After my first day in Ireland, I’ve decided that the Irish government appreciates good typography. Maybe it’s because they’re part of the EU? It seems that all European typography is simply better somehow….
Inspired by the beautiful signage at the Dublin International Aiport (designed by BullSigns), I happened upon this document from the IIID (International Institute for Information Design): Information Design / Core Competencies: What information designers know and can do
Noting specifically this passage on why information designers are important:
It is the same with information as it is with construction materials: for efficient design and production one requires purpose-led concepts and plans. It’s not enough just to have printing presses and “information highways” in order to create usable information, the same as construction equipment and building cranes cannot alone create usable human spaces. For optimal information creation one requires information designers the same way architects are required to create optimal living and working spaces.
and then this on understanding your subject matter and what it means to your user:
The first stage of every information design project requires the designer to unlock – with an open mind and open eyes – the information to be designed. The warning applies: If you don‘t understand it, don‘t design it.
This is a great primer on information design, articulating succinctly ways in which information design has much in common with interaction design. Points I discussed with Angela Shen-Hsieh in the AIGA Breakthroughs webinar on designing with data a few months ago. Technically, data visualization and information design are not the same thing, but they both require a human-centered design approach.
I also found this great app from the Dutch design firm Mijksenaar, on the “99 do’s and don’ts of wayfinding”. Their philosophies and approach to designing information listed on their website are also worth reading.