How we create and manage content on our website

Who to involve in content design

Content design is a collaborative process. Seek out as many collaborators as you can to help you understand the user need.

Depending on the need, our content design process could involve:

  • a product owner - responsible for making sure content is accurate, relevant and up to date
  • a content designer - the person who co-designs, plans and writes content based on user needs
  • a researcher - this might be the content designer, service designer or a specialist researcher
  • service designers
  • a subject expert - this could be a legal or policy expert, a specialist telephone advisor, a support worker or anyone who can give you the information you need
  • a peer reviewer or content editor
  • a content manager - usually someone in the Digital Team who will make sure your content is reviewed and published in line with our content management process

Product owner

Product owners are responsible for making sure content is accurate, relevant and up to date. They are usually someone from a service area and may be the person who identified the need for the content.

Make sure you explain this role to your product owner. By engaging your product owner in the whole content design process, it can be easier to encourage them to take ownership of the content in the longer term. Their job is not just to sign off content for publication but to make sure that content is maintained in the long term, as long as it meets a user need.

Product owners should:

  • act as a single point of contact for other stakeholders and subject matter experts
  • help find staff and subject experts to pair write with our content designers
  • make sure content is accurate and up to date
  • make sure content designers know what critical business and policy information needs to be conveyed to users
  • help the web team plan ahead for changes to content, such as when there are planned changes to legislation or service provision

Content designers

Content designers co-design, publish and update content. They’re responsible for:

  • planning and writing content based on user needs
  • writing clear, useable and accessible content in plain English
  • using evidence, data and research to write and improve content
  • communicating the principles of content design to service teams
  • advocating for the user by challenging requests that do not support users’ needs


Researchers are responsible for planning and carrying out research into user needs. This could include:

  • understanding who uses a service
  • identifying accessibility needs and barriers to accessing content
  • prioritising user needs
  • creating user stories and journey maps
  • identifying keywords, search terms and language that makes sense to users
  • scoping the problem and validating assumptions about the problem (making sure you are meeting the right user need)

Depending on your budget and the problem you are trying to solve, you might employ specialist researchers or you might carry out research yourself. Designers are usually involved in both user research and user testing. The roles of 'researcher' and 'designer' often overlap.

Service designers

Service designers often work alongside content designers. Your content is likely to be part of a wider service. Service designers work to solve a 'whole' problem for users, looking at the end to end journey of a user interacting with a particular service and with a particular need.

Service designers use a wide variety of methods to understand user needs and design solutions that meet those needs. In terms of content design, relevant methods might include:

  • creating user personas and stories
  • mapping the end to end journey (so you can see where your content fits)
  • understanding how, when and where users interact with content
  • prototyping and testing content
  • developing information architecture (IA) based on evidence about how users search for information

Subject experts

Subject experts are people with specialist knowledge who can help you create content that is accurate and factually correct. They can help make sure that your content reflects how users actually speak, behave or ask for support.

For example, if you are creating content to help users find adult social care support, you might involve the person who answers telephone calls for the Adult Social Care service. They are likely to know about the most common questions people ask and what terms they use to describe their problems or requests.

If you are including legal guidance in your content, you'll need a legal expert to check that your information is correct and up to date.

Read more about subject experts in our guidance on pair writing.

Peer reviewer

A peer reviewer is responsible for checking that your content:

A peer reviewer would usually be another content designer or someone from the Web Team.

Read more about peer review.

Content manager

The content manager is responsible for making sure that your content is reviewed and published in line with our content management process. Although we don't have a specific 'content manager' role at Buckinghamshire Council, this will be a member of the Digital Team.

The Digital Team keep track of all of our content. They manage requests for new content or changes to content. They can also help you to choose a content template or use our content patterns or visual assets.