Understanding digital roles

There are various roles in a multidisciplinary team. Learn about what each role does and the purpose it serves.

When you work with a multidisciplinary team, you get better results more quickly. Digital delivery teams work together with members from a range of disciplines on the same service at the same time.  

Rather than wait for a team to finish their work before making a start, multidisciplinary teams work in unison, combining their skills to speed up processes.  

Digital disciplines 

The roles in a multidisciplinary team come from different disciplines. You may need some of the following disciplines in your team: 

  • user research 
  • product management 
  • delivery management 
  • interaction design 
  • service design 
  • content design 
  • performance analysis 
  • software engineering 
  • testing.  

Digital roles 

Some roles will be in your core multidisciplinary team for the life of the service. You may also need to bring in specific roles for each stage in the service design and delivery process

Remember that a team member can cover several roles from different disciplines. For example, your content designer may also do user research. 

Service manager 

The service manager is responsible for the whole user experience. They are available to the team, but not with them all the time. They are sometimes called the senior responsible officer or experience owner.

Service managers:

  • are a senior executive who can unblock obstacles 
  • are an experienced leader with a strong understanding of their service and its users 
  • champion the service at the most senior levels of the Australian Public Service 
  • ensure the service is delivered on time and budget, and meets user needs 
  • help make sure internal processes focus on achieving results 
  • create actionable insights to guide work. 

Product manager 

The product manager leads the strategic direction and delivery of the service or product. Sometimes called a product owner.

Product managers:

  • work with the user researcher and service designer to understand the current service 
  • work with the team to set the vision for improving the service 
  • work with the user researcher, service designer and delivery manager to make sure the service meets user needs 
  • own and manage the product backlog 
  • prioritise user stories 
  • accept user stories when they’re delivered 
  • manage stakeholder engagement 
  • manage approvals and budget 
  • develop the right team culture  
  • are available to answer questions from the team.

Delivery manager 

The delivery manager supports multidisciplinary teams to deliver simple, clear and fast services. Sometimes called a scrum master.

Delivery managers:

  • help the team work in an agile way
  • build a user-centred service 
  • reduce risk by regularly releasing and improving parts of the service 
  • iterate frequently to meet user needs 
  • monitor team delivery 
  • help remove blockers to progress 
  • work with the product manager to plan how to deliver the service and products 
  • run daily stand up and weekly team meetings 
  • make sure the product backlog is up to date 
  • manage the budget with the product manager. 

User researcher 

The user researcher helps the team develop a deep understanding of users and their needs.

User researchers: 

  • build an understanding of the users and their behaviour 
  • work with the product manager and designers to prioritise work to meet user needs 
  • run research sessions with users 
  • analyse and share findings 
  • provide insights on how users interact with the service or product. 

Content strategist 

The content strategist creates a plan to deliver content that meets user and agency needs.

Content strategists:

  • develop a content strategy that guides the creation of clear and well-structured content for the product or service 
  • focus on the planning, structure, process, creation, delivery, governance and archiving of content 
  • align content with business goals and user needs 
  • audit content 
  • help create information architecture 
  • develops and implement measures of success.  

Learn more at the Digital Transformation Agency’s Content Strategy Guide 

Content designer 

The content designer makes sure all content meets user needs. This includes the text, visuals and interactive content.

Content designers:

  • work with subject matter experts to write clear text in plain language 
  • review content to make sure it’s accurate and written in line with the Content Guide 
  • structure content to reflect how users read online and on different devices 
  • make sure content is accessible and inclusive 
  • make sure content is searchable and findable 
  • use research and data to make sure content meets user needs 
  • communicate the principles of content design to your team and agency. 

Service designer 

The service designer identifies how a service can meet user needs.

Service designers:

  • design the end-to-end service, from legislation or policy to service delivery 
  • make decisions based on user research 
  • design a service that meets user and agency needs 
  • make sure the service meets web standards for all users, channels and touchpoints 
  • create a blueprint or map of the proposed service 
  • make sure the main parts of the service are built in from the start 
  • help the team to develop and iterate the service or product 
  • make sure the service and product are consistent for users. 

Interaction designer 

The interaction designer creates the user interface for the service. Interaction designers:

  • design the interface to work across devices and browsers 
  • make sure the interface meets web standards, including accessibility 
  • make sure users have a consistent experience across the service 
  • build the user interface with responsive design methods using common design patterns 
  • share with the design community to improve future designs 
  • prototype and test services or products, or work with developers to make prototypes. 

Technology lead 

The technology lead finds the best technology solutions to deliver a service. They are sometimes called a lead engineer.

Technology leads: 

  • develop and implement the tech strategy for the product or service 
  • consider what is technically and financially viable 
  • make sure the technology works with your agency’s enterprise architecture 
  • guide and carry out the implementation of technology 
  • are aware of current and emerging technologies 
  • make decisions about technology that reduce service support and maintenance costs. 

Get in touch

For further information, please visit Digital Profession