Quick Start Guide for Information Design

What is information design?

  • Information design is the process of presenting information in a format that is the most intuitive for readers and viewers to use.
  • Information design is implemented wherever there is information to convey to someone. In other words, practically everywhere. Mall directory kiosks, tables of contents in books, DVD title screens, and website pages are just a very tiny sample of the places information design is used.
  • Information design is used by anyone trying to perform a task. People trying to find their way around a location, look up information in a publication, or trying to navigate a website all rely on robust information design in order to perform their task efficiently and free of problems.
  • Information design improves the clarity and efficiency of technical communication by incorporating user-focused design and layout principles.

Why is information design important for you?

  • Having a robust information design plan ensures that the messages that you are trying to convey will be easily understood by your targeted audience.
  • A strong information design program in place also helps you explain highly technical information to your audience as well. The stronger your information design plan is, the easier a time your audience will have in navigating through the tough spots.
  • As information design is used everywhere there is information to be conveyed, it has an incredibly broad range of applications, whether your are creating maps, writing sets of instructions, or creating a website.
  • Understanding information design principles will also help you to understand why you dislike certain designs, and how to improve or redesign them.

How can information design be used?

  • If you incorporate information design in creating a new website, you can avoid navigation problems that may come up and clear up confusing or ambiguous information. Being aware of and fixing potential trouble spots before your website is active will save a lot of hassle in the long run.
  • Apply information design principles to an already established website will help you better judge its quality and usability.
  • If you have a poorly designed website, you can polish it up through better information design. Since you already know where some of the trouble spots are, information design will help you to mitigate these areas to create a better user experience.
  • Information design principles can be used for formatting emails and technical briefs.

How you can apply it to your specific project?

  • You can set you target users of your content. Creating user personas and use scenarios help you set your target users
  • You can test your content with a usability test based on the personas and use scenarios that you create. The usability tests will teach you what kinds of issues that your content has.
  • You can improve your content by fixing the revealed issues identified in the usability test. How to fix them only depends on you. You can you either creative approaches or widely used approaches. You can use various guide documents including this blog that introduce a variety of skills.

One thought on “Quick Start Guide for Information Design

  1. moses004

    Think back on the issues related to home page design (Krug) and orientation (Gibson–i.e., you are here.) I need a clearer sense, on the home page, of where I am and what I can do on this site.

    Reply

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