Thursday, February 26, 2015

Information Design 3.0

Word and phrases change their meaning over time and there's not much we can do about it. I'm a linguistic liberal, and you'll hopefully know what I mean by that (yes, that was a split infinitive and yes I know 'hopefully' used to mean something else).

But I do splutter into my cornflakes when I see 'information design' shifting in meaning every ten years or so.

There are at least three generations of it.

I first installed Information Design 1.0 in the late 70s. It was for the design of usable information: planning content and using typography, graphics and layout to display it effectively. It was comprehensive and included signage, diagrams, displays, documents, and eventually websites.

The Information Design 2.0 upgrade in around 2000 enabled web design, but most of the other features were hidden.

Information Design 3.0, released around 2010, only offers data visualisation.