My Blog

Behaviour sets and stories

16 March, 2017    

The Moleagle is comfortable with zoomed-out strategic thinking and they love to dig down into the detail too. I’ve described how taking a zoomed out view as you consider a Primary mode of information seeking helps you understand the core of your information offer. Once you’ve identified your Primary mode you can move a little lower towards the details that will help you design. You’re probably most like a squirrel at this…

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Designing navigation and supporting seeking

8 March, 2017    

What’s the point of coming up with information architecture or a model to describe behaviour if it isn’t useful? Models should help you understand and make decisions – they’re a means to an end. IA is a means to an end too – it helps people make sense of stuff. I’m going to share with you how we’re using my model of navigation that I’ve written about previously. The legendary Moleagle…

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Motivated movement – navigation with intent

30 January, 2017    

I know what I want and where I want to go. There are times in life when we have a clear goal in mind and a fairly good idea of how to achieve it. We’re highly motivated. But we also have enough information to make informed decisions. We’ll know when we’re getting ‘warmer’ or ‘colder’ as we move through a space or structure. We’ll usually have strategies for efficiently getting…

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Mind the Gaps: Time and Space in Information Architecture (UX New Zealand 2016)

15 October, 2016    

Genesis. 11. 4-9. They said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and…

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Design Sprints at the BBC – EuroIA 2016 – Answers

27 September, 2016     /

At EuroIA 2016 some of the BBC UXA team ran a workshop on Design Sprints. There were around 90 participants and lots of questions. We answered many during the workshop. But here are follow-up answers to all the questions that were asked. [This post will be updated over the next few days] EuroIA 2016 – Answers to questions How do you change the mindset of participants who are hardly able…

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Design Sprints at the BBC – EuroIA 2016 – Appendix

27 September, 2016     /

Design Sprints are a method of moving quickly but designing thoroughly. You innovate and you learn. You mix techniques, focus on different skills at different times and work quickly and collaboratively. At EuroIA we delivered a workshop that was all these things – Design Sprints at the BBC. This is one of two blog posts to supplement the workshop. This is a summary – plus extra techniques and resources that we didn’t…

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‘Architecting’ is a word

16 February, 2016    

I love words. I love the sounds they make and the shapes they form. I love the ideas they can inspire. I love words. Words, for me, provide the perfect balance of freedom and containment. I mention this because I recently read an interview I’d given and in it there was a word that gave me pause for thought. The offending word was ‘architecting’. I’ll put my cards on the…

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I'm architecting a space in which experiences happen

Everyone makes IA – World IA Day 2015

22 February, 2015     /

This is a post inspired by my talk from World IA Day. On the day I had 20 minutes to fill – I did a magic trick and talked about an imaginary uncle. This post has the benefit of an edit, but recreates the central argument – everyone makes IA. Information architecture is everywhere, it’s a part of every project, every design includes it. But I think there’s often a…

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Reflective practice

21 November, 2014     / / / /

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably quite good at a few things. But if you are like me you probably sometimes have a hard time bragging about those things or even quite believing you possess them. This post is about the relationship between the things we do well (and not so well) and what we think and know about them. It’s about how self awareness and reflective practice can help you consolidate what you’re good at and get better at the other stuff.

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Content discovery and consumption – delivering the virtuous circle

23 May, 2014     / /

The main challenges for online audiences of the future (and content publishers) isn’t finding content, it’s finding (and recommending) the right content. The homepage is dead. Or perhaps now every page is a homepage. But what does that tell us? This post is about three stages of the user experience – content discovery, consumption and continuation. In online experiences, discovery leads to consumption which sets the user off on a…

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Spaces vs. Places – structures in information architecture

15 January, 2014    

Since I joined the BBC’s knowledge and learning team I’ve been exploring the concept of “real-world information architecture”. It’s a term I inherited, and I’ve never been entirely satisfied that there’s a shared definition of what it means. I’ve struggled to create a definition, but I think over the years I’ve been thinking about it, it’s informed the IA philosophy that has emerged and shaped our products and services. This…

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Design sprints and service design

7 January, 2014     / /

Previously I’ve written about design sprints and the lessons I learned from using them over two projects. This post is about the third time I’ve used design sprints, a five-day process of rapid idea generation and testing. For this project we combined the design sprints and service design tools to arrive at something that I think is pretty powerful. Human-centred product development One of the trends I’m tipping for 2014…

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Design sprints – what I’ve learned at the BBC

18 December, 2013    

As a user experience architect at the BBC I get involved in lots of different types of design projects. This year our team has been experimenting with a way of developing ideas using a method called ‘design sprints’. Inspired by Google Ventures (and described here), we’ve been exploring how we can use this approach to develop ideas, test them, fail fast and learn lots. I’m going to share what I’ve…

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Lots of ideas

Trends for 2014 – Storytelling in UX design

18 December, 2013     / /

After reviewing submissions for IA Summit 2014 it occurred to me that this might be a good opportunity to think about trends for the coming year. This is the final trend, and probably not so much a trend as the way I like to think about the world generally, but it helps out at work too. I’ve already written about search and being ambitious, everyone and everything. Today is about storytelling…

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