Career history

University of Edinburgh logoEditorial development officer
The University of Edinburgh (2017—present)

I provide specialist website editorial, site build and support expertise to ensure the delivery of a user-focused, sustainable and legally compliant online presence for the university.

Working as part of the Website and Communications team and the UX Service, I support departments throughout the organisation to develop digital strategies, conduct user research and undertake other user experience initiatives.

Read my blog posts for the University Website Programme blog.

Duncan Stephen logoDigital designer
Duncan Stephen (2008—present)

I manage, design, develop, maintain and write for a variety of digital products and publications. I have a strong focus on usability, and my background in social science helps me understand what makes users tick.

I have been involved in projects for a variety of organisations: educational institutions, small businesses, third sector, politics and government.

As a blogger, I have regularly reached thousands of readers every month, and made several appearances in the media. I ran the popular blogs doctorvee and vee8. I established Scottish Roundup, a weekly compilation of the best of Scottish blogging. I have also written articles for other high-profile websites including RaceFans and Badger GP.

I have also worked as a freelance researcher. Duties have included conducting research, gathering information, constructing and maintaining databases, designing stakeholder maps and identifying new market opportunities for a firm.

Contact me:

SRUC logoWeb manager
SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College (2015—2017)

I managed and co-ordinated the external facing digital presence of SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College. I led on content management, information architecture and user experience.

In addition to running the main SRUC website, I developed and managed associated websites in collaboration with partner organisations including the Scottish Government.

I supported and trained the community of web editors, and I also managed the digital communications officer, with oversight of social media channels.

University of St Andrews logoDigital communications officer
University of St Andrews (2009—2015)

I formed and led the digital communications team, focused on the external facing digital presence of the University of St Andrews. I managed the implementation of a new user-centred, responsive web design and new content management processes.

I was also responsible for creating and editing web content that was visually appealing, well written, up-to-date, accurate and engaging. I ensured that webpages conformed to corporate branding, accessibility guidelines, web standards and usability best practice.

Other duties included developing content strategies and guidelines, information architecture, programming the content management system and training content editors.

Read my blog posts for the digital communications team blog.

Liberal Democrats logoCampaigns intern
Willie Rennie MP, and Dunfermline and West Fife Liberal Democrats (2009—2010)

I was responsible for writing and designing campaign literature such as Focus newsletters and updating the website, in addition to various other administrative and campaigning duties.

This was a brief period of my career, but possibly the most significant. I was challenged more than I ever had been, and it was an intense and exciting environment.

Woolworths logoSales assistant
Woolworths (2006—2009)

I worked for Woolworths while I was a student. I remained there until the bitter end. It was a surreal and challenging experience to work for a national institution that was going out of business in the middle of a hectic Christmas shopping period, while my colleagues and I were on the brink of losing our jobs.

As the company went into administration, the store became busy and attracted a different, more demanding sort of customer. The experience taught me a lot about people and how to handle stressful situations.

Read my inside story on the closure of Woolworths.


IWMW 2016Building a digital team (almost) from scratch
IWMW 2016

I explored my experience of building new digital teams, having found myself doing so in two different situations at two different institutions.


  • Agile Project Management Registered Practitioner (2014)
  • ITIL v3 Foundation (2010)
  • World Class Service (2010)
  • Digital Preservation Training Programme (2010)


University of Edinburgh logoMA (Hons) Economics and Politics — 2:1
The University of Edinburgh (2004—2008)

Economics and politics may not seem to have much relevance to my career at first glance. But studying social science made me a better designer.

Economics has a lot to say about the way humans behave and how they are motivated. This knowledge has helped me put myself in the user’s shoes, informing my design decisions and the way I approach my work.

My dissertation was about the paradox of voting, the phenomenon whereby rational choice theory struggles to explain why people vote.