Modern life is saturated with complex information and data. For information to have impact, it must be easy to find, simple to use, and instantly understandable. In short, information needs to be designed!
Some examples of information design in use
- Navigating from 'You are here' display panels (wayfinding)
- Getting around on the transport system (maps and information)
- Taking medicines in the correct dosage and time of day (healthcare information)
- Choosing a pension, mortgage or investment product (financial information)
- Understanding utility bills, bank and card statements (clear language and typography)
- Moving through an exhibition or public space (signage and design)
- Checking the weather, election and sports results (charts and data graphics).
You may not even notice information design successes: touchscreens that are simple to use to buy or top up a travelcard; signage and icons that help you navigate around and within buildings, large sites and cities; logically-structured forms that are intuitive and easy to fill in; websites with good content and clear navigation.
You’re much more likely to notice information design failures: an interface that frustrates your efforts to find or record a television programme; buttons or links you miss on a web page; ‘small print’ you can't read or understand but have to 'accept' to continue a transaction; daft or counter-intuitive instructions in a user guide; 'help' that isn't helpful; badly-designed forms; too many options to sensibly compare mobile phone or utility tariffs.
Read about the work shared at our 2014 Information Design Conference: Mark Barratt's excellent piece The promise of information for Eye and Data Drive by Cerys Wilson for Grafik