Now more than ever it is import to know the history of your field. Did you know that our own Ginny Redish discussed Information Design in Technical Communication over 10 years ago. Here is a link to the story: http://dwheelersite.com/PDFs/Articles%20for%20Reading%20List/Redish%20What%20Is%20Information%20Design.pdf
Some discussion questions:
n Is this still relevant? If not, what changes in communication practices have made it obsolete?
n What key points do you feel are most relevant in using information design to define what you do as a communicator?
n This SIG is over 14 years old and has at times been the most popular group. Why do you think that is?
I look forward to seeing what this group has to say and if this platform can handle a lively social discussion.
David L. Caruso, IDA SIG Manager
1. information production and
2. information displayed
are verb and noun, and so it would be normal for the same words to be used in the different contexts. But then she is programmer turned information designer and not writer turned information designer. Her entire view of information design (and in fact all of writing in a digital medium) is from the point of view of the programmer.
I suggest that when discussing design of information, she and Nielsen both see only one style of writing -- user-centric, or writing designed to facilitate effective navigation.
User-centric writing is important, but there are two more styles just as important, and with both styles, the point is to get the reader to linger.
With persuasion-centric writing, the point is to keep the reader engaged until he/she becomes persuaded and does whatever the text is pushing them to do. If the reader buys while on that page, the text wins.
With quality-centric writing the effort is to entertain or educate (as opposed to inform) and, again, the point is to get the reader to linger.
This is one of three ideas I believe the information architect needs to consider when managing content on a site.
- an organizational change of mindset at all levels to break down barriers to sharing information in new ways
- a reward structure for cooperative process re-engineering
- commitment to a new infrastructure to support new feedback mechanisms and co-authoring
- employee training to facilitate adoption and innovation