- Series: MIT Press
- Paperback: 376 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press (August 28, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262600358
- ISBN-13: 978-0262600354
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Information Design (MIT Press)
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This timely collection of essays offers diverse perspectives on the art and science of 'information design' as seen through the eyes of contemporary practitioners. An accessible, thought-provoking resource for anyone interested in design's role in mediating information and human experience.(Loretta Staples, Assistant Professor, Graphic Design, University of Michigan School of Art & Design)
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)
"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 the Hardcover edition.
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This book is basically a collection of essays by people who are trying to answer the question "What is information design?". Most of the articles are concerned with such things as signage and navigation in public places. This is entirely WORTHLESS for the average Technical Communicator/Writer. I was hoping to learn something about structuring written communications, or about the presentation of technical information. Instead I simply learnt not to buy a book just because it is on a University reading list. Extremely disappointing.
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.
Excuses needn't be made for this book in terms of its universality or timeliness. Individual case studies may become obsolescent, but not the issues they illustrate. Quite the contrary: the issues involved are controversial and live on, because fundamentally they are in the moment, irresolvable as absolutes. Information design intends to serve a purpose. It either serves that purpose or it doesn't. That's as much theory as the field realistically needs to generate, design critics notwithstanding.
MIT Press' unwillingness to spend a dime on this book's production, other than its dust-jacket by a little-known information designer (whom all agree was a genius) was the publisher's failing, and almost fatal. One of the authors, Judy Anderson, an award-winning book designers, offered to redesign the book's interior presentation, at no cost; MIT Press declined her offer. Readers and reviewers (the editor included) are right: MIT Press dropped the ball. The graphical treatment did not live up to the quality of the text. MIT Press paid for this hubris in terms in lost earnings. Information Design could have done even better than it did, which was grand. The excellent visual quality of MIT Press' new books show it's learned its lesson.
For those who have a hankering to learn more about information design, visit Dutch designer Peter J. Bogaard's comprehensive blog on the subject -- now in its 19th year -- "InfoDesign: Understanding by Design," at [...] It remains the go-to source in the field.
-- Bob Jacobson
This is, to me, one of the foundational documents behind the way I practice UX. Partly because it is relatively old so predates much other formal design philosophy or methodology books. But mostly because it is so illuminating as a topic and so well written.
This is not a how to book for developers or the lazy. You are supposed to sit and think about how this all applies to your work. Don't read it then give a 3 star rating because you can't be bothered to give it some of your brain power.