Information Design

Information Design

John DiMarco (St. John’s University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-854-3.ch003
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Abstract

This chapter provides explanation and steps on transforming ideas into information architecture. The main emphasis is on developing a framework of content that focuses on priority, simplicity, and organization. Priority and simplicity are terms that become synonymous with good information design. By priority, I refer to prioritizing the information into a structure that will enable the user to gain access, interaction, entertainment, value, and connection with your Web portfolio. Prioritizing information relies on information design. You have already taken steps to begin the process of information design and organization has occurred. By creating a content outline, you organized the proposed content that will be presented in your Web portfolio. Refinement of the organized content relies upon navigation and usability to be thoughtful to the audience requirements. Simplicity refers to keeping navigation and usability simple and organized so that no mistakes can be made when traveling throughout the Web portfolio. Confusion in the Web portfolio cannot be tolerated by the user. He or she will not stand for not getting what they want, which is content. If the need for content discovery is not met, the connection and the communication have failed. The scary part is that we may never know if the user has had a bad experience. Later on in this book, we talk more deeply about usability from the viewpoint of Jakob Nielsen, the usability guru of the Web. We will also examine usability testing for our own Web portfolios to see how the user might feel when they hit our URL. One thing that we want to keep in the forefront of our navigation and usability design is that users need to get to where they’re going through navigation as simply as possible. This is nonnegotiable. Therefore, creating an easy to navigate, usable site is more difficult and then dumping loads of unorganized materials on the user. Let us examine the components that help insure usability and good design in the Web portfolio. The guidelines in the next sections can help you develop an organized structure that will help you in the rest of the Web portfolio development steps. Remember, the development of the Web portfolio is an individual, subjective experience that provides a structured narrative in Web form.

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