What is information design + how can it help you as a marketer?
Think of the last time you flipped through a tangled manual. Where does that piece go? How do these parts fit together? If the instructions are subpoenaed, you get frustrated and look for an explanatory video that some random person posted online.
If we can follow the story, we understand. If not, we are lost in chaos. The purpose of information design is to avoid confusion by presenting data in a way that is easy to understand.
As a marketer, information design makes it easy to share complex ideas چاہ whether you’re distributing annual reports or shopping for a new campaign. In this post, we will walk you through the basics of information design, how to use it, and the tools you need to apply your tools to your work.
What is information design?
Information design is the practice of storytelling with data. It helps inform people by providing a purpose, a story that is easy to follow, and draws clear conclusions.
Information design is an integral part of everyday life. For example, we follow a recipe to speed up a meal or visit a museum using gestures and demonstration descriptions. When used effectively, it can help people complete a task, solve a problem, understand complex data, or follow a set of instructions.
You may be thinking that information design looks a lot like data visualization. Although both are connected to the basic set of graphic design and design principles, key differences set them apart.
|Informative design||The concept of data|
|Tells a story, which serves the purpose of data.||Raw data presents visually appealing but does not serve a purpose.|
|Uses logic and patterns that the audience can easily understand.||Allows viewers to draw their own conclusions, and aims to create a specific reaction.|
|Provides results, so viewers don’t have to make their own assumptions.||Constantly evolving as new data becomes available.|
|Examples: Infographics, instruction manuals, or analytical reports that provide results or predictions.||Examples: Analytical dashboards, demographic graphs, or performance charts.|
Confused You are not the only person. The nuances between the two can be difficult to understand. The important thing to remember is that information design is about effectiveness and function, while data visualization is more about visual appeal and aesthetics. Both enhance an audience’s ability to understand data, but only information design mixes storytelling.
Fortunately, there is a set of principles that will help you turn complex information into attractive, coherent content.
Principles of Information Design
Most fields have a set of guidelines to keep the process clear and consistent. For example, authors follow style guides, engineers adhere to code standards, and information designers practice design thinking.
Design thinking is a process of solving creative problems that people prioritize. Like UX design, which puts consumer needs first, information design principles are human-based and allow designers to practice. The goal is to ensure that people are not overwhelmed or confused when accessing information.
While the rules are listed below in a specific order, know that this process is not always linear. You may need to repeat one step or jump back and forth between the two to clarify the information. Like all guidelines, you need to find out what works for your situation and intent.
1. To empathize.
It is important to understand a problem before making a solution. That’s why the first step in information design is to put aside any assumptions so that you can focus on consumers and their needs.
Start curious. Ask questions, observe your audience’s behavior, engage people in conversation, and show empathy to understand their real motives or problems. Use interviews, surveys, focus groups, or polls to find out what solutions people need. The goal is to understand how people can interact with the final design to make it as efficient as possible – but know that the design will be as good as you submit.
2. Explain the basic problem.
Once you gather information from your target audience, you need to synthesize it and solve the basic problem. Ideally, you focus it on the people you want to help rather than your needs.
For example, say you want to create a product page for a new portable speaker that your company will launch. You might say, “We want to meet our sales target, so we need to create a product page that is focused on turning people into customers.” Instead, think of your customers and redefine the problem, “People are looking for a speaker that can go anywhere, sound good and last for years.”
Designers, authors, and marketers approach the solution by explaining the problem to their audience. And it often gives rise to creative ideas, which lead to the next stage.
3. Identification and mindfulness.
Not all ideas have the same effect. That is why it is important to encourage everyone involved in the information design process to improve their creativity at this stage.
Give yourself experimental and real-minded techniques, but don’t be afraid to experiment with new ways. Techniques such as Mind Mapping, Brain Writing, Free Association, Scamper, and Storyboarding can trigger ideas. Get as many ideas for both design and story from the beginning.
Once you’ve added your ideas to a carefully crafted list, map out the outline of your story so you can see how people will interact and understand your design. This outline will serve as the basis for the first iteration.
