Hello there… from Dan Ramsden?

I am Dan Ramsden. I design experiences.

Of course, everyone creates experiences. We all do things, and lots of the time other people experience those things. I like to think that when I do a thing that someone is going to experience, I do it thoughtfully. Professionally, most of the things I do are on the web. But even though they’re therefore often virtual, I still treat them with love and respect.

I’m currently the Creative director for User experience architecture at the BBC. I lead a team of information architects who are committed to making the BBC’s tools, content and experiences more meaningful and connected. I’m based in Salford, at MediaCity UK.

Past

I previously worked at The Workshop. I specialised in information architecture as well as imagining, writing and creating content for communication and learning. I worked on projects for organisations like DWP, Morrisons, Parliament Education Service, Sheffield Hallam University and the BBC.

Before joining The Workshop I worked for Dead Earnest Theatre. Dead Earnest use live performance techniques for teaching, training and behavioural change. I carried out research into non-linear narratives and how stories can be used to change the way we think, feel and behave. I’m still interested in this, and though I’ve worked across these companies and sectors I’ve always been interested in using ‘content’ to entertain, educate and inform.

Present

As the Creative director for user experience architecture (UXA) at the BBC I lead a team of IA specialists. I’m responsible for defining the professional practice of UXA at the BBC and ensuring that we’re creating information architecture that delivers the best possible experiences to our audiences.

There are UXAs based in Salford and London. We work together and with teams across the BBC to apply IA theory and practice to shape not only the structure, skeleton and surface of our products, but also impact on scope and strategy.

Future

Most of us do fairly well exploring the world, avoiding traps and deadends and remembering the important stuff. I want to create digital experiences that feel just as intuitive to explore and enjoy.

I think that context is everything.

The web is a representation of the world. Technologies like linked data and the semantic web promise a lot, but they’re just another representation. Right from when Plato told his story about shadows on the wall of a cave, we’ve been wrestling with representations and reality. I think that by exploring how the web can best represent realities, whether these are factual or fictional, we can start to tell each other more compelling stories while getting closer to the ‘truth’ of reality.