School of Design
Description of Courses
8800 (gen. 8800)
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Information Design deals with making data and information understandable by humans. It is essentially to do with sense-making. This may translate to taking information and recasting it in another form or another modality, according to the needs of the target audience or receivers. In addition, newer approaches to information design conceptualise this work as being research into and creation of information spaces that are used for searching, wayfinding and learning. Wayfinding in these spaces may follow the principles of wayfinding in physical worlds. The course concerns itself with modules regarding the effectiveness of information seeking behaviour that depends mainly upon the structuring of the space, or information architecture, with the principles for organising these spaces; with the task structures beyond information seeking which are concerned with navigation, wayfinding, sensory acquisition and interaction with cognitive representations that correspond to the meaningful mappings; and with the meaning of navigability in information spaces. Thematic units study contributing themes such as new types of infomation literacy, visualisation and wayfinding. Applications in the construction of spatial information design such as exhibition spaces, museums and libraries are studied, while exercises in transforming data into meaningful and fit-for-purpose information are undertaken.
The learning outcomes for this course are aligned with the International Institute for Information Design (IIID) recommendations for curricula in Information Design (IDX). The overall objective of the course is for students to study theories and methods which govern the design and interpretation of information; to take into account the new modes of designing and interpreting information; and to be able to create effective information products for a range of applications. To achieve this, students will become knowledgeable about recent advances with regard to research results in: •human communication capabilities with regard to perceiving, cognitive processing and responding to information using all senses. •literacy studies. Literacy is defined as the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts (UNESCO). In addition, students will know about newer forms of literacy such as visual, multimedia and digital literacy, and the roles they play in Information Design. •The increasing role of information in the daily lives of citizens and workers. Information is the result of processing, manipulating and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the person receiving it. Information designers facilitate knowledge transfer o by making information (supplied by those who know) o accessible and understood (by those who don’t know, but aspire to know) After completing this course students will be capable of : • understanding and explaining the reasons why particular pieces of information are not meaningful in certain contexts, for certain people, (critical analysis) • making grounded evidence-based suggestions on how to go about making improvements (crtical review) • developing an alternative approaches to information provision, by understanding more deeply the particular information needs (problem situation identification). • describing and executing strategies for design or re-design of information, including different forms, contents and modalities and having due regard to interplay of content, form modality, with factors such as distribution, reproduction, maintenance (design) • creating designs or redesigns (prototype implementations) • evaluation of designs (user testing methods) • delivering final information products and services
o Jacobson, R. (Ed) 1999 Information Design, MIT Press o Morville, P. & Rosenfeld, L. 2006 (3rd Edn) Information Architecture O’Reilly o Katz, J. (2012)Designing Information Human Factors and Common Sense in Information Design Wiley,
•Visocky o’Grady, J & K. (2008) The Information Design Handbook Rotovision •Bhatia, V. Worlds ofWritten Discourse: A Genre-Based View Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd •Kielman, J. & Thomas, J., eds. Special issue: foundations and frontiers of visual analytics. Information Visualization 8, 4 (2009) •McGookin, D., Brewster, S &. Priego, P. (2009) Audio bubbles: Employing non-speech audio to support tourist wayfinding Haptic and Audio Interaction Design 41-50 •Waller, R. (1999) Making connections: typography, layout and language, Presentation at Association ofAdvancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI Symposium) available from http://www.aaai.org/Library/Symposia/Fall/1999/fs99-04-002.php •Waller R and Delin J (2010) Towards a pattern language approach to document description. Paper presented at Multidisciplinary Approaches to Discourse, France, 2010 available from www.simplificationcentre.org.ukpapers/SC4Patterns.pdf/downloads/ •Kress, G. (2004) Reading images: Multimodality, representation and new media Information Design Journal + Document Design 12(2), 110–119 • Van der Waarde, K. (2010) Visual communication for medicines: malignant assumptions and benign design? Visible Language 44.1. pp 40-69 •Koutsourelakis, C. & Chorianopoulos, K. (2010) Icons in mobile phones: Comprehensibility differences between older and younger users Information Design Journal 18(1), 22–35 •Petrie, H. Kamollimsakul, S. &Power, C. (2012) Web Accessibility for Older Adults: effects of line spacing and text justification on reading web pages 15th ACM SIGACCESS International Conference on Computers and Accessibility.
Learning activities and teaching methods:
Lectures are used to introduce topics. Serveral types of exercises, assignments and projects are undertaken. Exercises include discussing publications on relevant topics, that students have to read and prepare; Projects designing and implementing some information products (small project), submitting to these to “crit session”, acquiring feedback and resubmitting work along with a report documenting the strategies employed in the work. Preparation for the larger project begins towards the end of the semester. It involves preparation and submitting drafts of materials and report structure. The report encourages conscious reflection on the design process
Students are assessed on the basis of classwork exercises (30%) and a small individual project (20%), and exam work consisting of a) larger individual project and b) a written examination ( 30% and 20%).
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Model of delivery (face-to-face, distance learning):
Face-to-Face, supported by eplatform facilities
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