Friday, March 9, 2012

Information Design Process

The process of Information Design contains a few steps to ensure that the design is effective. The first step in the process involves learning about your client. This includes learning everything you can about them in order to discover how they operate. What are their goals, politics, and history? Have they attempted projects like this in the past or is Information Design new to them. Also, who are the key people or person that makes the decisions? What are the requirements and what audiences is the project directed towards?(Baer, 32)

The next step in the process is to create and present a creative brief. The creative brief is a short document that summarizes the information that is important to the project. It is used to get the entire team up to speed on the project background and goals. The brief usually contains four parts. The first part outlines the client and or company information. The next part explains the key project information that needs to be relayed to the team. The third part of the brief highlights the project goals and requirements. The last section outlines the project logistics like deliverables, deadlines, team members and budget. (Baer, 55-56)

The third step in the process of Information Design is determining personas and scenarios. It is an important step in the process that helps the team understand the target audiences better. What can be done to the design to better align it to the audience? Developing personas; brief profiles of users that outline habits, needs, and other attributes.(Baer, 58) Also, applying scenarios along with the personas helps the designers better understand how the audience reacts to the design.

Creating a sitemap is the next step in the process of Information Design. The sitemap is a high level outline of everything that should be part of the project. It helps the team and client view the overall structure of the project.(Baer, 64) Along after the sitemap is the blueprints of the project. The blueprints give more shape to the organized information. The blueprint or sometimes called wireframe is made to look real enough to the end product. It helps the project team and client visualize the end result. It contains a layout that will help point out areas for change or improvement. (Baer, 70)

The last step of the Information design process is the testing. Since the audience is already known from the information gathering step, it is now time to gather some testers that fit into that audience. The testers can use various versions of the end product, like paper prototypes or advanced prototypes.(Baer, 76) The feedback from this testing will let the project team know if the information is being clearly communicated in the design.

In my opinion I feel that the information stage it the most important step of the process. If the project team does not gather enough information about the client, audience, requirements, and goals there is no base for the design. For example if there is no information on who the audience will be creating a design will be like a shot in the dark.

While developing my blog I first try to keep in mind the audience that will be reading it. What are the goals of the audience? How can I make my design simple yet effective? Since there is not a lot of pages in my blog the site map would be really small. Also, I trusted one of the pre-designed templates to organize my information. As far as testing my blog environment I try to picture it as someone from the audience and I let my fellow classmates test my design to see if the information is presented effectively. 


Baer, Kim. “Information Design Workbook: Graphic Approaches, Solutions, and Inspiration”. Massachusetts: Rockport publishers, Inc, 2008. Print


  1. I love your page and the formatting the black and white formatting you used with the page. I also really enjoyed how you put some of your personal work and family history on side of blog great personal touch!

  2. Tim Van Camp

    I agree with your posting and like “Baer” I agree with him as well about the whole testing thing. (Baer, pp 76) Suggest that every project needs tests for the project to be considered complete it need’s to be tested by a outside source. Information returned by outside testers would allow the project team to go back and change any information they feel needs to be re-written to fit the goals of the client.
    I once did a project at my old college SUNY Morrisville it was a class project done in groups where we were given a situation and our group had to come up with a way to solve it. Our group was given a project that required funds to be raised to help fight off invasive trees in our forest. Our group came up with a plan that I thought sucked, and I stated we should test this theory the group said “nope we are good we have this in the bag.” Well the outcome was we didn’t have it in the bag and we failed the assignment. I wish I remember more about the assignment to give a better understanding of what was assigned to us, but the moral of the story is if we did test our theory we would have know that the idea we came up with would not have worked.

  3. Hi there,

    I enjoyed your post, I agree that the first step of the process is the most important because it answers the key questions needed to begin brainstorming about the project- who? what? where? when? why? how? Also, if you do not have a thorough understanding of the client, it will be nearly impossible to execute the project successfully. Baer also emphasized the role of the client in each of the following stages of the project, and it is important to create a collaborate relationship to make sure the client feels valued and in the loop. I didn't get the impression that sitemaps are useful for projects that are not web related- I thought that Baer indicated that blueprints/wireframes were more appropriate for other information design projects.

    Design recommendations: The black and white is effective, I like how the background of your blog adds texture. I think that providing visuals to drive home key points or provide examples would be useful. It would also be helpful to provide headers for each of the steps, because it breaks up the text and makes each step stand out more than they do in paragraph form.

    Nice job!!