4. Prototype your ideas.
You may have come up with one or two strong ideas for storytelling and design. The prototype stage is where you expand these ideas and identify the best possible solution.
Prototypes are usually low cost, easy to replicate, so don’t spend all your resources completing the first version. Instead, focus on visual classification to make your story stand out. Then, before moving on to the next step, share the prototype with the people involved in the project to ensure that the information is accurate, precise, engaging, and easy to understand.
5. Check your design.
When your design is strong enough to explain your idea, now is the time to share it and gather feedback. Send it to your company colleagues who provide insights or gather a group of people in your audience.
Take note of each reaction. Are they tangled up in story or design? Do they know what to do? Is the information clear and accurate? Do people read or watch to the end?
Give people a few days to sit down with the prototype and gather feedback. When you feel you have enough information, make any necessary adjustments. You may have to repeat this step several times because, most of the time, the feedback prompts you to redefine the problem and reconsider your story.
Examples of information design
Although there is a specific way to access information design, design possibilities are endless. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which it can be used in business and marketing to make your ideas shine.
1. Media Economy Report Vol.13, Bureau Oberhaeuser.
Industry trends should not be bored. This Magna Global report serves as a thought-provoking guide to where the e-commerce industry is heading and how the customer experience is changing. The combination of copy and well-designed graphics gives an overview of the forces affecting the industry, highlights key initiatives, and provides predictions of how e-commerce will evolve.
2. Advanced Keyword Research Lesson, Brian Dean.
Informative design can go beyond written content. This backlink explanatory video brings to life a standard “how” post with visually appealing design, animation and clear instructions. If you want to experiment with content beyond blog posts, infographics, or reports, video may be the only content for your next information design project.
3. Dell Machine, Elizabeth Calabrito.
Integration and acquisition require a lot of research, but this design makes reading about the challenges that companies face. This is a great example of how information design is not just about looking at chart interpretations and reading – it also includes graphic elements that are pleasing to the eye. Large quote blocks, related images, and colors affect how people perceive information, so be sure to consider visual flow when creating your design.
4. Another state-of-the-art marketing report, not HubSpot.
Marketing is constantly evolving, and people need to keep up with the latest trends, strategies and statistics. HubSpot knows this. Their annual report reflects their industry expertise, with chapters devoted to each marketing. Need to know the latest SEO strategies? Go to Chapter Four. This example is a tutorial on getting to know your audience, providing them with the data they need, and packing it into an eye-catching design.
5. Click and submit: Online Grocery Experience, Net Guru
Case studies are necessary to educate your audience and provide evidence that your product or service works. Net Guru did a great job of creating a case study that is easy to scan and fun to scroll through. Interactive graphics catch your eye and tell you how the product works. But my favorite moment was learning how self-guided vehicles work.
Information design tools
Everyone has their favorite tools, whether it’s for note taking, project management, graphic design, or content management. If you specialize in marketing, the following tools can help you put together integrated, engaging content – without having to learn complex software.
Some tools are more complex than others, however, join your design team if necessary. They are experts, after all! Here are some valuable tools to consider:
- Kenova: A graphic design platform that makes it easy for non-designers to quickly create hangs for creating presentations, infographics, reports and more.
- Visme: Ideal for both experienced designers and newbies, this graphic design platform offers a variety of templates so you can create videos, infographics, documents, charts and graphics.
- Creole: Full of innovative templates, Creole is a graphic design tool with layouts for social media posts, marketing materials, presentations, and more. It also has a collection of royalty-free images so you can spice up your information design documents.
- Adobe Creative Cloud: Essential for creators, Adobe CC offers superior control over your creations. Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Premier provide powerful tools to get your design started from scratch.
- Procrete: This app is for artists who create digital paintings (think animations, graphics and more). It’s more for designers than marketers, but it’s great for people who like to work by hand before turning their work into programs like Adobe CC.
In a world where people are constantly bombarded with information, focusing on clear communication can improve conversions, increase customer satisfaction, and help you achieve your goals. Is. Effective information design makes it easier for people to gain insights and get to know your company. With the right statistics, story and tools, you can design content that’s right for your audience and hopefully prevent frustration from an incomprehensible set of instructions.