Career history

Editorial development officer — The University of Edinburgh — 2017—present

University of Edinburgh logoI 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 User Experience Service, I support departments throughout the university to develop digital strategies and undertake user experience initiatives.

Read my posts for the Website and Communications blog.

User experience researcher and digital consultant — Duncan Stephen — 2008—present

Duncan Stephen logoI manage, design, develop, maintain and write for a variety of digital products and publications. I have a strong focus on user-centred design. 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, which was featured on BBC Radio.

I have also written articles for other high-profile websites, including RaceFans and Badger GP.

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Web manager — SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College — 2015—2017

SRUC logoI 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.

Digital communications officer — University of St Andrews — 2009—2015

University of St Andrews logoI 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.

Campaigns intern — Willie Rennie MP, and Dunfermline and West Fife Liberal Democrats — 2009—2010

Liberal Democrats logoI 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 one of the most significant. I was challenged more than I ever had been, and it was an intense and exciting environment.

Sales assistant — Woolworths — 2006—2009

Woolworths logoI 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.


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

IWMW 2016I 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)


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

University of Edinburgh logoEconomics 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.