What is Information Design?
Some Definitions



Hari Srinivas
Concept Note Series. E-085. April 2015.


In a very broad sense of the term, information design is the bridge that links information technologies and knowledge creation. It helps enhance interaction with all our senses in order to create knowledge.

Information design is also refered to as graphic design, information architecture, instructional design, content presentation, presenting information etc.

What have others been saying about information design? A selection:



Information Design transforms data into clear, meaningful, easily-accessed information. It originally derived its techniques from graphic design, cognitive psychology, human factors research, and industrial design; and continues to draw from these and any other field that provides insight into how humans assimilate and understand information and the media through which it is conveyed.
- Erik Reel


Information Design is not designing information the right way; it is finding the right way to design and deliver that information. Too often a print document is well laid out without any flaws (designed the right way), when it really should have been released on CD or the web for easier updating on a regular basis (the right design).
- Donna A. Ford


Information Design is the practice of gathering, filtering, and presenting information in accordance with effective design principles in order to understand - and communicate to others - the essence, the meaning of that information.
- Tech Head Stories


Information Design is preparing communication products so that they achieve performance objectives established for them. This involves analyzing communication problems; establishing performance objectives that, when achieved, address these objectives; developing a blueprint for a communication effort to address those objectives; developing the components of the planned communication effort solution; and evaluating the ultimate effectiveness of the effort
- Saul Carliner


Information design is concerned with transforming data into information, making the complex easier to understand and to use. It is a rapidly growing discipline that draws on typography, graphic design, applied linguistics, applied psychology, applied ergonomics, computing, and other fields. It emerged as a response to people's need to understand and use such things as forms, legal documents, computer interfaces and technical information. (Information designers) consider the selection, structuring and presentation of the information provider's message in relation to the purposes, skills, experience, preferences and circumstances of the intended users. To do this they need specialist knowledge and skills in graphic communication and typography, the psychology of reading and learning, human-computer interaction, usability research and clear writing, plus an understanding of the potential and limitations of different media.
- Design Council on Information Design


Information design is the defining, planning, and shaping of the contents of a message and the environments it is presented in with the intention of achieving particular objectives in relation to the needs of users.
- Intl. Institute of Information Design


Information design (ID) is the technology aimed at structuring information in artifacts so as to make it available and optimally useful.
- Information Design Atelier


Information Design is a field and approach to designing clear, understandable communications by giving care to structure, context, and presentation of data and information. As a field, its principles relate to all communications products and experiences, regardless of medium (print, broadcast, digital, online, etc.). Information Design is, primarily, concerned with clarity (instead of simplicity) and understanding.
- Nathan Shedroff


Information Design is the practice of gathering, structuring, and presenting information in accordance with effective design principles. The information can be presented textually, graphically or in the form of an animation.
- BMC Remedy


Information design is the detailed planning of specific information that is to be provided to a particular audience to meet specific objectives.
- whatis.com


Do you have any addtions or suggestions to the lists above?
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 Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
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