Content Design Community of Practice

Content Design Community of Practice

We have just held the first Content Design Community of Practice session for Local Government in Wales. This was a really positive session with lots of ideas about how to grow content design as a discipline that we’re now looking to build on in future sessions.

If you’re interested to learn more about how the Community of Practice came about, what we have planned next and how you can get involved – read on…

About the Content Design Community of Practice

The Content Design Community of Practice was set up to support the Learning Frameworks we have recently launched.

The Content Design Learning Framework provides access to a skills and development matrix that people in local authorities can work through to build their capabilities. We are also booking training courses to provide a strong foundation of knowledge and kick-start people’s content design journeys.

It was also important to provide a space where people using framework could share what they had learned, work on common challenges and opportunities, and build a support network to help them with their day-to-day activities. This is where the Community of Practice comes in.

What we covered in the first session

To be valuable, the Community of Practice must be driven by what community members need and want to achieve. The first session was therefore an open discussion about what kind of things we should cover and how we should run the community.

It was good to see that there was a lot of consensus about what people wanted out of the group, with a few key themes emerging:

  • Sharing best practice: community members want to use the space to share knowledge and ideas about content design best practice based on the work they are doing to improve information and services, to help others working on similar challenges.
  • Guidelines and principles: we also talked about how to capture best practice findings in ways that help them to be applied in local authorities, such as content guides or guiding principles. This is a really interesting area of exploration and we will be looking at it in more detail in future.
  • Collaboration: as many authorities are working in similar areas the group will provide a space to connect and collaborate on shared challenges. This may also extend to producing shared outputs that can be applied across multiple authorities to make things more efficient and effective.
  • Content design topics: guidelines and standards came up again when we looked at topics to cover, and accessibility was raised as another area of particular interest and importance. We also started to look at the importance of looking at analytics and device usage, as well as how bilingual content design requirements must be considered at every stage of the process.
  • Session formats: we are hoping to run a varied programme of events to provide something for everyone, at different levels within authorities. Community members told us they wanted to see things like content crits, show and tells, themed discussions and talks from content design professionals within and outside government. We’ll be looking to build all of these into our programme of activity!

We also discussed how people want the Community of Practice to be run, and the current feeling is that a virtual discussion on Teams every 2 months is a good place to start. We’re also looking at how we can maintain good communication and collaboration between these sessions, through channels like online chat and newsletters.

What’s next?

It was great to get so much constructive feedback from attendees about what they want the Community of Practice to look like and what they want to get from it. Based on their contributions, we have planned out a rough outline for the next sessions – taking us through to the middle of 2023:

Tuesday 31st January, 11am: Standards, principles, guidelines

This session will be an open discussion of the most important standards, principles and guidelines for good content design. We can also explore how these can be captured and communicated in a way that’s most valuable for local authorities.

Tuesday 28th March, 4pm: Crit, review, show and tell

We’re looking to mix up the format for this session, and are inviting a local authority to set the agenda. This may be a crit (short for critique) of existing content, a show and tell, or a collaborative review of a common service. If you have something you’d like to bring to the session, please get in touch!

Tuesday 30th May, 12:30pm: All things accessibility

Accessibility was raised as a core topic for the group discuss, so we will use this session to understand common challenges and priorities related to accessibility, as well as what members are doing to address these within their authorities.

You may notice that these sessions are taking place at different times, based on feedback from the group to help as many people attend as possible. We’ll continue to review this and if preferences change we will update future sessions accordingly.

Get involved

We want as many people as possible to benefit from the Learning Frameworks and the Community of Practice, so if you’re interested in joining email us at or and we’ll add you to future invites.

You can also email us if you want to book onto the content design training courses we are planning, and we’ll let you know as soon as these are live.

We also have copies of Content Design by Sarah Winters, which provides a great introduction to the discipline. We have capacity to provide one copy to each local authority, so if your authority hasn’t made a request yet email us with your details and we’ll get the book sent out.

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