"Information" is not an object – it is a dynamic process within users who navigate, compehend and articulate, or engage in some task. Good information design requires that I can grasp this process and envisage information as a component in users' tasks. This understanding informs the design of appropriate structures, texts, diagrams, or time-based visualisations.
I offer a range of information services:
Information design is more than layout and graphics. It starts with a survey of elements to be included in a site or application (data, texts, products, processes) to be categorized and brought into a structure.
The information designer, being an external specialist, often doesn't know the requirements as well as the client. His task is to facilitate the design process by using a range of methods:
- Surveying all relevant aspects to take into account, noting on cards(brainstorming and research)
- Visualisation of structure and relationships, sorting of cards, use of pinboards and charts
- First ordering: sorting, tentative categorisation (names may change later)
- Grouping and clustering of cards/elements into categories
- Settling: reducing redundant aspects, addition or renamong of elements or categories
User, access paths and processes
Once the strucuture has taken shape the design turns towards the identification of appropriate access paths and step-by-step processes:
- Identify relevant user groups wioth differen information requirements (i.e., final customers, suppliers and co-operation partners, staff, investors, or media)
- Definition of suitable access paths (hierarchical and temporal order, indices and content lists, search functions, etc.)
- Identify relevant processes and use cases, such as logins, user registration, order and payment processes including error handling, customisation and updating of user profiles, or postings and user comments
- Testing of information structure and processes with users based on prototypes:
- Are tasks easy to understand, possibly self-explanatory?
- What are the sources of remaining user errors or misunderstandings?
- How can tasks be simplified by better wording or structure, or improved user guidance?
Once a structure has been identified rthat meets the requirements, the site, application, or printed matter is implemented.
When it comes to design implementation I often collaborate with the web agency feld.wald.wiese - however, I can equally work with an agency of your choice.
Research and dissemination
Research helps to fill information gaps and better shape the content elements at hand. The 'processing' of your content can include the validation of facts, aggegatiion of data from various sources, editing and summarising, and data visualisation in thematic maps and diagrams.
The dissemination of project results can include the following tasks:
- Development of public relations concepts
- Creation of concepts and specs for web sites, applications or print material
- Information management and editorial tasks for project leads or partners
- Creation of information graphics, presentations or animations with a high standards regarding usability and accessibility
I author professional articles, especially around the subject of accessibility. Articles have been published on bitvtest.de, incobs.de, in the online magazine "A list apart", the German web standards magazine and in publications of organisations of blind and visually impaired people.