Pete Kowalczyk Content designer, Conversation designer

British, born 1983.
Languages: English (native), Japanese (intermediate)

University of Manchester
Physics BSc with honours (2005)
Codecademy HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Command line, Github (Current)
Behavioural Insights Team Applying behavioural sciences to digital services (2018)
University of Michigan Designing for humans (2017)
University of Michigan UX design (2017)
Digital Content Academy Content strategy intensive course (2016)
Government Digital Service (GDS) Content design training (2015)
S&P Global (Platts) Editor training programme (2014)


Content designer, conversation designer - June 2018 to present
GOV.UK apprenticeship service
Working on a multi-platform tool to improve apprenticeship standards by encouraging honest feedback - using SMS dialogues and mobile-first applications. I use content design and behavioural nudges to remove bias and subjectivity, encourage participation, to educate users about good quality, and translate results into meaningful information. All work is mobile-first and accessible to GDS service standards. We use the Microsoft Bot Framework and currently hardcode the scripts in C#.

Conversation designer - Aug 2018 to present
Methods digital - AI discovery phase 2
I'm designing and iterating a Slack bot to automate the organisation's timesheet submission and travel expense processes. Using conversation design theory based on the cooperative principle and multimodal design patterns to create a delightful UX with no dead ends. It's being built using the Slack API with Python.

Content designer, conversation designer - June 2018 to July 2018
GOV.UK apprenticeship service (Chatbot, voice platforms, and support services)
I was responsible for conversation design for a chatbot to field enquiries and automate processes, creating a library of design patterns and conventions validated via user testing. Also helped design the structure of messaging for IVR voice platforms and used behavioural nudges to encourage digital self-service. All work was to GDS service standards. I designed the bot using Amazon Lex - using NLP/NLU utterances, slots, and intents - and we tested prototypes using a virtual machine in Azure.

Content designer, conversation designer - June 2018
Methods digital - AI discovery phase 1
Conversation design and interaction design of a prototype chatbot to automate processes, field enquiries, and troubleshoot in-page errors by creating design conventions for serving up answers, multiple choice responses, dead ends, and query escalation. I designed a dual-track role for the bot so that it could also capture data to inform long-term continuous improvement of core services, and created a governance model to maintain the bot's content and its remit. I designed it using Amazon Lex utterances, intents and slots - and it was built using AWS Lambda functions with Python.


Content designer, content strategist - June 2018
Transitions - social enterprise helping refugee professionals find employment
I managed a project to reorient the website’s messaging, site structure, call-to-actions, and user journeys by implementing a user needs and top tasks content strategy. Handling sensitive topics, dealing with the livelihoods of refugees, with empathy and emotional intelligence. 


Content designer - April 2018 to May 2018 (8 week alpha)
GOV.UK services (Education and Skills Funding Agency)
Successfully passed the GDS and DfE Alpha assessment for the ‘Manage your funding’ digital service for schools and training providers. Working in a multidisciplinary scrum team to make highly complex data and financial systems mesh into an intuitive and accessible digital service. All work to GDS service standards.


Content designer - Jan 2018 to Mar 2018 (3 month project)
GOV.UK (Education and Skills Funding Agency)
Created and implemented a cross-agency content strategy for GOV.UK - to analyse the effectiveness of content, prioritise improvement work, and embed consistent standards, conventions and best practice.


Content designer - Dec 2017 to Jan 2018
Southampton University
Created a style guide, governance model, and a business-as-usual process for commissioning and measuring the effectiveness of the university's social media properties. Making sure user needs and business needs are met and content remains unique, relevant and cost-effective.


Content designer - Dec 2017 (2 week project)
GOV.UK services (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency)
Designed the taxonomy, user journeys, navigation, and guidance content for car MOT tests in the UK. Tackling highly technical content for this heavily used service - in an accessible, intuitive and practical way that'll work on any device. All work to GDS service standards.

Content designer / Lead UX Writer - Apr 2017 to Sept 2017
GOV.UK services (Education and Skills Funding Agency)
Created the ESFA content design microsite and defined a vision for the agency’s content, working on voice and tone, using research and data. I mentored new content designers, wrote blog posts, did presentations and set up a knowledge sharing mailing list in order to build capacity. All work to GDS service standards.


Consultant UX Writer - June 2017
GOV.UK services (Ministry of Justice)
Undertook a content review of a product to help people appeal against losing their social support - ensuring the product gave feedback and reassurance in the right tone across different devices for users of varying digital capability. All work to GDS service standards.


Product content designer (UX Writer) - Aug 2016 to Mar 2017
GOV.UK services (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and Skills Funding Agency)
Designed easy-to-use products that underpinned complex government policies - basing designs on user needs, working in highly collaborative multidisciplinary teams. All work to GDS service standards.


Senior content designer - Apr 2016 to Aug 2016
GOV.UK services (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Content lead for a number of the department’s services and content features, with a particular focus on user journeys. All work to GDS service standards.


Content designer - Nov 2014 to Mar 2016
GOV.UK (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Content designer working closely with lawyers, economists, and policy teams, to produce accurate and easy-to-understand content for high profile and contentious environmental policy areas.

Journalist - Sept 2008 to Mar 2016
CNN, the Guardian, Vice, Dazed, S&P Global, the Nikkei, Latterly  
Researched and created digital content about arts, culture, business and finance for international readerships - informed by analytics data.