My year as a Digital Content Officer has come to an end!
I applied for this job as an English Literature graduate straight out of university. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to start my career, aside from knowing that I wanted to write, and I wanted to help people. I saw the advert for Digital Content Officer, quickly Googled what Drupal was, and applied.
Since I got the job, I have learnt a huge amount about how people think, how people use digital technology, and what we can do to make compulsory government processes easier for people to complete. I have spent a lot of time reading about and considering usability and accessibility, and reworking my writing to make it as useful as possible. This has meant getting rid of academic writing or anything remotely poetic, and sticking to words and phrases which everyone can understand. A key element of usability is that no one should be excluded from what you build or write, and this is something I will remember for the rest of my career.
There have been many times during the year when I have found this job really fulfilling. We took a team to meet and work with the Nepalese community from Sandhurst for some user testing, and I saw how difficult it can be for some people to use the websites I take for granted. Being able to offer help and solutions to some of the digital issues they faced was great.
As expected, the part of this job I have enjoyed the most is putting together the content for the new website. I have been working on the new content for areas including Schools Admissions, Business Rates and The Look Out Discovery Centre. In the content workflow, I have learnt to take constructive criticism. The first time someone changes what you’ve written, it feels like a bit of a blow. But I’ve taken to reminding myself that we’re all working toward the same goal, and in correcting each other, the content will only get better.
I’ve got to know a great team while I’ve been here – they’ve set the bar high as the first proper colleagues I’ve had! I will be sad to leave, but hope that my new team in Bracknell Forest’s Democratic Services will offer similar challenges, fun and encouragement. I hope to bring my new-found awareness of accessibility and openness to the democratic process. Many thanks, Colin and the Digital Services team, for taking a chance on an inexperienced but enthusiastic graduate!