This page lists some of the roles I’ve filled over the last five years or so.
When people ask me what I do, I usually tell them I'm a business analyst, or a business analyst with expertise in documentation and an interest in information design.
Web business analyst
Web business analysis has its own skill set and best practices. It’s my favourite role, and I think I do it very well.
This is more low-level project-management than business analysis, but it draws on similar organizational and people skills, and I’m happy to do it.
I’ve been doing technical writing for over 20 years: I’ve produced practically every type of document you can name. I’m experienced in system-development life-cycle methodologies, and I’m a good lead writer for a writing team.
Policy writing is a type of public-sector writing that requires an advanced skill set. (It’s different policy-and-procedure manuals, which is mainstream technical writing.) It’s a specialization that draws research skills, an understanding of public administration, and an ability to collaborate with senior staff – as well as my grad-school studies in political science.
I haven’t worked full-time in a marketing function since the 1990s, but I’ve worked on successful RFP responses (for both myself and other firms) and have strong skills in persuasive writing, and so I think I’d be a good choice for this role.
Writing web content is a particularly focused kind of writing. It draws on some traditional writing techniques, but has quickly established its own best practices (think: SEO). And it’s strongly driven by quantitative user analysis (think: focus groups, web usage stats), using a toolkit not so different from a business analyst’s. In fact, it’s practically the intersection of my two strongest skill sets.
A user interface (UI) is a focused practice that defines how users interact with an application. User experience (UX) is broader: it means coordinating all elements – text, graphics, interaction that compose the web or app experience. I’ve worked on UI/UX projects throughout my career, particularly as web BA. I know how to get beyond the surface: wrestling workflow and dataflow, layering information, adding intelligence, and optimizing presentation. Realistically, the UI/UX function is a team effort – but consider me for a leading role.
Structuring the information on a website is more than just application information design to web content. Information architecture has emerging best practices, which involve calibrating content and structure to user needs and behaviour, based on hard user data. This means working with numbers (analysing user stats in depth) and people (running focus groups, devising elicitation strategies). I have strengths in both areas.