Everything You Need to Know About Information Design


By Staff Writer Published on January 25, 2017

Many aspects of modern life are saturated with complex data. To make sense of it all and give it the desired impact, this information must be easy to find, use, and understand. The best way to meet these demands is to optimize the display of this information. This expertise is called information design. Popular forms of information design include:

  • “You are here” display panels in malls, conference centers, airports, etc.
  • Maps and information diagrams in transportation systems
  • Healthcare instructions, such as medicine dosages and times
  • Financial information, such as diagrams to help people choose a pension, mortgage, or investment product
  • Statements for utility bills, banks, and credit cards with clear language and typography
  • Signage and design in exhibitions or public spaces
  • Charts and data graphics for things like elections, weather, and sporting events
Subway Map

One type of information design includes the creation of maps and diagrams for transportation systems, like this route map for a New York subway.

Information design is so ubiquitous that you may hardly even notice it in your everyday life. Touchscreens that are simple to use; signage and icons that help you navigate large buildings, sites, and cities; logically structured forms that are intuitive and easy to complete; websites with good content and clear navigation—these are all examples of information design.

What Is Information Design?

Information design involves the meticulous, detailed planning of particular information that will be provided to a specific audience for specific reasons. The field includes various multidisciplinary skills in areas like graphic design, writing, instructional design, and user experience.

While information was once designed for a single output, like a printed document, today this information is designed for a wide array of platforms. With technology to target multiple audiences, information can now be delivered on various media like paper spec sheets, a section in a user guide or manual, and part of a web page. As businesses continue to deliver information in multiple forms using various technologies, the demand for information design professionals should increase, too.

Who Are Information Designers?

Information designers can come from many different disciplines. It could be helpful to earn a degree in graphic design, web development, or another related field.

Just because information designers use skills like graphic design, human factors design, writing, information organization, screen layout, web client-server scripting, human-computer interaction design, instructional design, and usability testing, this doesn’t mean new employees must be highly proficient in every category. In fact, many employers in need of information designers allow people to learn, practice, and perfect skills as they develop within their position to become masterful in information design.

Graphic Arts

Start up Planning Growth Development Launch Concept

Information designers can come from many different disciplines, but typically have a background in design or web development.[/caption]

Why Are Information Designers Important?

Information designers are important not only because they help streamline information to target audiences in an instantly understandable fashion, but they also help businesses save money while boosting productivity. For example, good information design can improve areas that might be costing a business money unnecessarily. It can contribute to a better customer experience overall. And it can enable employees to improve productivity while completing routine tasks.

Become an Information Designer

Contact Independence University today to find out about getting your graphic arts degree with an emphasis in Information Design. It could be your start on an exciting, new career path!

For graduation rates, the median debt of graduates and other data, see independence.edu/student-information. Independence University admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.