User-Centred Writing for GOV.AU Websites


Full-day workshop

Q. What do readers of government websites want?
A. Content that’s easy to find, understand, accurate and up-to-date.

We know that making sure your Web content is relevant, accessible and in plain language isn’t easy.

Balancing users’ preference for simplicity with the complexity and depth of agencies’ content is tricky.

Attend this full-day workshop with your peers from other Government agencies and discover how to convey your Web content in a way that meets the users’ needs and the agency’s needs.

Attend if you are... someone responsible for writing, editing or in other ways managing content for GOV.AU websites.
Learn how to
  • adopt a design-thinking approach to deliver on audiences’ needs and expectations
  • write clearly, succinctly and accurately using plain language

  • structure content to make it easy to find and accessible to all

  • layer content so users can deep-dive if they want - the iceberg approach

  • convey your message, guidelines or instructions more effectively

  • compose content for high visibility in Google

  • manage an effective content and publishing QA processes

Throughout the workshop we will be referencing the DTA’s GOV.AU Content Guide, the WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards, our online Website Writing Guide and the Nielsen-Norman Group’s research.

Benefit from
  • knowledge and understanding about how to make your agency’s website content user-friendly

  • understanding and articulating the benefits to users and the agency of using plain language

  • practical and useful tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts to improve your website content

  • awareness of the resources available to you and how to apply them – especially the DTA’s GOV.AU Content Guide and WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards

  • an expanded peer network of content writers and editors 

Workshop Content

Morning – 9.00am – 12.30pm

  • Preparation: identifying your aims; identifying and understanding your audiences; co-design and being user centred; content sources and publishing methods

  • Content style: style, tone and voice; using plain language; layering content – the iceberg approach; hyperlinking; accessibility

 Afternoon – 1.15pm – 4.15pm

  • Writing techniques: organising the contents; effective ways to convey meaning; re-writing existing content; writing for Google; writing in MS Word

  • The rules: grammar, punctuation, spelling and formatting

  • Editing and proofreading: how to edit and proofread; QA process

The workshop format is a mix of presentation, discussion, practical exercises, examples, group work and interaction between participants.


We are planning our 2018 program now, so please contact us to find out about more dates and locations for future workshops.