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Information Design Hardcover – June 18, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0262100694 ISBN-10: 026210069X Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 373 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (June 18, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 026210069X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262100694
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review



"A wonderful resource compendium on the diverse landscape of information design. From theory to practice, the book is truly an effort in the 'design of understanding'"
Clement Mok, Chief Creative Officer, Sapient

Review

"A wonderful resource compendium on the diverse landscape ofinformation design. From theory to practice, the book is truly aneffort in the 'design of understanding'" Clement Mok , Chief Creative Officer, Sapient --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Don't read this book with the wrong expectations. This isn't a book about how to do information design. This is a book about being an information designer: theories, ethics, political and cultural issues, etc. I agree, the visual design is less than eloquent: standard MIT Press "academic." But the writing is exciting, so long as you're not looking for a how-to book. In fact, it's one of the lessons of this book that, so far as information design goes, our understanding of ID is still evolving and an how-to ID book would be premature.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Dornbush, Jr. on February 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am a professional Information Architect; However, I picked up the book without any preconcieved notions or superficial expectations. I found especially illuminating (and actually empathisized with) the comparisons between IAs conceptualizing Information Design and Traditional Architects conceptualizing "wayfinding" through building structures. For those of you who are looking for a Home Deopt style "How-To" manual on creating intuitive interface design for software applications; you simply have to surf the web for 1001 lessons on HOW NOT TO do it. Seriously, the only effective Information Design training program is years of experience in software development. A "blueprint" or plan is key to useful execution, but there is a lot more to good Information Design than a pile of flowcharts. The best an author can do is to share some of his/her insight on ergonomic design with the rest of us. While many of the reviewers found this book's exposition of visionary and philosophical approaches to design impractical; I found it to be both informative and refreshing. Information design is not about how rigidly organized the branching structure is; instead, it's about how the user "moves through" an application (hopefully with pleasure and ease of use). This calls for a combination of clever engineering and artistic design, and cannot be accomplished simply by "keeping all your ducks in a row" The most significant aspect of good Info Design, in the end, is clear, intuitive, useable interface.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book consists of a series of cross-disciplinary articles on information design. In the concluding chapter of the book, Jeff Raskin summarizes the volume by saying "I find that [the articles] accurately represent the diversity of the field - - from fuzzy New Age touchy-feely rantings to thoughtful studies." I'm inclined to agree, but fortunately, the thoughtful studies outnumber the rantings. I was fascinated most by Whitehouse's article on architectural signposting for the blind. However, many of the other articles were also exceptionally thought-provoking. Before I read this book, I thought "information design" had something to do with drawing effective graphs. But after reading these articles, I would say it is making meaning by revealing the relationships between data through planned presentation. Or something to that effect- -the field is much wider than I had ever thought before.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am impressed by the symmetrical bimodal ratings for this book, with no middle ground. You, the readers, either loved or hated it. (I tried not to rate this book with this prologue, but the system persisted. So I rated your reviews.) Fantastic.

With the benefit of a decade-plus hindsight, I can honestly say I was pleased with the effort that went into Information Design but disappointed in the outcome. The book is good for what it set out to do, benefitting from the ardent enthusiasm of its contributors, each telling his or her story about the meaning of "information design" and its significance in his or her life. The negative reviewers who wrote that the book isn't a how-to are absolutely right. The field is still evolving: are there now innumerable variations on information design as a practice, and within each contending schools as to how to practice it right. Taking sides is a no-win proposition.

Still, I wish I had taken a stronger hand with the authors (who were paid nothing for their contributions). When one key author threatened to bow out, I thought, I'd better give these people more slack lest they all split and we never get to know what they have to say, not gathered together in one volume. So...it is a cornucopia, not a flatline exposition.

That being said, the contributors did a good job interpreting my charge to them, each coming up with a unique but personally defensible characterization of information design. Taken together, they are an epistemological kaleidoscope. Every reader with whom I've spoken has his or her favorite chapter, and conversely , least-favorite chapter. That no two pairs are the same speaks to the variety inherent to information design.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Unlike the previous reviewer, I actually read the book and especially its introduction. INFORMATION DESIGN fulfills its promise: it reveals what it means to be an information designer at an ethical, even emotional level. I was especially impressed by the diversity of the contributors and their willingness to express doubts as well as hopes for this emerging profession. INFORMATION DESIGN isn't exclusively a how-to book. More importantly, it helped me to understand what information design is and why it's done in the first place. This is a must-read for those of you who aspire to become or already are information designers. You have your work cut out for you!
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