Author: Dan Ramsden

  • Not necessarily navigation

    Not necessarily navigation

    If you want to understand something, look towards the boundaries* The edges of things are interesting. IAs should be comfortable identifying that distinct boundary that marks the end of one thing and the beginning of another. We know the power of thinking about the ‘thingness’ that makes a thing the thing that it is. But […]

  • Foggy finding – navigation with persistence

    Foggy finding – navigation with persistence

    You can’t always get what you want… Information is a delicate, immaterial thing. Information-rich environments present challenges – to designers and actors navigating them. Environments intersect and overlap. Actors have different needs at different times. Information changes. Content and the spaces that contain it alter and evolve. The means to access information vary. Truth is […]

  • Delightful discovery – navigating the unknown

    Delightful discovery – navigating the unknown

    The world is full of wonders yet to be discovered. Good navigation often results in discovery – ask John Mandeville. Sometimes we want to encourage and support an explorer mindset in our audience. We create new content, features and services. Information architects must be able to empower actors to find them. My second category focuses […]

  • Motivated movement – navigation with intent

    Motivated movement – navigation with intent

    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’ […]

  • A model for navigation and information-seeking

    A model for navigation and information-seeking

    Navigation is both a noun and a verb. Navigation describes the activity and behaviour of moving with intent. And, at least on the web, it’s the word we most often reach for to describe the tools that enable this movement. As an information architect I want people to be able to move through and across […]

  • Concurrent information architecture

    Concurrent information architecture

    I often think of information architecture as providing ‘direction’ – it defines an axis along which an experience should flow. IA lays the foundation for a design – so it prescribes some of the shapes that will emerge as a product or service is designed and built. But I like to think it also helps to shape […]

  • A Miracle at Christmas – UXMAS 2016

    A Miracle at Christmas – UXMAS 2016

    In 2016 I contributed to UXMAS. Here is my submission. When it gets to this time of year I start thinking about what I’ve achieved in the last 12 months, and what next year might hold. I’m not a great believer in New Year’s resolutions. But I thought it might be fun for us all […]

  • 2016 – a year of highs, from one perspective

    2016 – a year of highs, from one perspective

    As it’s almost 2017 as I write this, I did a little bit of thinking about the year. I can sometimes be accused of being relentlessly positive (maybe too positive sometimes) – but 2016 has been a great year for me, UXA at the BBC and the team I’m a part of.  Information architecture at the BBC […]

  • Space-Time // Experience-architecture

    Space-Time // Experience-architecture

    At UX New Zealand Jason Cranford Teague shared some of his thinking on temporal design. Jason argued for an extension of UX practice and design thinking to consider the experience and evolution of designs in time. This is a subject close to my heart. I’ve been talking about Trajectories, time and experience architecture for a […]

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

    Mind the Gaps: Time and Space in Information Architecture (UX New Zealand 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 […]

  • Design Sprints at the BBC – EuroIA 2016 – Answers

    Design Sprints at the BBC – EuroIA 2016 – Answers

    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 – […]

  • Design Sprints at the BBC – EuroIA 2016 – Appendix

    Design Sprints at the BBC – EuroIA 2016 – Appendix

    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 […]

  • Time, space and information architecture

    Information architects create places made out of information, so thinking spatially has always been a big part of what we do. But IA isn’t just about space. IAs should always be thinking about the experiences that their spaces contain. Experiences happen in time. I’ve spent some time thinking about time and space, so that I […]

  • Structure, movement and interaction – Three pillars of information architecture

    Structure, movement and interaction – Three pillars of information architecture

    We don’t make pages anymore. It’s odd. In the past the majority of my creative output focused on creating whole things. I made pages. I arranged them. I created structures made of information. I’ve always thought about the parts of the things I designed. I realised early that most digital things are really bundles of other, smaller […]