In 2015, when 18F's content team was much smaller than it is now, I founded the Writing Lab — a virtual writing center that offers on-demand writing and editing help to the projects that need it most. Our lab is based on the concept of the university writing center and draws on Alan Lakein's "Swiss Cheese" theory of time management — editors complete lab tasks in the odd moments when they're not occupied with client work.
The lab's impact on 18F has been phenomenal. Since the lab's inception, our editors have completed more than 240 unique jobs, most of which would otherwise have fallen by the wayside. Some notable examples of our work include:
- Refining the help center copy for login.gov
- Offering branding guidance to Fugacious, an open-source, short-term secure messaging app
- Revising the content of the 18F Design Method Cards to ensure consistency of tone and eliminate jargon
- Reworking our talent team's mission statement
- Writing the site copy for Every Kid in a Park (this lab issue eventually led to a full-time content engagement)
In April 2016, I gave a talk at Confab Central about 18F's lab and how folks can bootstrap their own — you can watch it here.
Role: Lab founder (project lead), Lab editor (18F)