Skip to main content

Content design process

Planning, researching, writing, testing and managing content that meets your users’ needs.

Sign up for notifications

Join the mailing list to get notifications of updates to the content design guidance.

Just email the team at

The content design process helps you create content that:

How to do it

The content design process will typically include the following stages.

Kick-off meeting

Meet early with subject matter experts (SMEs) so everyone is clear and in agreement about the goals and what’s involved.

Use project planning meetings to identify:

  • the purpose of the content
  • the target audience
  • what resource you may need — for example, UX design and research, development
  • who else will be involved
  • the size of the work
  • timelines
  • the success criteria.

Agile inception deck — 10 questions to ask at the start of your next project

How to work with subject matter experts.


Use this stage to understand users, what they are trying to do and how your content can support them.

The discovery stage can include the following:


Get started by pair writing user stories and mapping user journeys. This also helps the SME to understand the user need and the content design process.

Content crits (critiques) with other Content Designers are useful for hard-to-solve problems.


Peer review

Get someone else — preferably another Content Designer — to review your work against:

  • your organisation’s style guide
  • the NZ Government Web Standards.

Fact check

Ask an expert to check the facts, this could be the:

  • SME
  • Legal team.

Peer reviews and fact checking


Approval to publish — make sure your content has sign off from the appropriate people. This could be the:

  • SME
  • management team
  • communications team
  • Product Owner.

Managing the content

Make a note of:

Review, iterate

Plan to review and iterate your content for continuous improvement. Check how the content is performing by:

  • adding a survey to the page. Ask 3 simple questions:
    • What did you come to this website to do?
    • Did you find what you were looking for?
    • How can we improve this content?
  • user testing
  • data insights — for example Google Analytics.

Review the results with the SME to see where you can improve the content.


Utility links and page information

Was this page helpful?
Thanks, do you want to tell us more?

Do not enter personal information. All fields are optional.

Last updated