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Information Design Workbook: Graphic approaches, solutions, and inspiration + 30 case studies Paperback – 1 Feb 2010
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About the Author
Kim Baer is principal of Los Angeles–based design studio KBDA, which she founded in 1982. The firm's client list ranges from nonprofit organizations, such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation, UCLA, and Chamber Music Los Angeles, to consumer-oriented companies, such as Nike, Nissan, and Hilton Hotels.
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Not just a collection of nice graphics, there's plenty to read and study. So if your working towards a qualification in graphic design or information graphics then this book is an ideal purchase.
The summary on the preface accurately describes this book and I'll quote it here.
- Leads you through the mindset and kind of thinking that support good information design.
- Gives you an overview of the type of processes and tools you can use to create effective information design.
- Shows real-world examples of successful products
- Presents interviews with some of the premier practitioners working in the field today.
This book talks about high level concepts to give an overview to information design. The first four chapters explains the need for effective design and provides lots of examples where they are used, and how helpful they are. Some examples include direct mail, litigation graphics, etc. Interviewees relates on what works and what doesn't through their own experience.
There are several tools include to help designers. They include personas and scenario simulation, research and testing and even mundane stuff like using plain language. Of course not all might relate to everyone. I'm a newspaper artist and I don't do testing for every graphic that I produce. But they do give results for tests conducted, which can be applied to different fields.
One chapter is devoted to design principles with examples from all medium.
The last five chapters are the case studies. Each touches on a different medium and each comes with 6 real life success stories. That's 30 set of experience from the industry you can learn from.
I'll like to conclude that this book practices what it preaches. The information on the pages is laid out nicely and easy to absorb.
Here's the table of contents:
Preface - Approaching information design from a user-centric point of view
1. About information design. What is it? Who is doing it? Why is it important?
2. Process: Discovery. A step-by-step look at the research and discovery process
3. Process: Prototypes and Testing. How user research and testing help to ensure successful design
4. Design Toolkit: Visual devices to help communicate information
5. Printed Matter Case Studies. Magazines, packaging and corporate communications
6. Information Graphics Case Studies. Maps, charts, and diagrams
7. Interactive Case Studies. Websites and other screen-based projects
8. Enviromental Case Studies. Wayfinding and exhibits
9. Experimental Case Studies. Information design that pushes the envelope.
This book is not, however, a deep understanding and explanation of what information design is.
The author seems lacking in real world experience and the book has a feel of an undergraduate paper. It tries to cover too many things. Most of the case studies are pointless
Half the diagrams aren't viewable as they are too small, many are cluttered and don't add anymore meaning that the same amount of text would - surely this is completely missing the point?
A lot of the case studies don't actually tell us anything and are purely name dropping - Morgan Stanley for example. Often there is just image after image - where is the value?
Where is the problem-solution example with a detailed explanation? Information design is not about graphic design it is about adding value to information and ultimately, the end user.
As a data visualisation specialist i have been battling for years trying to convince various managers of the benefits of good information design and visualisation and that it is not fluffy nonsense. People like this author make our jobs ten times harder through
If you are looking for a book on information architecture and web usability then you should start with Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The title is slightly misleading in that I thought a "workbook" would contain specific exercises. I didn't see any in my first flip through the book, so if they're there, it's a failure of design that they're aren't easier to pick out. That said, it' still a useful book to help kick start your next projects.