Principal Content Designer

Home Office

Apply before 11:55 pm on Wednesday 29th March 2023



Reference number



£65,500 - £77,550
National: £65,500 min, £72,050 max London: £70,500 min, £77,550 max. This post is eligible for a DDaT Recruitment Retention Allowance up to £9,000 will be assessed at interview.

Job grade

Grade 6

Contract type


Business area

HO - Digital Data and Technology

Type of role

Information Technology

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time, Compressed Hours

Number of jobs available



Croydon, Sheffield

Job summary

As a Principal Content Designer in Migration Borders Technology Portfolio, you’ll work on challenging problems that require an understanding of complex services and systems, as well as the wider context they sit within.  

You will still practice as a content designer but you will also focus on defining a strategic approach and ensuring delivery quality across large projects or programmes.  

Day-to-day, you will be part of a project team and will work with team members and stakeholders to:  

  • explore and understand the problem space 
  • ensure services are accessible, inclusive and meet the needs of users
  • resolve discrepancies between design approach and organisational aims
  • promote the benefits of user-centred design   

As the content design authority in your area, you will be expected to lead and assure the work of other designers and provide guidance on best practice.  

You will also be expected to raise awareness of what good content design looks like across the Home Office and wider government design community, by sharing experience and insight that others can learn from. 

Job description

Main Responsibilities:

Typical responsibilities may include:​

  • facilitating activities that help teams and stakeholders understand the problem space and assess the implication of design decisions  
  • designing evidence-based solutions that are simple, efficient and accessible, and which balance the needs of users, providers and government   
  • planning and managing the design approach, working with other user-centred (UCD) disciplines to ensure effort and activity are aligned to desired outcomes 
  • establishing an effective user-centred design (UCD) culture, convincing stakeholders and staff groups of the value of content design, and embedding UCD practices into teams’ agile workflows 
  • assuring the quality of content design activities and outputs, while supporting the Head of Content Design to develop and embed best practice standards, guidelines and processes 
  • improve the efficiency of the design process and the consistency of services by developing reusable patterns, processes and templates 
  • managing other Content Designers, including setting goals, conducting performance reviews and mentoring junior members of staff

Other responsibilities

You will also be expected to carry out the following day-to-day activities: 

  • assuring services to make sure they are accessible and meet both Home Office and government standards 
  • working with the Head of Content Design to support and develop content designers through emerging talent streams, like the Home Office’s Digital Development Programme 
  • working with Heads of Role and UCD leads to coordinate UCD resourcing requirements in your area 
  • supporting an inclusive community of practice that enables designers to share ideas and best practice, and proactively help and support each other  
  • representing the department and DDaT on a range of internal and external working groups 


The first duty of the government is to keep citizens safe and the country secure. The Home Office has been at the front line of this effort since 1782. As such, we play a fundamental role in maintaining the security and economic prosperity of the UK.  

The Home Office leads on immigration and passports, refugee protection, counter-terrorism, policing, fire services, and crime and drugs policy. 

Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) enables the Home Office to keep the UK safe and secure. We design and build the services that help people apply for visas or passports; support policing and counter-terrorism operations; and protect the UK’s borders.  

This is an exciting time to be at the Home Office. You’ll have a chance to shape the future and support our mission to deliver exceptional public services that work for everyone.  

Our work is guided by these principles: 

  • we put user needs first
  • we value delivery and outcomes over process
  • we work in the open   

Our flexible working policy ensures a healthy work-life balance. We also nurture talent and offer a broad range of learning and development opportunities that will help you flourish in your role. 

We work hard to maintain a positive working culture and are committed to helping you fulfil your potential. We value diversity and provide an open, inclusive and supportive environment to help you do your best work.   

You can keep up-to-date with our work on the [Home Office DDaT blog.]( 

Person specification

Essential Skills

You’ll have a demonstrable passion for user-centred design, with the following skills or some experience in:   

  • scoping, writing, editing and managing user-centred content for a range of platforms, tools and transactional services 
  • using data and research to design evidence-based solutions to complex problems, creating prototypes to share and test design proposals  
  • driving and embedding content standards, guidelines and processes that promote quality, consistency and best practice  
  • persuading stakeholders to adopt a user-centred, evidence-based approach by presenting information and arguments clearly and convincingly, both verbally and in writing 
  • making services accessible to the greatest range of people and needs  
  • acting autonomously and with authority, while dealing effectively with changing priorities and deadlines 

The skills listed above are reflective of the Home Office DDaT Profession Skills and Competency Model which is aligned to the cross government DDaT Skills and Capability Framework.   

Desirable Skills

Ideally, you will also have the following skills and some experience in: 

  • managing and mentoring high-performing content teams, providing them with guidance, training and constructive feedback within a supportive, collaborative and inclusive environment  
  • understanding complex organisations and systems, and the wider implications and long-term impact of business issues and activities  
  • familiarity with wider government strategy and position around digital and design 

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • User focus
  • User-centred content design
  • Stakeholder relationship management
  • Strategic thinking
  • You’ll be set-up for hybrid working from day one
    We provide you with an up-to-date Macbook, Office 365 licence as well as access to Sketch, Screenflow, Mural and code editing tools. We work a minimum of 40% if our week in an office (two-days if you are full-time, pro-rata for part-timers) and remote the rest of the week.  
  • You can help shape how we do design and research
    We support our community to become practice leads to pursue work which provides value to the wider community. We currently have practice leads in diversity and inclusion, sustainability, design ethics, and workshopping. 
  • You are supported by a government leading UCD Operations Team
    We have a team of passionate people who help support designers and researchers with tools, recruitment support, professional onboarding, guidance and our research library. 
  • Lots of ways to learn and develop
    In addition to our online training catalogue with O’Reilly and connections with professional training providers, we also offer peer learning, a comprehensive induction, and time to volunteer or do charity work. 

