Information Design Definitions

1. Information Architect

  • the individual who organizes the patterns inherent in data, making the complex clear.
  • a person who creates the structure or map of information which allows others to find their personal paths to knowledge.
  • the emerging 21st century professional occupation addressing the needs of the age focused upon clarity, human understanding and the science of the organization of information.
    Peter Bradford

2. Information presentation involves a wide range of professional interest groups concerned with its development and use: graphic designers, industrial designers and typographers are primarily concerned with design...but many may not be prepared to acknowledge the importance of design and evaluation of such information. Ronald Easterby and Harm Zwag

3. What is Design? Design is the intellectual creative effort of an originator, manifesting itself in drawings or plans which include schemes and specifications.

4. Information Design? Information design is the defining, planning and visualization of the contents of a message with the intention of achieving particular objectives in relation to the needs of the target users. International Institute for Information Design

5. A new construct with appropriate instructional strategies must address not only how we understand the effect of electronic media on information, but how we understand the connections between the electronic environment and the most pragmatic and ubiquitous aspects of a culture. We must build a critical framework for the new electronic media-one which negates the cynical utopian fantasies of escape through electronic hyperspace, for such a position sidesteps the quandries present in contemporary society. It is no longer a question of technical abilities or style but one of relevance. Prof. Scott Townsend North Carolina State University

6. The most common definition of Information is: the action of informing; formation or molding of the mind or character, training, instruction, teaching, the communication of instructive knowledge. Information Design can be made to inform. It must be imbued with form and applied to become meaningful information, leading to understanding. Young Kook-Kim

7. The new information age will require many information designers. They will have to be capable of taking information users into account as part of their professional activity. This will require a redefinition of their job, an acknowledgement of their own limitations and an informed and sensitive awareness of the needs of information users. The last of these can only be achieved by forming better theories about users, developing methods of design research which are not dependent on outside expertise and acquiring an informed sense of the history of information design, combining all these to create new conventions to meet new communication needs and technologies. David Sless

8. Information design is a synthesis of function, flow and form. Function is defined as utilitarian need with a definite purpose: to make information easy to find, read, comprehend, and recall. Flow refers to the logical sequence of information. Form means dynamic information patterns and clear rational organization Ladislav Sutnar (1897-1976)

9. Information Design is an area concerned with understanding reader and user responses to written and visually presented information. The kinds of problems addressed include legal documents, business forms, diagrams, transportation maps, charts, tables, instructional materials, wayfinding systems and computerized information systems. The ability to understand and simplify complex relationships is highly important. Although these facts and relationships are from disciplines other than graphic design, it is essential that this material is visually communicated in clearly organized, thoughtful, appropriate and visually interesting manner. Information Design:

  • appropriate communication
  • clear communication
  • thoughtful prioritization
  • thorough context definition
  • identification of relationships/interrelationships
  • visual illustration of nonverbal concepts
  • awareness of language barriers and cultural differences

Deborah Beardslee