In 2013 I worked with the Family and Parenting Institute and the Daycare Trust as they merged to form the Family and Childcare Trust. They knew they needed a new website and asked me to help them write the brief; instead I suggested a few working sessions to help them work out what they wanted the new site to do first, then wrote a functional specification with them.
From March 2011 to March 2013, I worked on the Energy Saving Trust website. I started as a freelance editor, then ended up as the web editor, making the language shorter and simpler and rethinking the structure and naming to reflect how users think, rather than the internal structure of the organisation. I developed a house stytle and ran workshops on how (and why) to use it, and how to write for the web. In September 2013 I worked closely with the technical agency and design agency as a UX, on a redesign which introduced a new branding, revised the structure and improved the functionality. From scratch, I developed a detailed knowledge of the CMS, eZ Publish.
From October 2009 to February 2011, for the Fatherhood Institute, I worked on two sites:
- For their main site at www.fatherhoodinstitute.org, I managed the migration from old site to new, designed the structure of the new site, and helped build and integrate a new database, and wrote, edited and designed new pages in WordPress;
- For Dads Included (now no more, sadly), an online community for sharing expertise in father-inclusive practice, I project-managed the site build; wrote some functional specs; worked with coders to select and improve the functionality; organised domains and forwarding; rewrote all the functional copy; moderated the site, and updated the back end in Joomla.
From 1999 to 2009 I worked for MRM, a digital agency in London. The web being what it is, most of those sites have since been updated, but they included George Wimpey, Birds Eye, NatWest, Flora Pro.Activ, Intel, Roche Healthcare, Microsoft and Clearasil, and a huge website called Respect, about legislation on anti-social behaviour, for the Home Office.
In my spare time, I’ve built some sites for friends:
- For Sawston Scene, the village magazine I edit and design, I designed a logo and a website and wrote all the copy, then built it in iWeb, adding forms from MailChimp for an automated mailing list. I have since rebuilt the site in WordPress.
- For Robert Rice, a friend who’s a singer, I helped him work out what he wanted to say, designed the navigation, found a photographer for him, and built the site in iWeb.
- For I Fagiolini, a fantastic singing group, I worked with the director to design an architecture; found a CMS, edited all the copy, and commissioned a designer to do the front end and a coder to do the integration with WordPress.
For the Fatherhood Institute, I helped design and migrate a database and integrate it with a website (and a Facebook page), then designed email campaigns in MailChimp – here’s an example for the FI. I’ve done some for my own use too – integrating the sign-up form into my website and designing an email template.
Financial services are a speciality of mine, and I’ve worked on documents for mortgages (Standard Life Bank’s Freestyle) and pensions too – anything complicated that needs to be explained simply is right up my street.
Though I’m afraid it’s moribund just now, you’ll find samples of my writing on a variety of topics at my blog (usability, grammatical pedantry, books I’ve read, operas and plays I’ve seen, random cultural and parenting issues, and day-to-day weirdness – what product is marketed with the slogan ‘the gesture of love you can trust’?
For three years, I worked as a volunteer on Cambridge’s National Childbirth Trust quarterly magazine, designing it and writing articles. Here are some samples in PDF format:
- an informative article with practical advice for camping with children
- a piece about co-sleeping with an infant
- personal reflections on parenting
You’ll also find samples of my writing on pages 3, 4, 9 and 12 of this Sawston Scene.
I’m good at sharing information, explaining things, researching facts and giving them a structure; I can’t write marketing material for anything I don’t believe in, I’m rubbish at padding, and I absolutely can’t do bullshit.
Most of the work here involves editing in some form. But I’ve also worked on consumer and trade magazines as a sub-editor and production editor: Home and Studio Recording, Keyboard Review, Sound on Sound, Internet magazine, and several telecomms titles at Emap.
Here’s an early example of the village magazine I’ve been the editor of since May 2010. I decided on a house style and tone of voice, and do all the editing myself.
I’m also using Sawston Scene as a design example. I did the original design and set up style sheets in Quark XPress, and do all the layout and print production: the magazine is 48 pages, printed every two months. I’ve been using Quark for more than fifteen years. I really enjoy finding ways to make low-budget publications look jazzy; I’m not much of a graphic designer: my speciality is typography. (Ask me about superscripted ordinals!)
NEED TO KNOW MORE?
I’ll be continuing to add samples of work covering different areas so you can get an idea of what I could do for you, but if in doubt please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07974 935 957.