The Art of Conversation

2018 Workshop


What we can learn about IA from Voice UI design

Voice interaction is a natural playground for UX practitioners and Information Architects in particular. After all, we’re building experiences out of language and staging transactions within invisible structures.

But how should we research, prototype and design these experience, especially when they span contexts and content domains within the same experience. And what can we learn from VUI design as we create IA across any other digital environments?

In this workshop, you will:

  • Learn to develop ideas for voice and other invisible structures.
  • Practice describing and diagramming information architectures for new types of structure
  • Prototype and research propositions, from transactions to more exploratory experiences

We’ll also share some thought-provoking examples of what the BBC has learned in designing for voice platforms, asking questions like:

  • When pausing a live broadcast, where does it resume from?
  • Does “last” mean “previous” or “final”?
  • How do you gracefully handle errors without a screen?
  • How might we design for discovery in a conversational interface?

The tools and lessons in this workshop will give you a new perspective to take back to your professional work, and shine a light on something fundamentally human: the art of conversation.

About the speaker(s)

As Creative Director for UX architecture (UXA) and Design Research at the BBC, Dan Ramsden leads a team of information architects who are committed to making the BBC’s tools, content and experiences more meaningful and connected. He’s responsible for defining the professional practice of UXA at the BBC and ensuring that the organisation is creating information architecture that delivers the best possible experiences to its editors and audiences.


Dan has previously worked for agencies and ran a theatre company. He now designs labels, vocabularies, URLs, navigation, strategies and processes. He likes jokes, magic and making the most of moments. He also like alliterations. He lives just outside Sheffield (UK) with a wife, a child, and a cat called Rosa.

Rob Scott is a User Experience Architect for BBC Design + Engineering, currently working on UX&D’s Spatial Immersive Design team exploring how 2D digital designers transition to thinking and working spatially. Before this, he worked within BBC Education on products like BBC Food and BBC Bitesize, and spent time working on the‘Global Experience Language’. Prior to the BBC, he spent 7 years with a niche provider of meaningful travel experiences, constructing the IA for CRMs, flight booking and event management systems. He also co-organizes the VR Manchester Meetup and will talk about the difference between ‘presence’ and ‘immersion’ for hours if you let him.

Vicky is a UX Architect at the BBC, currently working on creating consistent navigation, and experience across the many tools journalists use to create content. Previously she worked at an agency helping charities organise all their complicated information into beautiful and positive user experiences, and even more previously she was a librarian. She lives in London and spends her spare time organising noisy music events and taking pictures of them.

Luisa is a User Experience Architect for BBC News, with a background in visual design and infographics. She likes when things make sense and are designed with the user in mind. She can often be heard ranting about something “that just makes no sense!” She works with UX designers and developers to deliver logical content structures, good navigations and useful interactions on responsive websites and mobile apps.

Emily Heath spent the last 2 years improving navigation and content discovery across BBC Children’s ecosystem, helping kids discover more content they’ll love: from games, learning apps and quizzes, to TV shows and fan content. She’s now moved into a central UXA team working on pan-BBC projects like global navigation and URL design. Emily has been a UX architect at the BBC since 2014 and prior to this, she ran a digital agency called Exploded View. There, Emily designed and built information-rich websites for a wide range of arts organisations and SMEs. Emily has a daily yoga practice to keep her grounded and does acroyoga whenever she feels like taking off.