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Join our User Experience team – and help us shape experiences for global audiences

We’re hiring a Senior Content Designer and a User Experience Research Specialist in the UX and Digital Consultancy team. Come and work with us!

If you’re passionate about using evidence-based approaches to continuously improve content and drive better digital user experiences for our staff and students, excited to experiment with different techniques on a diverse range of products and services and keen to encourage and empower others in content and UX design approaches, we would love to hear from you.

What our UX team does

Our motivation is the best possible user experience for staff and students across all our digital products and services.  We adopt a multi-faceted approach towards this aim. Sometimes we’re researching to learn about pain points, sometimes we’re sketching user flows, sometimes we’re developing toolkits and guidance to upskill others.

Over the past few years we’ve begun working on several major projects:

  • Building our new Web Publishing Platform
  • Developing a University Design System
  • Upgrading our virtual learning environment (Learn)

We’ve applied human-centred design approaches to each project, to ensure the build, development and continuous improvement of each system aligns with staff and student needs and workflows. You can read about some of our project work in these blogs:

Initial user feedback on our Web Publishing Platform editorial interface

Working with the community on our Design System component pages

Sketching workshops to understand students’ expectations for Learn Ultra 

Our team also has an important role in empowering and supporting colleagues across the University to implement content and UX design themselves. We work with colleagues in Communications and Marketing to review and update our Editorial Style Guide, to keep improving our content standards. We also published an Inclusive Style Guide to ensure we write in a way that conveys respect and avoids bias. We’re on a mission to make our Effective Digital Content course more centred to staff needs and workflows and we’ve begun research with staff to guide our thinking.

Read more in these blogs:

Relaunching our Editorial Style Guide

Co-designing our Inclusive Language Guide

Survey to help us evolve our Effective Digital Content training course

Where we’re based and how we fit into the University

We have an office in Argyle House, Edinburgh. The UX team is part of Website and Communications, within the Learning Teaching and Web (LTW) directorate, which is part of the Information Services Group (ISG). Within Website and Communications, the UX team works closely with colleagues from Graphic Design, Web Development and Portal Services. Being part of LTW and wider ISG means we get to work closely and directly with colleagues looking after all parts of the University’s digital estate.

About the Website and Communications team

About Learning, Teaching and Web

UX at the University – opportunities and challenges

Call me biased, but the University of Edinburgh is a great place to practice UX and content design and to grow your craft. Here’s why:

Chance to make a big difference

The University has over 30,000 students and 10,000 staff and the opportunities to improve how they can use our systems, products and services are endless. From ensuring a website helps disseminate world-leading research outputs to making sure our VLE interface support students in their learning activities, every small content and UX improvement has the potential to have a big impact. We’re always looking for opportunities to apply UX and content design to add value, eliminate pain points and enhance experiences.

Experimental, innovative environment

UX is not as mature or as well-established as other IT functions at the University, which on the one hand presents us with a continual challenge to effectively explain what we do, and to dispel common misunderstandings about what UX design is and what it is not (for example: it’s not the same as User Interface design and it’s different from User Acceptance Testing). On the other hand, there’s value in UX being a younger discipline – we’re freer to innovate, to apply initiative to test new ideas and approaches and to bring in concepts from fields like service design, systems thinking and behavioural science to apply to our work.

Opportunities to grow and learn

Some of our experiments will work as expected, some won’t. But regardless of the outcomes, there will be something to learn. Our team thrives on sensing and responding and iterating based on our learnings. We take time to document what we’ve learned and share this with the University community, empowering them to learn and apply UX and content design techniques and practices themselves. Furthermore, as an academic provider, the University provides ample opportunity for staff training and continuing professional development. Through UCISA and other networks there are opportunities to present at events, and share good practice and ideas with colleagues in other Higher Education institutions.

About the jobs

Here are some more details about the positions we’re recruiting for.

Senior Content Designer

Salary: £33,797–£40,322 per year (University grade 7)

Contract: Open-ended, permanent

The University runs a devolved or distributed content publishing model, which means we have many content editors and publishers using our Web Publishing Platform to manage their site content. A key focus of the Senior Content Designer role is to support and empower University staff in the way they use our platform to publish and edit content.

The content across our services is very variable. Our Schools and Colleges publish web content in accordance with their user needs and while there are commonalities, there are nuances across the sites of different University business units. As Senior Content Designer, you could be asked for advice on how to design content explaining a technical process, help writing a news item or research story, or putting together an engaging landing page or home page.

Here are the skills and attributes we’re looking for:

  • Proven experience designing digital content, demonstrable experience of following a style guide and maintaining a high level of editorial accuracy and attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including the ability to write reports and presentations in a range of voices and styles and experience communicating confidently and diplomatically with staff at different levels
  • Demonstrable experience of designing and implementing a range of evidence-based approaches – ability to form hypotheses, select, plan and conduct appropriate user research activities, analyse research data and communicate implications of research findings relevant to content design
  • Experience of developing content strategy and taxonomy design
  • Demonstrable ability to develop and deliver training and support materials to colleagues and to support others in the design and development of online content.

View the job advertisement for Senior Content Designer and apply 

View the full job description for Senior Content Designer

User Experience Research Specialist

Salary: £33,797–£40,322 per year (University grade 7)

Contract: Open-ended, permanent

There is an ongoing need to acquire detailed knowledge and a full understanding of the staff and student experience of our digital products and services. To ensure we work in a human-centred fashion, with user needs driving the ways we develop, evolve and upgrade our technologies we need robust, comprehensive data to guide our decision-making and provide evidence for change. As User Experience Research Specialist, you will be practised in developing hypotheses and applying appropriate techniques to obtain the data needed to sense and respond. You’ll be confident and comfortable sharing data gathered and research findings at each stage of the process, and communicating to a range of audiences and stakeholders to answer questions, gain support and achieve understanding.

Here are the skills and attributes we’re looking for:

  • Demonstrable ability to choose and apply appropriate user-centred design research methods (from data gathering to synthesis and analysis) for different design life cycle phases and situations
  • Outstanding communications skills (having a proven high level of effectiveness) with an assured, confident manner and strong written, influencing, negotiating, analytical and problem solving skills
  • Proven ability to develop successful, strategic relationships with colleagues, users, and other stakeholders based upon a commitment to collaborative working facilitating improved performance and results
  • Demonstrable meticulous attention to detail and ability to deliver work to a high standard including accurate and methodical documentation and reporting of research methods, findings, analysis and recommendations (where appropriate)
  • Familiarity with legislative requirements, regulations and procedures, e.g. relating to accessibility & equality, research ethics and online privacy & data protection.

View the job advertisement for User Experience Research Specialist and apply 

View the full job description for User Experience Research Specialist

About working for the University of Edinburgh

The University is a great place to work. The pay is competitive and transparent, holidays are generous and we’re flexible and accommodating in our working practices. There are ample opportunities for staff development and socialising.

View the University salary scales

Read about working for the University of Edinburgh on our Human Resources site

Contact for more information

If you would like to know more or have any questions, please email Emma Horrell, User Experience Manager –

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