What is Information Design?

Information design is the practice of presenting information in a way that makes it most accessible and easily understood by users. Information design is targeted to specific audiences in specific situations to meet defined objectives. In its most sophisticated forms, it helps users understand complex data by organizing and simplifying data and information in ways they can quickly grasp

Information design has come to be associated closely with graphic design and the display of information for effectiveness and function versus pure aesthetics. Popularized by the likes of Edward Tufte, Richard Saul Wurman, and their contemporaries, information design is also closely related to the field of data visualization. Charles Joseph Minard’s 1869 flow diagram of Napolean’s disastrous Russian campaign of 1812 is often cited as an early form of information design (and data visualization), but the field has become increasingly sophisticated with the advent of digital technology.

Information design overlaps significantly with experiential and environmental graphic design, specifically in the presentation of information on signage, visual displays, interpretive graphics, and exhibitions. It is a core competency of environmental and experiential graphic design and an essential tool for practitioners in these disciplines. In particular where complex information must be conveyed, information design can enhance comprehension by creating a visual hierarchy that emphasizes the most critical content.

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