DefinitionThere is no agreed upon definition of exactly what information design is. Consider these definitions of information design, taken from a broad cross-section of authorities associated with the field:
- Complex ideas communicated with clarity, precision and efficiency.
- The point of intersection between language disciplines, art and aesthetic disciplines, information disciplines, communication disciplines, behavior and cognition disciplines, business and law and media production technologies.
- The structure through which visual disciplines are expressed.
- Contributed to by writers, researchers, aestheticians, popularizers, collectors, inventors, systematizers and analysts, as well as universalists.
- The defining, planning and shaping of the contents of a message and the environments it is presented in with the intention of achieving particular objectives in relation to the needs of users.
- How we interact with and represent information.
- A design that supports the goals of the user and the creator.
ResponsibilitiesInformation designers tackle complex information problems to provide the consumer with the utmost understanding and success. It is important that the final product provides the greatest level of understanding possible. Information designers must be knowledgeable of the consumersâ€™ understanding of the information that they are presented with. Factors such as how consumers react to information and consumer behavior, as well as being knowledgeable about the audience in general, are advantageous resources to any information designer, as they can learn from their research and therefore will be able to present the best possible information in the best way. Irrespective of the job-title they may hold or the field in which they may work, the main concern of an information designer is to communicate information in the most effective way possible. Such a broad description is the reason why professionals holding different job-titles in different fields of work are all able to refer to themselves as information designers.
Education and Skills
EducationIn order to become an information designer, a Bachelorâ€™s Degree in a related field such as Advertising, Graphic Design, English, Computer Science, Journalism or Communication is strongly recommended. Pairing a degree with a minor in a more specialized field such as Web Design, for example, is also recommended.
SkillsInformation Design requires a large set of multidisciplinary skills, such as:
- Writing skills
- Graphic Design skills
- Instructional Design skills
- Formatting/Editing skills
- Web Programming skills
- Research skills
- Analytical skills
- Attention to Detail
- Knowledge of Consumer Experience