Dan Brown

In 2006, Dan Brown co-founded (with Nathan Curtis) EightShapes, a design firm based in Washington, DC. EightShapes designs responsive web sites and establishes design standards for clients like Marriott International, Yahoo!, and Cisco Systems, among others. Most recently, Dan has conducted user research for Sewanee (The University of the South), prepared a mental model for the Advisory Board, and lead the design of a web-based responsive dashboard for software company Sonatype.

In 2006, Dan published the first edition of Communicating Design, a book describing essential artifacts for the design process. Widely considered part of the web design canon, Communicating Design’s second edition was rewritten from the ground up and released in 2011.

In 2012, Dan released a self-published game, Surviving Design Projects, as a tool for teaching designers about conflict resolution without having to do role-playing.

In 2013, Dan published his second book, Designing Together, a book on collaboration for design teams. The book deals with long neglected topics in design–team dynamics, conflict, and effective collaboration.

Prior to EightShapes, Dan was an information architect with USWeb, marchFIRST, and in the US Federal government. Outside work, Dan likes playing board games and cooking for his family. Follow him on Twitter at @brownorama.

Book: Designing Together

Designing Together Cover

What is the one thing not taught in design school, but is an essential survival skill for practicing designers? Working with other people. And yet, in every project, collaboration with other people is often the most difficult part.

The increasing complexity of design projects, the greater reliance on remote team members, and the evolution of design techniques demands professionals who can cooperate effectively. Designing Together is a book for cultivating collaborative behaviors and dealing with the inevitable difficult conversations.

Designing Together features:

  • 28 collaboration techniques
  • 46 conflict management techniques
  • 31 difficult situation diagnoses
  • 17 designer personality traits

Book: Communicating Design

Communicating Design book cover

Successful web design teams depend on clear communication between developers and their clients—and among members of the development team. Wireframes, site maps, flow charts, and other design diagrams establish a common language so designers and project teams can capture ideas, track progress, and keep their stakeholders informed.

In this all new edition of Communicating Design, author and information architect Dan Brown defines and describes each deliverable, then offers practical advice for creating the documents and using them in the context of teamwork and presentations, independent of methodology. Whatever processes, tools, or approaches you use, this book will help you improve the creation and presentation of your wireframes, site maps, flow charts, and other deliverables.

The book now features:

  • An improved structure comprising two main sections: Design Diagrams and Design Deliverables. The first focuses on the nuts and bolts of design documentation and the second explains how to pull it all together.
  • New deliverable: design briefs, as well as updated advice on wireframes, flow charts, and concept models.
  • More illustrations, to help designers understand the subtle variations and approaches to creating design diagrams.
  • Reader exercises, for those lonely nights when all you really want to do is practice creating wireframes, or for use in workshops and classes.
  • Contributions from industry leaders: Tamara Adlin, Stephen Anderson, Dana Chisnell, Nathan Curtis, Chris Fahey, James Melzer, Steve Mulder, Donna Spencer, and Russ Unger.