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Helping colleagues learn and apply content design in practice at the University

Accompanying the move to Edweb 2, the UX Service have been running and piloting some new sessions to train and upskill colleagues in content design practices.

The University web estate is vast, and since we operate a devolved or distributed model for our web publishing, there are challenges to ensure that those publishing content have the necessary skills and know-how to feel confident and competent in publishing content that meets the needs of our many website visitors.

I previously blogged about the development of our new digital content training approaches, working with specialist company Effortmark, including Caroline Jarrett and Jane Matthews, to create a range of sessions aimed at addressing these challenges:

Applying effective digital content principles in practice – our new training approaches

We’ve been aligning with the roll-out of EdWeb 2, to deliver and pilot some new content design sessions to help grow the content design skillset at the University. If you’re interested in joining one of these sessions, please sign up using the channels described. If you would like to provide us with feedback, please email us at

Content Design for EdWeb 2 – in-person sessions combining teaching and practice

So far, more than 30 people have attended these sessions we have been running since February. Attendees supply examples of pages and sections from their website they would like help with in advance of the session. During the sessions, Senior Content Designer Nick Daniels delivers teaching points on selected content design topics and those attending work in groups to improve their content in practical exercises.

I thought the course was presented really well with the right balance of information and practical sessions – feedback from an attendee

Read more about these sessions on our website:

Content Design for EdWeb 2 | The University of Edinburgh

Book an upcoming session on the Training and Event booking channel on MyEd (University log-in required)

Content Design Monthly – in-person meet-ups to share, ideas and good practice

Responding to feedback that those attending training appreciated the opportunity to work with others on their web content challenges, we’re trialling a series of regular, facilitated sessions to foster a community approach to content design.

Each session will focus on a particular content challenge, and colleagues can come to share how they deal with this topic – to learn from each other. As for our Content Design for EdWeb 2 training, we’ll ask attendees to supply examples of pages and sections from their sites in advance, to give us some real-life content material to focus on. These informal sessions will occur at lunchtime, and attendees will be encouraged to bring along their lunch.

The first session on Wednesday 24 April 12:30-13:30 will focus on ‘Getting rid of old content’.

Since this is a pilot, we are limiting the number of places. You can book on the Training and Event booking channel on MyEd (University log-in required). If it is full, you can register your interest for a future session by emailing

Content Design ‘Mini Wins’ – two-part online meet-ups to practice a skill in a group and then try it on your own

Recognising that some colleagues would prefer to learn online, we’re piloting a bitesize virtual offering called ‘Mini Wins’. The idea for this format came from the ‘Atomic Habits’ approach – where starting with small tasks and committing to change in the company of others prove an effective way to embed longer-lasting good practice.

Like our monthly in-person sessions, each ‘Mini Win’ will focus on a specific content design topic. It will be made up of two short sessions conducted over Teams separated by a gap of two weeks. The first session will involve introducing the topic and working through an example exercise as a group. Homework will be set for attendees to practice the skill themselves, on their own content. In second session, everyone comes back together to share how they got on.

The first set of sessions on Tuesday 30 April 13:45-14:00 and Tuesday 14 May 13:45-14:00, will focus on ‘Acronyms on University websites’.

Since this is a pilot, we are limiting the number of places. You can book on the Training and Event booking channel on MyEd (University log-in required). If it is full, you can register your interest for a future session by emailing

Paul Boag’s online content design training course

We recently engaged the services of Paul Boag, a content design and user experience expert with years of experience working in the Higher Education field. Paul is delivering a four-part online course for colleagues within the Learning Teaching and Web (LTW) Directorate. His course: ‘From Chaos to Clarity’ covers areas like: ensuring you have the right content, improving content findability, elevating page content and sustaining content quality.

After completion of the training, we will gather feedback, and review how colleagues can embed what they have learned into improving the content we produce in LTW and disseminate good practices more widely across the University.

Read more about Paul Boag on his website:

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