According to an article published in Technical Communication, Information Design has two definitions:
- The overall process of developing a successful document.
- The way the information is presented on the page or screen (layout, typography, color, and so forth).
Information design is what we do to develop a document or communication that works for its users. Working for its users means that the people who must or want to use the information can
- Find what they need
- Understand what they find
- Use what they understand appropriately
This definition comes with two additional points that information designers must always remember:
- Most of the time, most users of functional information are using that information to reach a personal goal—to answer a question or to complete a task.
- The users, not the information designer, decide how much time and effort to spend trying to find and understand the information they need.
Thus, creating successful information design (in a document, website, software, etc.) requires a process that starts with understanding what you are trying to achieve, who will use it, how they will use it, and so on.
Redish, Janice C. “What Is Information Design?” Technical Communication Second Quarter (2000): 163-66.