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Information design

Information design is the skill and practice of preparing information so people can use it with efficiency and effectiveness. (source: Wikipedia)

IBM is banking on design’s ROI

What else do you need to be convinced that Design has made it into The Enterprise.

“Companies of all sizes are recognizing that by taking a design-first approach to product development, they can improve profit. I recently sat down with Phil Gilbert, GM of design at IBM, to discuss how he is helping to lead the transformation to a design-first company within IBM. Adopting design as a key corporate asset may seem like a no-brainer, but for a company of more than 350,000 employees, it’s a massive undertaking. IBM hasn’t been quiet about its plans to hire 1,000 designers over the course of five years and embed design in product teams throughout the organization.”

(Mary Treseler a.k.a. @marytreseler ~ O’Reilly Radar)

Why constraints are a fundamental part of design

Design is making decisions in the design space, determined by constraints.

“The word constraint can sound like a bad word. Constraints are something you can’t do. They restrict what you’re allowed to do They take away freedom. They remove options. They’re rules you didn’t set. They’re an early bedtime or being forced to eat your vegetables when you want ice cream.”

(Steven Bradley ~ vanseodesign)

The information professions: Knowledge, memory, heritage

After all the technology, we tend to forget the information. Info and Tech are brothers in arms.

“Along with leading to growth in the numbers of people doing information work, the increasing role of information in our contemporary society has led to an explosion of new information professions as well. The labels for these fields can be confusing and overlapping, and what does and does not constitute an information profession has become unclear. (…) The analysis makes possible the incorporation of popular new information disciplines into an overarching framework that includes pre-existing fields as well. The analysis provides a perspective that clarifies the relationships among the information disciplines as well as their relationship to other professional activities in society.”

(Marcia Bates ~ Information Research 20.1)

Why the Card UI is the next big interaction paradigm

There was a time when CUI meant ‘Character-based User Interface’. That time has gone.

“I think it’s safe to say that, going forward, the majority of mobile UI designs will be based on the card UI paradigm. The next logical step is marketing professionals and ad agencies starting to embrace cards. The larger platforms are already embracing it. The card UI is set to be the next creative canvas for online content and will consequently also be the next big ad unit.”

(Juntoo)

Meta-design: The intersection of art, design, and computation

The only thing that is missing is connectivity as a unique trait of digital.

“In a traditional design practice, the designer works directly on a design product. Be it a logo, website, or a set of posters, the designer is the instrument to produce the final artifact. A meta-designer works to distill this instrumentation into a design system, often written in software, that can create the final artifact. Instead of drawing it manually, the designer programs the system to draw it. These systems can then be used within different contexts to generate a range of design products without much effort.”

(Rune Madsen a.k.a. @runemadsen ~ O’Reilly Radar)

How legend Paul Rand pioneered the era of design-led business

It’s called IBM version 5.

“In a way, what Apple does today with design is what IBM was doing in ‘50s (…) It was about simplification and cohesiveness across all platforms of the brand—products, ads, stores. These are all ideas in the modern vein that came about with Rand’s work with IBM. It set a precedent.”

(Carey Dunne a.k.a. @careydunne ~ FastCo Design)

The case for design consulting

2015 will be an interesting year for the design and business marriage.

“It’s a great time for design. Never in its history has it been so valued as an economic force or so influential as culture. Traditional businesses of all types – from management consultants to retailers and banks – are adopting design thinking and either building or buying internal design competencies.”

(John Rousseau ~ Artefact Group)

Plateaus are harder than mountains

Data is just the raw material for storytelling, understanding and insights. Design is its process to get there.

“Bold claims have been made about applying big data to solve the world’s problems, from health (Fitbit) to saving energy (Nest). Data is all around us, appearing in slick devices and colorful dashboards, yet focusing on the technology can cause us to miss the people who have to use it. Our job as designers is to communicate information. A clean design with big numbers and charts looks good, but how can we make sure people actually understand the data?”

