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Information Design

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Information design (also known as 'information architecture') is the study of the details of complex systems. Among these are websites, user interactions, databases, technical writing documentation, and human-computer interfaces.



Doing Today's Job with Yesterday's Tools

Where is the software that can help us cope with the massive amounts of information that we deal with on a daily basis? Patrick Dubroy points out the problems with current personal information management, and makes suggestions about how to improve the situation.

Dubroy, Patrick. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Articles>Information Design


Dr. Jones: A Software Design Explorer's Crystal Ball   (PDF)

Most of software design is redesign. Redesign in the normal course of design happens when the software becomes difficult to maintain and the problem it is intended to solve has changed. Although software redesign is necessary, frequent, and pervasive, there is a dearth of tools that help programmers do it. Instead, programmers primarily use pen and paper, away from the computer where tools could help the most. To address this shortcoming, I have developed Dr. Jones, a redesign assistant for Java programs.

Foltz, Mark. MIT (2003). Books>Information Design>Redesign


Drinking or Drowning in the Information Confluence

Data given context is information, and information put to use is knowledge. With that definition, the idea that more and better access to all forms of information does not necessarily mean we are getting more and better knowledge to help us through our daily lives. With real knowledge as the goal, independent information sources need to be united to provide better comprehension of the world around us. Knowledge that instills a higher level of organization and understanding of topics relevant to our lives is the ultimate goal. It’s not the quantity of information, but the quality of the knowledge that we need.

Mashstream (2007). Articles>Knowledge Management>Information Design


DTD Tutorial

DTD is described in XML 1.0 standard. In this tutorial basic DTD features are demonstrated on many examples.

Nic, Miloslav. Zvon (2000). Articles>Information Design>XML


DTD Tutorial

DTD está descrito en XML 1.0 standard. En este tutorial se muestran las características básicas de una DTD a través de ejemplos.

Nic, Miloslav. Zvon (2000). (Spanish) Articles>Information Design>XML


Dublin Core Conference Summary 2003

What is Dublin Core? And why would you need a whole conference about it? The end of September and beginning of October brought representatives from various countries around the world to a sunny and warm Seattle, Washington, host of the 2003 Dublin Core Conference.

Gonzales-Chan, Madonnalisa and Sarah Rice. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Information Design>XML>Metadata


Dublin Core Corporate Circles of Interest

The 2002 Dublin Core annual conference and workshop marked the beginning of a new effort by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) to involve members of the corporate world in the evolution and application of the Dublin Core standard. The first meetings of two DCMI Circles of Interest were held on Monday, October 14, 2002, followed the next day by a panel session with several members of the Circles presenting their initial observations and conclusions to the wider conference.

Crandall, Mike. Montague Institute Review (2002). Articles>Information Design>XML>Metadata


Dublin Core Metadata Initiative

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) is an organization dedicated to promoting the widespread adoption of interoperable metadata standards and developing specialized metadata vocabularies for describing resources that enable more intelligent information discovery systems.

DCMI. Design>Information Design>XML>Metadata


Dublin Core Metadata Initiative

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is an open forum engaged in the development of interoperable online metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models. DCMI's activities include consensus-driven working groups, global workshops, conferences, standards liaison, and educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of metadata standards and practices.

Dublin Core. Organizations>Information Design>Standards>Metadata


The DuPont Experience: Strategic Planning for Information Design and Development Organizations   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In this discussion, I examine the strategic planning experience of the Information Design and Development organization in DuPont External Affairs. It describes why we undertook our strategic planning initiative, the process we used, the logistics involved in preparing for and carrying out the process, and the results of our work.

Breuninger, Charles L. Technical Communication Online (1997). Design>Information Design


DUX—Five Lessons Learned

Normally I would write a traditional conference overview to inform people about the recent Designing for User Experiences conference (DUX) held in San Francisco, June 6-8. Instead, I would like to impart a few of the impressions I came away with and recommend that everyone go to the AIGA Case Study Archive to read the papers that were accepted.

Malone, Erin. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Information Design>User Interface


Dynamic Dueling: Grappling with Java-Based Site Maps

When I compare the usability of the highly graphical MAPA dynamic site map with that of a more traditional text-based table of contents, the traditional approach wins hands-down. You can scan the contents much faster and you don't need a fast connection or a Java-enabled browser.

Morville, Peter. Semantic Studios (1997). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Sitemaps


Dynamic Hypertext: Querying and Linking   (peer-reviewed)

There are many models of hypertext, distinguished by a number of factors such as the underlying semantic data model (link typing and node typing), the degree of dynamic linking in the hypertext, and how dynamism and other behaviours are implemented. This essay examines a particular approach to dynamism in hypertext, based on the degree of similarity between a text passage in a source node and the text of a target node. It reviews work carried out over the past decade in creating systems for markup-based querying and dynamic hypertext, with particular emphasis on a model of dynamic hypertext that computes hypertext links on the fly using queries.

