What I learned as a content design intern at Echo

What I learned as a content design intern at Echo

Photo by Danielle MacInnes https://unsplash.com/@dsmacinnes

Like many students, I was unsure of the work opportunities that would be available to me when graduating this year. I studied English through my love of literature and wanted to continue my passion through writing.

When I discovered the role of content designer, I wasn’t sure what it entailed. After a bit of research, the idea of writing copy for apps and websites that I use each day became extremely appealing. So when the opportunity came up to spend a month of work experience at Echo under the guidance of their content designer, I took it instantly.

I began my journey in content design after only knowing it existed for a month. But Echo’s chilled-out yet dedicated nature allowed for my lack of experience, and I learned important lessons about both content design and working as part of a team.

Health tech start-ups have many moving parts

My first two weeks were filled with introductory meetings with members of the design and growth teams. Everyone was generous and understanding – there wasn’t a single person who didn’t offer their time to help with any question I had.

During my introductions, I learned about the different roles at Echo: product designers, managers, brand designers, engineers, etc. I was able to see first hand how each role was a vital cog in the machine of Echo. I also learned how these cogs worked together to deliver on a project, each offering a different element to a final product.

The pros and cons of working from home

Something that’s new to most people in 2020 is getting used to working from home. I was both anxious and curious to learn how the team were running in the current circumstances, and Echo were generous enough to send me a webcam so I could dive straight in.

Using Google Meet for communications presented both difficulties and conveniences. Having to arrange a meeting to discuss problems that emails and messages don’t solve can become time consuming. Before you know it, most of your day has been taken up by video meetings when they would usually be short conversations after walking over to someone’s desk.

Another point is the unreliability of the internet and technology. Nothing’s more infuriating than when the connection starts to drop or your audio doesn’t work. Particularly as the audio cutting out for a second can be the difference between understanding a point and being in complete confusion.

On the other hand, being able to share your screen on a call to show your work has some positives. Chucking someone an invite is quicker than having to arrange a meeting in a board room with a big screen. And I think we can all agree that being able to walk into your own kitchen for a cuppa definitely has its benefits.

Content design is more than just writing

Having little knowledge of the role of content designer, I was eager to absorb as much information as possible. Echo’s content designer guided me through concepts like voice and tone, Plain English, and writing copy for websites and apps – which are all very different from my academic studies. Instead of structuring long-winded arguments, I had to condense information into as few words as possible while keeping Echo’s brand voice.

Echo use the software Figma for their product design work. It feels like a blend of Photoshop and Google Docs, letting you create visual pieces that you can invite others to edit in real-time. Through this software, I could visualise how my copy would look on the design of the website and app.

That said, there was plenty of writing to do

While at Echo, I wrote copy for the website, looked through existing copy for places to inject their brand voice, and wrote copy for customer communications and medicine packaging.

The hands-on approach to the work helped me gain valuable experience in being a part of the company. In my third week when I presented my work for feedback, I was treated as more of a colleague than an intern. Knowing that the work I was doing would make its way to the customers of the company made the entire experience extremely rewarding.

I’d recommend work experience to any graduate

My time spent at Echo opened my eyes to the pharmacy industry and content design in general. I met some fantastic people who helped me through my time there, and gained some valuable experience that will benefit me for years to come.

Content design doors have very much been opened, and in the future I hope to become a part of a company as friendly as Echo.

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