Reflective Statement – Infromation Design Methodology

My interest in information design is motivated by its pedagogical power to explain, inform and educate  the mass on complex subjects in a way that captures attention and conveys the message in a clear and effective way through a combination of data, texts and visuals. My theme selection is generally guided by its interest to and usefulness for a targeted audience or to the society in general. The postings on my blog illustrate the evolution of my methodology.

Once the theme is selected and the objective is clear, I gather information from reliable sources such as governmental institutions, official reports, journals and other trustworthy sources and I classified them in main categories bearing in mind the objective of the work. Data and figures are thoroughly analysed with a view of preparing them for illustrative purpose. Text are studied, reformulated and simplified for ease of understanding by the targeted audience. My ethical values hold me to be truthful and not to conceal or distort data and information to fit a certain purpose when presenting them, as put forward by Edward Tufte’s in his book ‘Beautiful Evidence’.

I then move on to the design aspect. Usually there is more than one type of information to illustrate which can be in the form of data and texts. When it comes to data, I experiment with various ways to illustrate them in order to find the most efficient and creative way to catch the attention of the audience. When there are several figures which need to be stressed, I design them in a way that one does not get priority on the other and I seek creative ways to illustrate them such that they obtain equal importance through historical work like that of Florence Nightingale, contemporary ones like Charles Minard and David McCandless creative avenues in data illustration.

With the categorised written information to be included in the artifact, I design graphics such as pictograms or other type of illustration to enhance the information for the audience to promptly grasp the information. I would draw my inspiration from Otto Neurath’s visual language system called Isotype and Otl Aicher’s pictograms that transcends the language barrier.

At this stage, I normally test the focal part of my work that is supposed to attract the attention by getting the feedback from a cross section of the audience.

I then bring all the elements together, determine all the size with respect to the focal and lateral parts so that the audience gets the central message, is appealed to read through the artifact fluidly and easily and retains the vital part that would trigger a change in attitude.

Finally the correct mood has to be set through the right choice of colour combinations .

My blog entries have helped me in deepening my knowledge in information design and to develop an appropriate methodology to proceed in my area of study. As we are now in the digital era, and the volume of information that are circulated is keeping on increasing at a delusional rate, thus, there is much more to explore in the area of information design which I will do through my blog.

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