You’ll also have access to the same benefits available to all civil servants in the Home Office: 

  • An in-year performance bonus scheme.
  • A Civil Service pension with employer contribution rates of between 26.6% and 30.3%, depending upon salary.
  • 25 days annual leave on appointment, plus 8 days public holidays and 1 day for the King’s Birthday, rising further with service.
  • Flexible working options to enable you to achieve the work life balance that right for you including part-time, flexi time and job sharing.
  • Training and development opportunities tailored to your role.
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity.
  • Season ticket loans and rental deposit loans.
  • Cycle to work and payroll giving.
  • Employee discounts - including a huge number of retailers, Microsoft Home Use programme and gym membership.
  • A variety of staff recognition schemes including thank you vouchers.
  • Health and wellbeing initiatives including monthly mindfulness sessions.
  • Staff support networks.
  • Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks of statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid.
  • Maternity and adoption support leave (paternity leave) of 2 weeks full pay.
  • Up to five days paid leave for volunteering.
  • Study leave and support for studying for a qualification or other accredited development relevant to your role.

You can find more information at Benefits - Home Office Careers.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Experience and Technical skills.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and Personal Statement (Max Word Limit:750).

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

The Statement of Suitability should explain your motivation for applying to this role and offer evidence how you meet the essential criteria listed on the Job Specification.  

The sift will be based on the CV and the Statement of Suitability.    

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview. A week before the interview, you will be given a content design task. At the beginning of your interview, you will be asked to conduct a 10 minute presentation based on your task and then asked questions that explore your technical skills and experience. 

Sift and interview dates 

The sift will commence from 30th March 2023.  

Interviews are expected to take place from week commencing 17th April 2023. 

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding Coronavirus, and will be following Central Government advice as it is issued, as such you will be invited to attend a video interview Microsoft Teams.    

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.  

PLEASE NOTE: Due to time constraints we may not be able to offer alternative interview date(s). It is therefore expected that candidates who are successful at sift stage will make themselves available during the above time frame given.

Further Information  

Please read the essential skills for this position carefully. We will only consider those who meet the listed requirement.   

If you have previously made an unsuccessful application for a role with the same essential skills and are not able to demonstrate how you have developed these skills since your last application please reconsider applying as your application is unlikely to be successful. 

For meaningful checks to be carried out, individuals need to have lived in the UK for a sufficient period of time to enable appropriate checks to be carried out and produce a result which provides the required level of assurance. You should normally have been resident in the United Kingdom for the last 5 years for SC clearance and 10 years for DV. A lack of UK residency in itself is not necessarily a bar to a security clearance and applicants should contact the Vacancy Holder/Recruiting Manager listed in the advert for further advice. 

Higher Security Clearance: 

This post requires the successful candidate to hold security clearance at minimum SC level (normally requiring a five year UK footprint). Job offers to this post are made on the basis of merit. Security vetting will only take place after the receipt of a job offer.  

Visa Sponsorship Statement 

Please take note that the Home Office DDaT does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License and are unable to sponsor any individuals via Skilled Worker Sponsorship / Tier 2 (General) work visa. 

This post is eligible for a DDaT Recruitment Retention Allowance. Successful candidate with exceptional skills and experience may apply for a Recruitment and Retention Allowance up to a maximum of £9,000. This allowance is subject to an initial review within six months of taking up the post and thereafter an annual review in line with the departmental priorities and could be reduced or withdrawn at any time.  

This role can be based in any of the advertised location/regions, with an occasional travel required. You will be located in a regional office and under Home Office hybrid working practices you will be required to attend a Home Office workplace on an average of 40% of your working hours. Successful candidates will be able to obtain further information from their line manager.    

A reserve list of successful candidates will be kept for 12 months. Should another role become available within that period you may be offered this position.    

We often have similar roles available at different grades. If a candidate is suitable for a similar role or a lower grade than they have applied for, we may offer the candidate that role without the need to go through a further selection process providing the role has the same behaviours and essential skills.   

Every day, Home Office civil servants do brilliant work to develop and deliver policies and services that affect the lives of people across the country and beyond. To do this effectively and fairly, the Home Office is committed to representing modern Britain in all its diversity, and creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best. 

We are flexible, skilled, professional and diverse. We work to recruit and retain disabled staff and area Disability Confident Leader. We are proud to be one of the most ethnically diverse departments in the civil service. We are Stonewall top 100 Workplace Equality Employer and a Social Mobility Foundation top 75 employer. 
New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band. 
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant's details held on the IFD will be refused employment. 

For further information please see the attached notes for candidates which must be read before making an application. 
Existing Civil Servants should note that some of the Home Office terms and conditions of employment have changed. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the Terms and Conditions they will adopt should they be successful in application and should refer to the notes for candidates for further details. 
Transfer Terms: Voluntary
If you are invited to an interview you will be required to bring a range of documentation for the purposes of establishing identity and to aid any pre-employment checks. 
Please see the attached list of Home Office acceptable ID documents. 
Any move to the Home Office from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at 
Reasonable Adjustments 
If a person with disabilities is at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes. 
If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should: 
• Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs 
• Complete the “Assistance Required” section in the “Additional Requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you're deaf, a language service professional 
If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section. 


Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

  • Name : Ruth Christy
  • Email :

Recruitment team :

  • Email :

Further information

If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment
principles, and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact in the first instance If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, then you can contact the Civil Service Commission.

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