with innovate ways to try and solve it – testing this theory all the time with real people. 

And finally, what kind of person do you need to be to do your job?

Lindsay: I think you need to be a little bit geeky and be able to communicate well with a range of people including developers, people in IT, and content editors. Good stakeholder management and some technical knowledge about our content management system helps, too! 

Jay: Patient. Willing to adjust your expectations and able to compromise.

Anna: You need to be organised in order to keep on top of the various projects that we're involved in. You also need to be diplomatic and tactful, as a lot of our work involves editing and restructuring pages that others have produced. And importantly, you need to enjoy working collaboratively as this is key to all of our work here.