Dan Brown

Dan Brown has been practicing information architecture and user experience design since 1994. Through his work, he has improved enterprise communications for Fortune 500 clients, including US Airways, Fannie Mae, First USA, British Telecom, Special Olympics, AOL, and the World Bank. Dan has taught classes at Duke, Georgetown, and American Universities and has written articles for the CHI Bulletin, Interactive Television Today (itvt.com) and Boxes and Arrows, an online magazine dedicated to information architecture. In March 2002, Dan participated in a panel discussion on the creation of information architecture deliverables at the annual IA Summit in Baltimore. He also presented a poster entitled, “Where the Wireframes Are: The Use and Abuse of Page Layouts in the Practice of Information Architecture.” Currently, Dan leads the Information Design and Content Management group within the office of e-Government for the Transportation Security Administration, a federal agency dedicated to protecting freedom of movement in the US.

Stories by Dan Brown

Held up as a trio of “must have” books for the Information Architect, Tufte’s books are the quintessential resource for information design. But many IAs may wonder how Tufte’s principles can be applied to their daily work. Dan Brown offers three lessons from Tufte.

PowerPoint: the software we love to hate. Has there been any other software since the dawn of the personal computer that has earned so much criticism? The question at hand is not, “Does PowerPoint suck?” The answer to that, as we all know, is yes. The question is, in fact, “For information architects, does PowerPoint suck?” Or, more to the point, “Even though PowerPoint sucks, should I use it for my deliverables?”

No column on information architecture deliverables would be complete without at least some mention of tools. Dan Brown offers three tips on using Visio, Microsoft’s diagramming application, that should make your life easier and more efficient.

A wireframe, as you probably know, describes the contents of a web page by illustrating a mock layout. Usually wireframes are rendered in some kind of drawing program, like Visio or Illustrator, but can also appear as bitmaps or even HTML. In his latest installment, Dan Brown, shows how the wireframe can transcend layout and work for all team members.

There are a lot of things that make deliverables good: coherence, context and relevance hardly constitute a comprehensive list. But by focusing on techniques that achieve coherence, context and relevance, information architects can address the challenges of starting a document, focusing the document and explaining its value.

In the first of a continuing series, Dan Brown will seek to elaborate on the preparation of deliverables, a crucial component in the maturation of Interactive Design. He will regularly explore the nuances of artifacts and share techniques that can help make your deliverables more valuable to other team members and clients.

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