Information designers have the ability to take complex information and simplify it for the masses. In addition, information designers are capable of brainstorming innovative solutions to real-time problems. That being said, where do information designers fit in the fast-paced reality of the 21st century? With their skills in problem solving, technical writing, graphic design, information architecture, usability and wayfinding – to name a few – information designers are equipped with the knowledge and the skills to tackle any problem in any industry – making them a valued member on any team.
Information design at a glance:
Information designers – and their ability to think innovatively – are continuing to become valuable members of interdisciplinary teams.
Around 2010, designers the world over proclaimed Photoshop was dead in web design. We moved away from static comps, learned to prototype, and invested our time in tools like Sketch and Axure and designing directly in code. Pixel-perfect comps were finally dead, and it was awesome.
The skills of an information designer:
As long as there are problems to be solved, design thinking will will continue to thrive.
Every year, as we all fawn over the newest, shiniest toy, last year’s model is left deserted. Do consumers every really stop to think about what becomes of last year’s junk once they’ve purchased this year’s treasure? What becomes of last year’s iPhone, or the dishwasher you just replaced? Designing for a circular economy creates an awareness around these kinds of questions, and looks to implement innovative solutions to decrease our ecological footprint and plan for the future.
IDEO continues to amaze with their endless stream of innovative ideas and design thinking processes.
What if we had a new way to design products, services and businesses that were good for people, the planet, and business?
A circular economy is a better economy.
Being conscious of our consumption – and the waste associated – is a step in the right direction toward achieving a more circular economy.
When Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam replaced its lighting, it didn’t pay for the bulbs. Instead, the airport pays for light as a service-and Philips, which designed the system, is responsible for recycling or reusing anything that breaks. It’s an example of the growth of circular design.
If we were all to think a little more circular, our home would be a much healthier place.
Wayfinding is heavily ingrained in our subconscious. Why is it, however, that we are so unaware of it? Wayfinding can be as simple as a stop sign – red + octagon = stop – or as complex as navigating a busy international airport. Over time, we adapt to wayfinding elements – such as signage – as they become part of our subconscious day-to-day interactions.
Wayfinding is all around us. Airports are a great location to study the effects of wayfinding in action – as airports must move thousands of people – speaking numerous languages – through their doors every day.
When Calgary Airport in Alberta, Canada, began planning a major expansion to include the addition of two new concourses with 24 new gates, they knew a smooth transition would require an expert team of wayfinding professionals. The plan to expand Calgary Airport (YYC) included the addition of two new concourses to accommodate the increasing number of U.S.
Who doesn’t love a little bit of wayfinding inspiration?
Signage is mere background noise . . . until it’s not.
The true unsung heroes are wayfinding experts who help us get from point A to point B without a hitch. You won’t ever consciously stop to thank them, but – in the event you get lost – you may very well stop to curse them.
Human-centred design is the way of the future. With so much information at our fingertips, how can we use our growing knowledge to implement lasting, meaningful change? Designing for social innovation will help move us toward brainstorming innovative solutions to solve pressing social issues.
IDEO continues to take the world by storm with its brilliance in human-centred design.
Design Kit is IDEO.org’s platform to learn human-centered design, a creative approach to solving the world’s most difficult problems.
How might we engage in human-centred design to redefine Canada’s homeless shelters?
From the outside, Eva’s Phoenix-a new teen homeless shelter in downtown Toronto’s Fashion District-looks like a classic Art Deco brick warehouse. But inside, it’s organized like its own city, complete with a main street, townhouses, common “squares,” and more.
Human-centred design has the capacity to save lives.
In northern Tanzania, where distances between villages are vast, and less than a dozen ambulances service about 2 million people, being pregnant can be a death sentence. High-risk expectant mothers regularly fail to get medical attention because they can’t get to a hospital in time.
Being conscious of your surroundings and the people around you will open your eyes to potential possibilities for social innovation. People don’t always know what they want; innovators are the ones who are tasked with finding that out.
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
– Henry Ford
Strategically crafted work spaces help open the mind to creative thinking. With so many directions to go in, how does one decide on a work space that inspires design thinking? Honing in on company culture – or personal tastes – and embracing individuality are important considerations when determining how to make creative minds spring to action.
Introducing communal work spaces that reflect company culture and focus on the nitty-gritty details – like ample power supply and wi-fi – contribute to the overall feel of creative work spaces.
How to supercharge your space for creativity.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to designing the perfect work space.
For some lucky creative agencies the days of dull and drab cubicle spaces are long gone, with employers realising that inspiring surroundings can have a direct effect on their employees’ creativity. They don’t have to be located in famous buildings – a tranquil setting, games area, or amazing design office mural can all help to stir the creative juices.
Adding graphics to your work space may provide new creative inspiration.
An experiential graphic design pro shares tips for enhancing your space with wayfinding and environmental graphics. The workplace is constantly changing to accommodate a shifting workforce with various expectations and working styles. This accommodation is not only a trend in some workplaces, in many it has become a vehicle to attract and retain the best talent.
In today’s busy environment with ever changing technology, a well designed workplace should change effortlessly according to the task at hand. Developing areas that can be easily adapted to suit changing requirements is an essential element of design in 2017.
Work spaces should no longer adhere to cookie-cutter norms. Companies should make an effort to transform their work spaces in order to motivate employees and cultivate innovative thinking.