Today’s “60 Seconds With …” interview features another of the Scottish contingent who will be attending IWMW 2019: Lauren Tormey, University of Edinburgh.
1. How do you describe to your friends/parents/next door neighbour what you do for a living?
My job is basically content design and in a consultancy capacity at the University of Edinburgh.
To the outside world, I say my job is telling other people how to make good websites.
2. Tell us something really cool about your job at the moment
We’ve got some exciting changes coming up at Edinburgh in terms of restructuring how we deliver web services, which my colleague Stratos Filalithis will be speaking about in his plenary.
3. What’s the most exciting thing about web and digital in the HE sector right now?
The attention we’re getting! Especially in my field, the number of speakers, articles and resources from HE I’m seeing in the wider content community is really encouraging. I like that we’re getting a platform to tell other industries about the great work we do in HE.
4. What’s your proudest moment in your career so far?
Seeing good content I’ve helped create actually make a difference.
Last year at IWMW, I ran a workshop based around a project I had been leading to improve the quality of IT help content at Edinburgh. At the end of last year, we saw support calls on a particular topic we worked on drop by half.
It is incredibly challenging in a devolved institution like ours to convince web editors why creating user-centred content is so important and a worthwhile investment. When you work with a department who get on board with this idea and then the numbers back up the work you do, it’s a pretty sweet feeling of victory.
5. If you weren’t doing this career what would your dream job be?
Talk show host.
I’m a chatty lady who likes to ask provocative questions. My co-workers can attest to this.
6. What will delegates take away from your session at IWMW this year?
I hope delegates leave with a greater understanding of all the research that’s out there on how we read online and have a think about whether their own institutional styles are as user-centred and accessible as they can be.
7. Any fond/embarrassing memories of previous IWMW events (if attended previously)?
At IWMW 2017, my colleagues from Edinburgh and I got into an intense game of cards with some other delegates. I don’t think anyone could have anticipated how competitive it would get.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love film – I usually average around 60 cinema trips a year and regularly attend a local film quiz.
As of last year, I’ve also started running. I’m spending 2019 traveling around the UK to run a 10k each month. This has been a lot of fun, and I’m taking advantage of IWMW to come down to London a few days early to run my June 10k nearby.
9. What’s your guilty pleasure?
‘The Bachelor’ – I don’t feel guilty about it, though, it’s just pleasure. For those who are not familiar, ‘The Bachelor’ (and ‘The Bachelorette’) is a reality competition show where one man/woman dates 30 women/men over a series of two months to get engaged to one of them in the end. Truly the best way to meet a future spouse.
10. Sum up IWMW in one word
I think the main allure of IWMW is that super awesome people attend it, and super awesome people make for a great conference experience.
Lauren Tormey is part of the University of Edinburgh’s Website & Communications team. She uses her editorial, CMS and UX skills to help the 1000+ web publisher community to manage more effective, user-focused websites.
Lauren was a workshop facilitator at IWMW 2017 and IWMW 2018. She is facilitating a workshop session at IWMW 2019 and chairing a session on “Delivering Digital “. Lauren is also a member of the IWMW 2019 advisory group.