With so many excellent partners within The Northern Affinity, we thought what better way for you to get to know them than with their own partner spotlight.
Let’s kick things off with Helen Hill (Unlikely Genius). Having recently joined The Northern Affinity in 2020, let’s get to know her a bit better.
Tell us about your business.
I’m a bit of a mixed bag. I’m a learning and content designer.
In short, this means I take a company’s content and turn it into an online course. This can be something totally new for the business, or it’s often a case of moving what was previously face-to-face training to an online training course. I work on the full process from consultation to writing to design and build.
I also design content that’s part of User Experience (UX) design. A UX designer would look at the overall design of a system. The content designer works alongside them to look at the detail of the writing and language, flow, and accessibility. It’s giving people the right content, at the right time, in the right place and ensuring a website or service fulfils user needs. It’s looking at how we can efficiently solve a problem the users have.
I’m also trying to look at how I can help small businesses who can’t necessarily afford to hire someone to move their training online. I produce resources to help. There’s a free Facebook group for them to join and I offer low cost services such as power hours and a course to help them as much as I can.
Had any good news lately?
I’ve worked for myself since 2018. I’m very proud of how successful and thriving the business has become in that short space of time. It has honestly been life-changing for me.
I’m now fully booked up with work well into 2021. I’m starting to get lots of interest in things like interviews, speaking gigs and collaborations, so I seem to be getting well known. It’s going better than I ever thought possible!
I’ve also recently won a couple of awards.
NEOTW (Non-employee of the week) award in the Being Freelance community
ISTC awards – Communicator Article of the Year
Who do you want to be speaking to?
I have two main types of clients. Firstly, eLearning agencies who need extra resources for new projects.
Second, is any company who needs to move their content, training or service online. Most often they are companies that are looking to be more efficient and free up time by moving face-to-face training into a digital service.
These customers range from small self-employed companies of one, up to public sector, charities and private sector organisations.
As an example, I’m currently working on two large projects. One for a UK based eLearning company and the other for a division of the NHS. I also have smaller pieces of work for a technology company, an eLearning supplier and a charity.
Why did you decide to do what you do?
Because I love learning. I’m an eternal student, a total geek; constantly learning new things and taking up new hobbies almost by the week. The learning industry is perfect for me.
Due to my wide mix of skills, I get a lot of variety in the work I’m doing – I can be writing scripts in the morning, followed by designing infographics, then I might be building a course or creating character designs in the afternoon. This variety, though difficult to manage at times, is key for me.
What’s your focus right now?
A big focus for my business is to ensure that the end product being created is usable and designed for the audience, whether it’s a course, a service, or promotional content.
I’m a big advocate of usability, accessibility and inclusion. These can get lost in the battle to wade through the input of lots of stakeholders, and in the rush to meet deadlines and budgets. And this is where the content design and UX knowledge has a big input to my learning design. These fields can all learn so much from each other.
Thank you to Helen for telling us more about your business. To find out more about Helen, her work and how you can work together, visit her partner profile or head to her website.