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Information And Interaction Design

Information Design

Information design means clarifying your communication goals and arranging your ideas into a design that serves those goals.

Information Design is the first step in creating any sort of Design. It involves a number of critical tasks the results of which end up producing a "Content Flowchart"

Critical tasks of information design

  1. Define the goals for the product
    • Goals are used as a continual evaluation in the design process, by continually asking "Does this solution get me closer too my goals".
  2. Define what the audience wants to do
    • Depending on what you want your audience too do with the design can influence aspects of the design.
  3. Decide how the product will reach its audience
    • Designs can be published a number of ways. Depending on how it relates too your goals you want can deliver it using CD-ROM, Internet or Public Download for example.
  4. Choose the authoring tool
    • Does the Tool used too create the Design push you towards your goals.
  5. Create a content inventory list
    • Create a list of all the artifacts you will need/that you have for the Design.
  6. Create a project plan
    • Create a data table about the time and money cost of the design. Also consider the equipment and skills you will need.
  7. Organize the content
    • Put all the content into order according too how your design will use it. Create a structure for your design.
  8. Produce a content flowchart
    • The ultimate goal of Information Design. Produce a Flowchart that is representative of your design. there are 3 primary factors that drive a Flowchart.
      1. Content - the organization you've mapped out for the information.
      2. Usability - The topic categories and access routes the audience will expect to find.
      3. Simplicity - The need to keep the design clear and focused, to control production time and costs.

Interaction Design

Interaction Design is deciding exactly where and how to give control to users.

Interaction Design takes the data from Information Design and turns it into something real, The final step is creating a "Story Board".

Critical tasks of interaction design

  1. Create a guidance system to orient users
    • Produce a simple design that is easy for users too use. The start should orient users in how the design functions in minimal detail.
  2. Design the navigation and access routes
    • The Content Flowchart already defines much of this section. It should be simplistic and easy too follow. Use colours too help sort out any messy areas.
    • A good design will
      • Minimize travel: create the simplest and shortest path between any two points, while maintaining a simple structure.
      • Minimize depth: create a hierarchy with the fewest possible levels, while maintaining a meaningful structure.
      • Minimize redundancy: avoid creating multiple paths to the same place from the same screen (this causes confusion about which to choose)
  3. Define what happens in every screen
    • With the flow chart ready defining what happens on each page is next. YOu need too consider content as well as navigation and the general visuals
  4. Consider controls for interaction
    • Defining your access methods. Using buttons, text, images, popup menus, timelines etc. Also what levels of access, Access within a topic or access to a completely new topic.
  5. Create a storyboard
    • A series of sketches that show each individual screen. Displays a general content view and controls/navigation systems. This allows a designer too act out the navigation using the boards.