Kitchen with sleek modern design. you can see espresso maker, teapot, toaster, sink, and also door to utility room with washing machine and dryer just about visible. The kitchen decor is bright with light hued cupboards and splash back tiling, and backlighting under the cupboards.

//Kitchen is the first in a series of room-based articles where I apply user-centred design principles from my digital design experience to 3D spaces.

While working in digital, I studied interior design at Chelsea College of Art and Design under Lyndall Fernie, and gained a professional diploma in interior and…

First published February 2017 on the Digital Drum website.

Vinyl records filed alphabetically, someone’s hand is picking out a record titled ABC.
Photo by Danica Tanjutco on Unsplash

There’s been some digital debate recently over the usefulness of content audits. And in an ideal world, where content is well-maintained and regularly checked over, content audits would indeed be defunct.

In reality, the content audit is often a fantastic opportunity…

Photo by element5digital on

Quietly, in the background, over the last months, I’ve been creating short, beginners’ lessons in user-centred design. This is not the place to tout those, but I would like to use this platform to explain the need for easy, quick, written in clear language, “user-friendly” user-centred design training.

User-centred design…

I’ve written about what user-centred design is a lot of times. For fun, here are some things that it is not.

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

User-centred design is not

…3 people editing the same Figma document.

…having post-its on your desk.

…putting a survey on the homepage.

…a new CMS.

…having a design system.

The job ad said “content designer”. The interviewer was very keen to hear about your content design experience, and spoke animatedly about the organisation moving to a user-centred design approach.

But by mid-morning of your first day, perhaps sooner, you know.

Creepy looking house with turret, steps and air of abandonment.
Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

Spine-chilling scenes

The creeping horror confirms itself by your third meeting. No one else in your team, perhaps no one in your new organisation, knows what user-centred design involves. Your interviewer thinks they’ve fixed things by recruiting a content designer. …

Recent conversations led me to share the basic fundamentals of the content design role, as intended when it was created in 2012: a content designer is a designer on a multi-disciplinary team.

Worth noting which words the organisation who created the discipline included, and excluded, from the role name:


It’s likely that most online forms that have ‘title’ as a required field were created that way without a second thought.

“Oh, the paper form had that, I just copied it.”

“We might need to send them a letter.”

“It’s more formal.”

Photo by Adam Solomon on Unsplash

However, knowing if a person goes by for…

I remember describing my job to people I met socially 16 years ago. It was web content editor for local online services. Trying to keep it simple, I called it copywriting for websites. People’s brains went straight to legal copyrights.

When I explained, no, I write what people read on…

Except most people hate them. How can we do chat well?

I asked on Twitter do people find pop-up chat windows useful? Just a casual aside, but it really resonated.

Quite a few people replied with an opinion.

Most expressed a strong dislike of automatic pop-up boxes. That was about 20 people, and a handful supported chat windows of some variety.

Neon question mark installation, photo credit

Automatic for the people?

I have definitely read all this before and someone else has probably put it much better than me.

But after happening upon this video clip I had to share it as an analogy for some organisations’ understanding of, and, sadly, approach to, ‘digital transformation’.

How to sum this up in…

Lizzie Bruce

Hi. I'm a user-centred design advocate with a background in content. Love designing interactive content for services, and creating learning materials.

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