Camp Digital is a conference that focuses on design and user experience. It considers how technology is changing, its impact on the digital world and how we can utilise it.

Team RocketMill attended this year’s conference, which had a strong moral message running through it: “Digital for good.”

Out of this theme there are a few key takeaways that we can all use in our day-to-day work.

1. Shape the future responsibly

Tom Loosemore, part of the team behind GOV.UK, had an inspirational take on what we can do with the technology we have access to.

We are only at the start of the Internet, which means we have a great deal of responsibility. We have a unique opportunity to shape how people use and access the Internet. Not everybody is in the fortunate position of influencing how this new technology will grow, nor be able to have their say. We must therefore stand up for them.

Technology is for all, so the Internet is for all. We have to make sure that it remains usable and accessible for everyone. We can do this by ensuring we do not use dark patterns or jargon and always considering web accessibility standards.

2. Research is power

One point consistently made throughout the conference was that there is a need for research throughout a process or project – not just at the start. Once research has been conducted, opportunities can be identified and expanded upon.

By understanding your audience you can create better-suited content. This can be by making sure text answers questions the user has in mind, or knowing how your user base interacts with the Internet. It is only once we understand our users and their mindset that we can create truly valuable services that people love to use.

Applications such as Google Analytics may tell you what is happening, but conducting user research will tell you why. This research can highlight opportunities for service offerings as well as technical aspects such as long-tail SEO and PPC opportunities.

3. Human content

By merging what the user wants to hear with what your service is offering, users will immediately find the service useful. Pair this with showing the information when required and the user will relate to the content more.

Answering questions in a human, jargon-free and concise manner allows users to connect and appreciate the content. Taking time to create this content is truly worthwhile from all points of view.

By presenting all information at once, users can become overwhelmed. Through building knowledge gradually and as required, users do not feel overwhelmed or patronised.

Conclusion

Overall, the conference reflected its message of “digital for good” effectively. By understanding the needs of users, we can create valuable content that serves those needs and helps. Be it through psychological study, survey or Google Analytics, by knowing who is accessing our services and why, we can give them a) what they want; and b) something genuinely useful.

The stand-out message for the day, however, was to create this content for users in a responsible manner. Consider where the user is on their journey with the service, what their technical skills are and what their existing knowledge is. Creating accessible content for a range of users is a tough skill, but when achieved it produces fantastic and invaluable results.

How do you think we can use digital for good, in keeping with the theme of Camp Digital? Let us know @rocketmill.