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