Author: Dan Ramsden

  • Talking about IA at conferences – Most of what we do is invisible

    Talking about IA at conferences – Most of what we do is invisible

    Most of what we do is invisible. A lot of the time I’m manipulating ideas, concepts, data and information, rather than pixels. A lot of the time I’m adjusting and reframing constraints, nudging at assumptions to rearrange them to play more nicely with my ambitions. A lot of the time I’m staring at a spreadsheet. […]

  • Mind the gap – Taxonomies, tags and trajectories at the BBC

    Mind the gap – Taxonomies, tags and trajectories at the BBC

    In this post I talk about the dangers of ignoring gaps, the importance of making the invisible stuff in projects more visible – assumptions, the connections and relationships, the dependencies and possibilities. I also discuss the structures we make and the ways we can understand and explain the experiences they contain.

  • When should you think like an architect?

    When should you think like an architect?

    Eddie Obeng taught me about four “types” of projects: “Paint-by-numbers” projects are the kind you can approach with most confidence. You know what to do and how to do it. If you follow the method defined by the problem, you should succeed. But it’s hard to innovate. “Movie projects” occur when you’re less certain of […]

  • ‘Architecting’ is a word

    ‘Architecting’ is a word

    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 […]

  • User journeys, Trajectories and Transitions for UX designers

    User journeys, Trajectories and Transitions for UX designers

    This post is about gaps. I think gaps are where most of the interesting design challenges are lurking, particularly if you’re interested in information architecture. Information architecture is fundamentally interested in gaps — gaps between problems and solutions, between products and audiences, between perfection and pragmatism. Gaps invite us to think about the differences that cause them and […]

  • Sitemaps and taxonomic thinking

    Sitemaps and taxonomic thinking

    I used to love a good sitemap, all those boxes and arrows… lovely stuff. But now I’m not so sure. I think it’s good to occasionally take a step back from the bread and butter techniques and deliverables that you rely on and ask a few questions. Sometime I think we come to an old […]

  • Everyone makes IA – World IA Day 2015

    Everyone makes IA – World IA Day 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 […]

  • Everyone makes IA – running a team away day

    Everyone makes IA – running a team away day

    Before you read this post. Choose a card. Remember it. In December 2014, just before Christmas, the UXA team at the BBC took on the challenge of convincing 120 UX designers that they all make information architecture. IA is a specialism. But it also underpins all user experiences. I wanted to give UX designers the confidence to […]

  • Reflective practice

    Reflective practice

    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.

  • Interact 2014 – Dan Ramsden

    Interact 2014 – Dan Ramsden

    Design like you’re right. Test like you’re wrong. And be careful what you throw away. Interact London is a UX design conference which brought together leading speakers with talks that explored the importance of design and the roles that User Experience and Information Architecture play in today’s digital society. I chose to talk about reflective […]

  • Curations in space and time

    Curations in space and time

    Information architecture is preoccupied with space. I work hard to understand the shape and nature of the information spaces I create online. I work even harder to try to imbue these spaces with meaning, making sense of the content individually and considering what will happen when these pieces are combined into a whole. I want to create […]

  • What’s a UXA?

    What’s a UXA?

    I’m a User experience architect or UXA. UXAs are part of the BBC design team, but it’s a job title that can sometimes be difficult to decode – as I’ve learned when trying to describe what I do to family and friends. It’s fairly easy to imagine what a designer might do, but a user […]

  • Content discovery and consumption – delivering the virtuous circle

    Content discovery and consumption – delivering the virtuous circle

    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 […]

  • Designing navigation – the information to affordance ratio

    Designing navigation – the information to affordance ratio

    When you’re designing navigation you need to keep in mind that on the web, signposts don’t jump point, they also transport. The last time I had a big ‘navigation’ job on, I wrote about this. I observed that links on the web describe a destination and provide the means by which to travel there. Navigation […]