A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Brown, Dan

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Coherence, Context, Relevance: Special Deliverable

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.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Articles>Information Design>Rhetoric


Communicating Design: Web Design Documentation

An overview of web design methods, including a survey of questions one should ask during the process.

Brown, Dan. SlideShare (2006). Presentations>Web Design>Documentation


Deliverables and Methods: Special Deliverable #8

To date this column has focused on how to make deliverables more effective, either through their content or through the tools to create them. For this issue, I would like to explore the relationship between deliverables and methodology. Unfortunately, this calls for a definition of IA methodology, which may challenge the definition of IA as the hardest question in our field.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Information Design>Methods


In Which a Concept Model Makes Me Giddy

Concept models aren't for everyone. When I show fellow designers these artifacts, I sometimes get "You show that to clients?" Like any deliverable, there's a time and a place for concept models. If you're anything like me, however, you think visually. Even if your models don't see the light of day, a good model can help you get a better grip on the problem, or lay some groundwork for your designs.

Brown, Dan. User Interface Engineering (2009). Articles>Graphic Design>Technical Illustration>Sitemaps


Information Architecture 2.0

Modern Web technologies permit greater flexibility in navigation, search, retrieval, and display. At the same time, the quantity of information is growing exponentially, and users expect greater control over content.

Brown, Dan. UXmatters (2005). Design>Web Design>Instructional Design


Review: Information Architecture Library Quick Reference: Special Deliverable

In this column, you'll find an overview of three IA books from a deliverables point of view. The purpose of this article is not to say whether one book is better than another, or even to comment on the overall quality of the books, but to provide a guide to what kind of deliverables information you can find in each book, and where.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Reviews>Information Design


Opening Pandora's Box: Special Deliverable

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.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Design>Web Design>Interactive


Representing Content and Data in Wireframes

Visio practically groaned as I opened the wireframes for my current project, which were in something like the twentieth revision. It was the usual story--poorly defined requirements and business rules--and my project folder was fast becoming the poster child for Feature Creep Flu.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2004). Articles>Graphic Design>Technical Illustration


Three Visio Tips: Special 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.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Articles>Information Design>Software>Visio


Toggling Shapes in Visio

This article will expand upon the Visio techniques presented in the last Special Deliverable and will build on them, showing how to create a widget that can be toggled between two states.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2005). Articles>Information Design>Software>Visio


Understanding PowerPoint: Special Deliverable #5

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?'

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Articles>Software>Presentations>Microsoft PowerPoint


Visio Glue: Not For Sniffing

Spend any time with Visio and you'll find yourself wondering how glue works. In the real world, it's pretty straightforward: put glue between two things and they'll stick. Although glue is used for sticking shapes together in Visio, the metaphor ends there.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2005). Articles>Information Design>Software>Visio


Visual Vocabulary Three Years Later: An Interview with Jesse James Garrett

This interview focuses on Jesse James Garret's Visual Vocabulary, a site architecture documentation standard.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Design>Documentation>Information Design>Web Design


Where the Wireframes Are: Special Deliverable #3

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.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Articles>Information Design>Web Design


Wireframe Annotations in Visio

Few information architects tap the full power of Visio. For the IA, Visio is a means to an end—a mechanism for capturing some ideas on paper before they are transformed into graphics, HTML, and code.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2004). Articles>Information Design>Software>Visio

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