Author: Dan Ramsden

  • Consistently describing design

    I’ve been writing about the design process, suggesting that different models can give us different perspectives on what we’re doing when we’re designing. I’ve suggested that design is a process of translation and balance – transforming ideas between abstract forms to concrete instantiations that people can experience. In my last post I used the metaphor […]

  • The design process and the scaffolding within

    In a post last week, I shared a definition for design. I said: “Design is the translation of intent into experiments designed to generate value.” That post is about how information architecture is the stable set of rules which govern the relationships within a design to bring internal coherence. Information architecture means designs are easier […]

  • Why is “information architecture” at the centre of the design process?

    Let’s get two things straight — namely what I think “information architecture” and “design” are. I think both names suffer from a problem. They describe both an output and a process. The decisions that you make as you design or architect change the product or service that you’re working on. How you make the decisions is the process […]

  • The Zone of uncomfortable debate

    The Zone of uncomfortable debate

    This is a talk I filmed for an event in November 2022. It focuses on the challenges of effective collaboration and covers ideas around: – the zone of uncomfortable debate – humble inquiry – crucial conversations – and negotiation tips from Never Split the Difference. It’s all strung together from a memory I have of […]

  • Better Bossing: Lessons from Adaptive Leadership

    Better Bossing: Lessons from Adaptive Leadership

    Which ideas from adaptive leadership can we adopt to help us connect and adapt to become a better boss? As I’ve written about becoming a better boss I’ve developed a simple model to describe the factors that might affect the relationships between a leader or manager and their colleagues. The model describes how factors of […]

  • Better Bossing: Social Capital

    Better Bossing: Social Capital

    Three concepts to help us identify where and how we might earn, store and spend social capital to make us and our teams more effective.

  • Better Boss Series: Trust

    Better Boss Series: Trust

    Why is trust so important and how do you build and maintain it?

  • Announcing: The Guide to Being a Better Boss

    Announcing: The Guide to Being a Better Boss

    Everyone deserves a great boss. In this series, Dan Ramsden shares what he’s learned to help him become a better boss.

  • Teaming with the Virus, UX New Zealand 2020

    Teaming with the Virus, UX New Zealand 2020

    Here is the text of the talk I gave at UX New Zealand: It’s great to be back at UX New Zealand, if only virtually.  I got the speak at this conference in 2016 and loved the feeling of community. Now I’m sat here, on my own, imagining you, sat in a room on the […]

  • How do you do IA?

    How do you do IA?

    Being an information architect is hard. I think two of the biggest challenges to working as an IA are that we often work independently and every project is different. It’s hard to learn from others and getting experience takes time. There are definitely things that each IA can learn from looking at the practice of […]

  • Confidence, competence and curiosity

    Here are about 3,000 words about the growth mindset, confidence, competence and imposter phenomenon. This is the culmination of thinking I’ve done about how to support myself and others to be more engaged and thoughtful about development and the things that stand in the way of growth. I presented some of these ideas at The […]

  • Intentional architecture

    Intentional architecture

    Why do information architects make an intentional effort to architect things? It’s to make them easier to make sense of and use.

  • What did linked data ever do for us anyway? – from BBC Academy

    What did linked data ever do for us anyway? – from BBC Academy

    Linked data is the super-structure over which content is stretched and experiences flow. It can switch our taxonomic thinking into ontological thinking. So we can move beyond classifying content using just hierarchies and start describing the real world richness that connects our content together. Linked data can power the online journeys of the future, and […]

  • Navigation, content and interactions – a model using intention and ability

    Navigation, content and interactions – a model using intention and ability

    At the start of the year I wrote lots and lots and lots and lots about a range of behaviours connected to information seeking and navigation. The stories and sets of behaviours I described have been useful for teams thinking about the different modes and behaviours that users might flow through and between as they complete tasks and […]