(Stephen Turbek a.k.a. @stephenturbek ~ Boxes and Arrows)

IBM living design language: A shared vocabulary for design

Major tech player enters the world of digital design for the enterprise. Oh wow!

“Whether we design for them or not, our products and services are framed by six universal experiences. Each experience offers opportunities to solve unmet needs and emotionally bond users to products. These are not product states, they are user experiences. When someone is “trying” your product or service, they should be doing the same thing as “using” it. From the technology perspective, there is no difference. But the context – and therefore the connection with the user – is very different.”

(IBM Design)

Is The Grid a better web designer than you?

We just have to wait for a Turing test of website designs. Was it a synapse or an algorithm?

“However, if you’re doing the job of a web designer properly, The Grid has no way to compete. No artificial intelligence will ever replace a human designer, because design is largely about emotional intelligence. Good design extends into every facet of a website, and it’s not about computers talking to each other, it’s about human beings communicating.”

(Benjie Moss a.k.a. @BenjieMoss ~ Web Designer Depot)

Designers can do anything

Articulating the new role and opportunity of designers in the digital and physical world of now and beyond.

Jon Kolko: “The switch to an empathy focus is actually really easy. You need to watch behavior, so that means actually watching people do things. We talk about watching people work, play, and live because sometimes the things they do are actually not that utility driven.”

(Nick Lombardi a.k.a. @NickLombardi482 ~ O’Reilly Radar)

Conversations with the past: Hermeneutics for designers

Allways good to look back into the future. The cultural heritage we can use from.

“When we think about our work as designers, we imagine ourselves with our head in the future, surrounded by latest ideas of how things will be: the natural user interface, the internet of things, self-driving cars, ubiquitous computing. Within this world it’s easy to forget that the future is just a thin sliver on top of an enormous past. All that we think, all we know, everything we can imagine, comes from this past, and has been shaped by thousands of years of human history. We sometimes like to imagine that the future comes to us as a simple continuations of our past activities, but quietly we all know that it’s more complicated. The past is full of unfinished projects, disappeared companies, dusty books and long forgotten heroines. Deep in our past there are thousands of visions of different worlds and different lives. There are the great works of philosophers, painters, sculptors and interaction designers no longer known and no longer understood waiting to be rediscovered.”

(Sjors Timmer a.k.a. @sjors ~ Medium)

The next era of designers will use data as their medium

We used to call it Information Visualization of InfoGraphics. What’s in a name.

“The software industry today is in need of a new kind of designer: one proficient in the meaning, form, movement, and transformation of data. I believe this Data Designer will turn out to be the most important new creative role of the next five years.”

(Mark Rolston ~ Wired)

When Information Design is a matter of life or death

Besides medical information, Tufte also showed the disaster with the Challenger (28 january 1986) was due to bad information design as well.

“(…) design and writing has the potential to make a real difference in regard to medical errors and that design, writing, and production of a medicine information leaflet can have a real positive effect on people’s health. The design of medicine information leaflets provides some interesting challenges because they might not be seen as a typical creative graphic design job. Just because they do not contain overly designed text or graphics, however, does not mean creativity is not needed, in fact creativity is usually lacking in leaflets typically produced.”

(Thomas Bohm ~Boxes and Arrows)

Connecting government, libraries and communities: Information behavior theory and information intermediaries in the design of LibEGov.org

InfoScience meets eGov.

“As e-government grows in scope and complexity, an increasing number of e-government services have surpassed the digital technology access and literacy of many members of the public. The “digitally excluded” often seek information intermediaries — such as public libraries and other community anchor institutions — to bridge their information needs and e-government systems. The purpose of this paper is to examine the phenomenon of user-librarian-agency government interaction within the context of the information worlds framework. In this paper, the authors describe the data — surveys, case studies, interviews, site visits, and usability and accessibility testing — used to analyze the needs of the public, libraries, and government agencies.”

(Paul T. Jaeger, Ursula Gorham, John Carlo Bertot, Natalie Greene Taylor, Elizabeth Larson, Ruth Lincoln, Jonathan Lazar, and Brian Wentz ~ First Monday 19.11)