CV

Download the latest version of my CV as a PDF (as I haven’t applied for a job for a while, this doesn’t include information about my present employment.)

Available for part-time work, freelance or permanent

SUMMARY Expert in giving clarity and structure to complex information, based on user needs:

  • twelve years’ experience as an IA and user experience architect on a huge range of websites
  • skilled writer and editor, both in print and online (long-term experience in print production)
  • expert user of Word, Quark XPress, WordPress, eZ publish and MailChimp; some HTML skills.

EMAIL beck@becklaxton.com

MOBILE 07974 935 957

HOME 01223 562 871

EXPERIENCE You’ll also find a reverse chronological list of my work experience in the column on the left, with a summary of skills and knowledge gained in each.

July 2014 to present: ICT Development Support Analyst for the Royal Town Planning Institute

March to August 2013: Freelance consultant
I helped the Family and Childcare Trust with their social media tactics, and to define their own and their users’ needs to build a functional specification for a new website.

March 2011 to March 2013: Freelance web editor for the Energy Saving Trust
As well as editing and building pages to keep the website up to date, I train staff in online best practice and writing for the web. For the September 2012 rebuild, and for several apps, I’ve rethought the site structure and revised the design and functionality, looking for changes that make the most improvement for the lowest build cost.
energysavingtrust.org.uk

Voluntary work 2006 to present
From 2006 to 2009 I designed Cambridge’s National Childbirth Trust magazine, and wrote articles giving advice and information for new parents. In April 2010 I became editor of my local village magazine, Sawston Scene. Managing eight volunteers, I’ve built a team of local writers and photographers, made the design lively and the tone positive, and turned random bits of information into a useful local directory. As well as writing articles, I design ads and lay out the pages: I’m used to solving production problems and liaising with printers. I’ve built a website for the magazine, sawstonscene.org, as well as robertrice.co.uk and (with help) ifagiolini.com for friends.

October 2009 to February 2011: Web Editor for the Fatherhood Institute
The FI funds research and trains professionals in care services. As well as managing both the front and back ends of the charity’s website, I oversaw a rebuild of the site and the development of a new online forum, an integrated database, and a mailing list for 10,000 subscribers.

www.dadsincluded.org (no longer live)
Helped write brief and RFP and appoint agency; project-managed; revised functionality and all copy; moderated forums.

www.fatherhoodinstitute.org
Managed migration to new site and designed structure; designed database; managed integration with MailChimp and Facebook; wrote, edited and maintained pages.

1999 to 2009: UX for MRM Worldwide
MRM is a digital agency that builds websites for huge global clients such as Intel, Microsoft and Unilever.
Working as a user experience architect (UX), I wrote proposals, did site audits, researched and analysed user needs, produced content strategies, created user journeys, designed site maps, wrote functional specifications, built wireframes, and ran user tests for clients as diverse as George Wimpey, Birds Eye, NatWest, Flora Pro.Activ, Intel, Roche healthcare, Microsoft and Clearasil; I worked with a team at the Home Office to revamp a huge site called Respect for anti-social behaviour practitioners.

Unusually for a UX, I also write and edit copy. This was often useful on small projects, as I could develop a whole site from site map to final page copy, and write house style guidelines. Financial services was a speciality, as I enjoy explaining the complexities of products such as offset mortgages in plain language. But I also worked closely with creative teams on design-dominated projects such as a site for Magnum ice-creams, writing briefs and editorial strategies and designing the functionality.

1997 to 1999: Freelance information designer, writer and sub-editor for Siegel & Gale, Sound on Sound magazine, Emap, and others
My favourite project involved rewriting all the letters that Freemans catalogue sends out to its customers, including demands for outstanding payments. In collaboration with its legal team, I wrote all the documentation for Standard Life Bank’s Freestyle mortgage, one of the first offset mortgages. At Emap, I worked on trade titles and Internet magazine.

1994 to 1996: Deputy editor of Keyboard Review magazine, Music Maker Publishing, Ely
As production editor, I sub-edited pages and managed a music supplement, as well as writing reviews and articles, and interviewing musicians such as Tori Amos, Gillian Weir, and Chas and Dave.

1992 to 1994: Writing and designing software manuals for Datapaq Ltd, Cambridge
Early information design experience.

1989 to 1992: Publisher’s assistant, postman, etc

DEGREE St John’s College, University of Cambridge: BA and MA in English

INTERESTS Singing consort music; running choral workshops; bargain-hunting; books, books, books.

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