Information Design Process

id process

Process Stages

The first stage of the process of Information Design begins with a period of discovery. Preliminary questions should be asked to adequately develop a strategy for the information design project. Some basic questions include: Who is the target audience? What type of content is needed? When will the information be used? Where should the information appear? Why is the information needed? How should the information be presented?

The second stage is to create and present a creative brief. A creative brief is a short document that runs approximately anywhere from 1 to 10 pages, that outlines important information such as the project’s background and goals. A typical creative brief breaks down information into four general categories: client information, project information, project goals and requirements, and project logistics. The purpose of putting together a creative brief is to communicate pertinent information and to make sure that everyone is on the same page as the project moves forward. In addition, the brief can spark creativity and get ideas flowing. (Baer, Pgs. 50-52)

The third stage in the process is to determine personas and scenarios. “A persona is a brief profile of a typical user that outline attributes, desires, needs, habits, and capabilities” (Baer,58). Personas provide a touchstone for the project team to make sure that design choices are aligned with user needs and expectations. If the target audience encompasses many kinds of users, information designers will need to create a series of personas that reflect the range in audience types. Most projects require anywhere between 3 to 5 personas. One personas are in place, creating scenarios where these specific users interact with the information design in question, aids in identifying specific patterns and helps to confirm that the design will satisfy the needs of the target audience. (Baer, Pgs. 58-62)

In the final stage of the information design process involves developing prototypes of the information design product and testing it on practice audiences. Like a blueprint, a sitemap or a wireframe is a necessary tool for outlining all project components before designing the final product. These are just two examples of prototypes that can be used for testing the design concepts. Depending on the project’s needs and stage, various types of tests can be used, such as concept tests, participatory design, design testing, focus groups, usability testing, beta testing and performance testing (Baer, Pgs. 86-87). Testing throughout the design development cycle ensures that the design becomes more and more focused toward getting it right (Baer, Pg 76).

process-explained

Information Design Process Implemented in My Blog

I have performed all of these steps in preparing for this blog post. In the first stage, I read and examined the requirements of the assignment and did some research on the topics. I asked myself questions like: what type of content should I include: how long should my post be, who is my target audience, etc., in order to better plan for the post. I then created an outline (or a brief) of what content I wanted to include, and what I wished to accomplish: to giving people an uncomplicated and general understanding of the information design process that they will enjoy and find interesting. I developed personas (i.e. my classmates and instructor, and other Information Design students) in order to better understand the needs of the user/viewer of my content so that I can design the information accordingly. This post is my prototype, which I will continually make modifications to in order to make the post perfect. I am performing design testing by evaluating the comments and critiques of my classmates on my work.

Reference:

Baer, Kim, and Jill Vacarra. Information Design Workbook: Graphic Approaches, Solutions, and Inspiration 30 Case Studies. Beverly, MA: Rockport, 2008. Print.

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8 thoughts on “Information Design Process

  1. Great idea for your blog in using the actual assignment! It seems as though you strategically planned out your blog as well. One thing I have found interesting is how different each of our perceptions are and how we receive information differently when conveyed in a picture or graphic. For me, I don’t like models. (not yours personally) Oddly, even though I am a visual person, I find them confusing when there are circles, arrows or boxes to show a “flow” (I especially dislike sports brackets and have no idea why.)

  2. Avital,
    I like your blog design, especially the concept of the blog post as a prototype. What better way to test your design then to have the target audience do the testing.
    To Kelly’s comments on the process graphic; I personally find this particular graphic to be very representative of the design process and the concept. I thought of it as coming from a “Systems Analysis” approach to the process. I personally, need to remind myself that this Information design class is a Cultural Studies, not CIS which the audience may or may not understand.

  3. Avital,
    I like your blog design, especially the concept of the blog post as a prototype. What better way to test your design then to have the target audience do the testing. To Kelly’s comments on the process graphic; I personally find this particular graphic to be very representative of the design process and the concept. I thought of it as coming from a “Systems Analysis” approach to the process. I personally, need to remind myself that this Information design class is a Cultural Studies, not CIS which the audience may or may not understand.

  4. Beginning with such a clear graphic was an easy way to introduce the topic of this blog. However, I found your second graphic a little confusing but it definitely caught my eye and had me stop and take the time to really see what it was displaying. I also thought it was quite ingenious to use the assignment itself for the project.

  5. I think you chose some excellent images to convey the ideas you explored in this post. I particularly like how you chose to begin the post with an image and how that image fits into the surrounding blog graphics. It is quite visually appealing.

    Elaine Grabowski

  6. This is a well-detailed post. I think that you did a good job explaining each process and incorporating the quotes from the textbook. I found myself thinking as I was reading your post that someone who was not familiar with Information Design would be able to read your post and understand the process of information design well. And I guess this is part of being a good information designer, so good job! 🙂
    -Jennifer Eyer

  7. Great post. I like the way you designed it. It is very visually pleasing and provides good information on the process of information design. The second graphic is a good example of how info moves from chaos to order.

  8. I enjoyed your post. Very nice to incorporate the graphics to support your contents. It showed how you planed this content effectively toward audience.

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