Remember your audience is a top rule in Information Design. Often Information Design can become focused on the majority in order to add power to the message being sent; what can be forgotten is large groups of people who have difficulty accessing information as the majority does. Intentionally adding accessibility elements is an important way to add power to designs.
There are many reasons to consider adding accessibility to designs; but honestly, it’s not just good business but being a good neighbor.
How information is presented dramatically affects how that information is interpreted and used. The challenges present are many: how to make the information understood, how to make the information useful, how to make the information truthful. Information design is an answer to these challenges.
We must consider the medium and the effect it has on our perception:
Consider what all the data presented creates:
Consider ways truth can be determined:
Information Design tells a story:
Information is always being communicated. It is an Information Designer’s place to make that communication as powerful as possible.
Design Culture is the study of the interrelationships between design artifacts, in all their manifestations, the work of designers, design production (including marketing, advertising and distribution) and their consumption. (www.designculture.info/) Often design is an undefined concept in many organizations. Following are are some articles that shed light on improving Design Culture.
And how to know if the design culture of an organization is healthy:
Ultimately Design is a growing field; usability breeds efficiency.
Human ingenuity is always striving for improvement; often in the form of new technologies. Information design is a field seeking opportunities to improve communication in all forms. New technologies are here, and on the horizon, which offer us great opportunities to move forward in communication.
In realizing what tools can be turned to your advantage, you will gain in ease of creating a quality product and often in time saved. Keeping up with the new tools available to an information designer will likely always be a lot of work; but also a lot of fun and often cool.
Information design is about making data more useful and easier to consume; the field of wayfinding is an obvious example; notably, the creation of maps. When bad data gets into the design process the whole effort is defeated – sometimes to absurd results. The power of well-done information design is that any reality can be made to seem true – with great power comes great responsibility.
Maps change history:
In the early 1500s, Spanish maps of the western coast of North America showed California as an island. Initially an innocent mistake, it was known by 1582 that California was definitely not an island; however the idea, and the map, persisted well into the 1700s.
It’s not just an issue from our past:
Spreading confusion and chaos may tickle the evil genius part of us, but you’re unlikely to convince a substantial portion of the world that an entire state has moved out into the Pacific ocean these days. A bad map, however, will still cause unrealistic perceptions of the world and the life we live in that world; with great power comes great responsibility.
The end goal of any design is for that which is designed to do what it is created to do. If something designed to be used by a person does what it is supposed to but is awkward, difficult or unpleasant to actually use then your design is a failure…
…UX is short for User eXperience; it is a growing field that focuses on the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.
Craig Brown offers some insight:
A good designer knows what the UX is going on.
Design fundamentally means ‘user-oriented’ and since we can only see the world through our own narrow view we must get feedback to be more effective; therefore, critiques – or crits.
But when you realize it was you who asked for the crits…
Which, in turn, makes you feel…
Julie Zhuo offers a couple suggestions: look at feedback with a growth mindset; focus on your purpose or the end goal.
If you remember why you’re designing the thing you are; you’ll realize you need the outside input to know you’re making effective choices. Critiques aren’t fun. And though they feel like a self-inflicted punch in the face, they do serve a valuable role. So, suck it up buttercup and realize it’s for your own good.