Information architecture.

After gathering together a whole bunch of research and images in regards to information architecture, I found that I was well prepared for todays lesson. Paul had created a slideshow to navigate us through the ins and outs of Information architecture and how it all works. Some key points I recall from his presentation was that images and colours are best depicted in a universal mannerism. Making simple graphics and using cohesive colour palettes are what easily read across many nations.

Another tip is to eliminate the complexity/accuracy of information and make it much more easier to understand. Paul used a great example of railway lines; in reality they’re long and go for miles, often curving and weaving throughout the landscape. Yet a designer could simply take the start/end destinations and draw them in a straight line so that the user experience is less confusing.

Our ICA for today is to come up with at least two A3 pages of concepts for an infographic of our own. We could choose one from the following:

  • A personal profile
  • A map of your neighbourhood
  • A chart showing your future
  • A solution to navigating building 1

I have made six conceptual drawings for each of the following: I’ve chosen to use the ‘personal profile’ in two ways: A CV and a poster that will display my hobbies/interests. The last design is a term calendar for my Youth group at church…my youth leader had actually asked me if I would like to design one for this term…so why not integrate it into the realms of this weeks exercise? The first two A3 pages demonstrate my conceptual drawings (I wanted to draw them larger than thumbnail just to get my ideas displayed clearly), with the final image being that of my current CV. As you can see, it is very plain – white background with a lot of text. I am looking forward to updating my CV with a fresh, graphic response.

 

The design process definitely has a large impact and overarching influence as to how the user will interpret the information provided. If careful planning of hierarchy (wire framing), use of colour, image and text is not well considered, it will absolutely transfer into the way in which a user consumes the information. If there is too much text, or the images are all over the place, the colour is dull or clashes with other elements – these sorts of things will be off-putting and create a negative user experience. When information is successful is when the eye is naturally drawn into a specific area, the information is presented left to right, top to bottom etc. The weighting and alignment of text and image is well considered; the elements are tidily placed together.

The best way to begin making informational graphics would be to make a quick list of the information you need to include in the design. The next best step is to think about likening common info together – establishing the hierarchy. Then one can move onto conceptual drawings that use wire framing or a central image as the point of focus. A lot was learnt today, and I think I will begin making my finals throughout the week…I don’t really want to wait until next Tuesday!

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