The role of a Digital Producer is not easily defined. The number of hats you need to wear for one project would keep a milliner busy for a month.
When I started doing this job at the BBC over 10 years ago we made games for children in Flash and mobile wasn’t something we were able to consider. Fast forward via a start up to my present day at Kids Industries and it’s pretty much possible to build a website, game or app in any way you want, for any platform or device.
This makes being a producer an enjoyably varied job but not easy to explain when someone says: What do you do? What makes it difficult to define is what makes it such a rewarding job. Most importantly for the client (who are always looking for value for money), they’re getting several people for the price of one.
It can involve full-on project management, to coming up with creative concepts and ideas, or curating or producing content itself. Normally it’s all of the above and more, but it’s also about managing people.
Understanding a client, their needs and their brand enables you to support internal teams, consolidate the work of designers and developers, as well as anticipate problems or solve any that arise. Ultimately, it’s about making sure the client gets what they are paying for, so it’s important to be able to communicate what can sometimes be complex design and technical approaches in a language they can understand.
Working closely with designers and developers who are passionate about what they do is a great opportunity to learn from disciplines that are much easier to define than that of a producer. It’s one big collaboration to facilitate and it can be challenging to create that perfect symbiosis.
The most important people, though, are the audience, your user. Knowledge of these small and ever-curious humans should underpin everything you do, whatever hat you’re wearing. User testing as a formal part of a production process can provide invaluable insight that can only ever serve to make your product better. Be an expert in them – who they are, what they want, how they want it and how they use it.
As a producer and now a new mum, I have a few more hats to add to my collection, but I also have a free, in-house audience member and user tester at my disposal!