Bodner, Richard and Mark Chignell. ACM Computing Surveys (1999). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext>Semantic


E-mailing and Submitting PDF Forms

What’s the easiest way to e-mail a PDF form and have people fill it out?

Sprague, Rich. PDFzone (2004). Design>Information Design>Forms>Adobe Acrobat


Easy Topic Maps

Topic maps are a standard for storing metadata (similar to thesauri, or RDF). They can be used to generate navigation for a website, and lots of other metadata tasks. Topic maps are a new standard (since + 2000) and are slowly starting to be discovered.

Easytopicmaps.com (2003). Resources>Information Design>XML>Metadata


ECMAScript for XML (E4X): A Simpler Programming Model

Developing software to create, navigate and manipulate XML data has become a significant part of almost every developer's job. Developers are inundated with a wide variety of data encoded in XML, including web pages, web services, deployment descriptors, configuration files, project make files and a variety of XML vocabularies for vertical industries (from purchase orders to target lists).

Schneider, John. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>JavaScript


An Ecological Approach to Design

This talk will explain how to use ecological design, which is an expansion of ethnography, to leverage both the rich local information from case studies, and a wider sociological perspective to take account of global realities.

Nardi, Bonnie A. Argus Center (2000). Presentations>Information Design>Knowledge Management


Edit XML Documents with Emacs and nXML

The nXML mode for GNU Emacs provides a powerful environment for creating valid XML documents.

O'Reilly and Associates (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML


Editing Forms in Acrobat 6   (PDF)

The Form tool as we know has been abandoned. There is now a Field tool which is subdivided into tools for the individual field types.

Wyss, Max. PDFzone (2004). Articles>Information Design>Forms>Adobe Acrobat


Educating the Information Architect

The good news is that the job market for information architects is exploding. Searches on sites like Monster.com regularly turn up 200 to 300 postings for "information architects." From consulting firms like Argus and Scient to e-businesses like LookSmart to Fortune 500's like Cisco, everyone is desperately seeking information architects. The bad news is that there's no established educational degree program geared specifically to meet the needs of aspiring information architects.

Morville, Peter. Argus Center (2000). Articles>Education>Information Design


Education for Librarianship and Information Studies: Fit for Purpose?   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

As this issue of the journal goes to press, the Europe-wide professional bodies representing the Schools of Librarianship and Information Studies (EUCLID -- The European Association for Library and Information Education and Research) and the Library Associations (EBLIDA -- the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations) will be meeting together for the rst time since they were both founded some 15 years ago. The meeting is intended to focus on the effects of profound social changes related to digitization, multiculturalism and the growth of the knowledge economy.

Johnson, Ian M. Information Development (2007). Articles>Education>Information Design


The Effect of Hyperlink Wording on User Performance   (PDF)

A Web-based study is underway to examine the effect of the wording of local navigational links in hypertext documents on user performance. We anticipate that more concretely labeled links will enhance user performance, specifically comprehension and perceptions of an informational Web site. In the study, subjects will log in remotely and complete a content knowledge test and background surveys; they will browse a test Web site and complete another knowledge test and a questionnaire on perceptions of the site. Log file data will be collected. Results will be analyzed and presented.

Mobrand, Kathryn A. and Jan H. Spyridakis. STC Proceedings (2002). Design>Web Design>Information Design


Effective Data Filtering

This article discusses writing software that helps the user effectively work with large amounts of data. The approach that I will describe is called filtering.

Rowe, Robert. VBMySQL.com (2004). Articles>Information Design>Databases


Effective Search Engine Submission Strategies

Now that you've got a website it's time to start thinking about promoting it. Search engine listings are the number one way to generate traffic to your website.

stevenforsyth.com (2005). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Search Engine Optimization


The Effects of Headings in Information Mapping on Search Speed and Evaluation of a Brief Health Education Text   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The accessibility of written information becomes an increasingly relevant issue in today's information-dense society. Although headings are generally known to signal textual content and thus aid access, it remains unclear how frequently headings should be used for optimal document use. Information Mapping© is a text writing method that systematically splits up text in chunks accompanied by headings. The present paper presents a study in which a print health education document was varied systematically in accordance with the Information Mapping method, to examine the effects of heading frequency and information order on participants' search speed and their evaluation of the text layout. Results showed that the presence of headings in a text indeed contributed to easier access in the search tasks. Although no differences in search speed were found with varying numbers of headings in the text, some subjective opinions were in favour of the version with most headings. The different information order of the Information Mapping text had no effect.

Kools, Marieke, Robert A.C. Ruiter and Margaretha W.J. van de Wiel. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Document Design>Information Design>Scientific Communication



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