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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.



La Arquitectura de la Información del Siglo XX al XXI

Resumen de la historia reciente de la Arquitectura de Información, comenzando en la decada de 1970.

Bustamante, Jesus. AIfIA (2002). (Spanish) Articles>Information Design


The Art of Indexing and Some Fallacies of its Automation

The phrase 'information storage and retrieval,' coined in the fifties - when computers were first harnessed to the twin tasks of recording verbal communication and finding it again on demand - is somewhat misleading and it is also missing a vital element. The misleading part is that many people seem to believe that these tasks can only be performed by machines. Yet information has been stored on stone tablets, papyrus rolls and in books for thousands of years and it has also been found when needed. The missing part is that, in order for stored information to be retrievable - whether manually or by machine - an intermediate operation is of crucial importance: the stored information must be indexed.

Wellisch, Hans H. CPD (1992). Articles>Indexing>Information Design


The Art of Topless Dancing and Information Design

Creating a web site makes for all sorts of strange working relationships. What does an information designer have to do to get a little cooperation?

Warren, Denice. List Apart, A (2001). Design>Information Design>Web Design


Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture

AIfIA is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to advancing and promoting information architecture. Founded in 2002, AIfIA has over 400 members in 30 countries.

AIfIA. Organizations>Information Design>Human Computer Interaction


ASIS Special Interest Group: Information Architecture

SIG-IA is guided by an ethic of inclusion, in which the full range of participants - from those who are self-taught to those with considerable academic training or practical experience - feel comfortable helping one another develop the professional practice of information architecture.

ASIST. Organizations>Information Design


Assemble a Cross-Platform Firefox Extension

XUL is a surprisingly easy way to build cross-platform browser extensions or even stand-alone applications. Discover how to build powerful, flexible Mozilla browser extensions that go beyond the capabilities of other tools like embedded scripting languages or CGI--because they're built right into the user's browser.

Ogbuji, Uche. IBM (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>Web Browsers


Association of Knowledgework

At the Association of Knowledgework, people from every specialty cross professional, geographic, cultural, economic and hierarchical barriers to learn together. Not just another website, this is a virtual home for those who work with this stuff called knowledge.

Association of Knowledgework. Organizations>Information Design


At the Heart of Information Ecologies: Invisibility and Technical Communication   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The ecological metaphor for technological systems provides a useful supplement to others dealing with the question of human control over technologies. However, it fails to develop adequately its own reliance on communication as the means whereby human values may be embedded in technologies, or to recognize the role of professional communicators in that process.

Ranney, Frances J. Journal of Computer Documentation (2000). Articles>Information Design>TC


Authoring, Maintaining, and Publishing XML Content in Alfresco with Componize

XML topic-based documentation enables consistency, reuse, conditional publishing, separation of content and styling, and more. A good XML solution makes it easier for the authoring teams to move to XML authoring, providing structured templates, embedded editors, maintaining links and metadata, and adding collaboration features such as workflows.

Kerzreho, Nolwenn and Frank Shipley. YouTube (2013). Presentations>Information Design>XML>Alfresco


Automated Mass Production of XSLT Stylesheets

Many have wished for a tool that would automate the creation of XSLT stylesheets. Building the interface alone to such a tool sounds like a tough job, and getting it to output working XSLT stylesheets that accomplish non-trivial tasks also sounds challenging. However, the comfort level of nearly all computer users with basic spreadsheet software actually makes the first task simpler than it once appeared to be, and the ease with which popular spreadsheet programs now save their contents in XML means that when you start with the right spreadsheet template, an XSLT stylesheet is not difficult to create from the XML version of a spreadsheet that uses that template.

DuCharme, Bob. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>XSL


Automating Diagrams with Visio

By doing the demanding intellectual work first and then forcing the tools to succumb to need to produce seemingly speedy deliverables, you can get around the difficulty of choosing between 'Good, Fast and Cheap.' Here's one approach using Excel and Visio.

Angeles, Michael. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Design>Project Management>Information Design>Microsoft Excel


Automating Stylesheet Creation

Since the early days of XSLT, many have asked whether it was possible to automate the creation of XSLT stylesheets. The general idea of filling out a form or dragging some icons around, then clicking a button and seeing a productive stylesheet generated from your input has always appealed to people. However, the problem of generating working XSLT syntax from the result of someone clicking on pull-down menus and radio buttons has not attracted many takers.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Back-End Designs and the CMS Cycle of Disillusionment

Usually, the one thing missing from the planning of a WCM-driven web site is what's most likely to shoot the implementation in the foot: the functional design of the CMS back-end. The form and function of how the CMS will work, look and feel for the end-user of the system, not the visitor to the web site, is too often overlooked. This is odd: isn't the rationale for getting a CMS in the first place usually based on some kind of ROI in efficiency in actually producing the content and sites?

Bloem, Adriaan. CMSwatch (2009). Articles>Content Management>Information Design>Content Strategy


Badass—An Interview with Kathy Sierra

Kathy Sierra is the author of many successful books, including the award winning Head First series with Bert Bates. She’s an in-demand conference speaker, trainer, programmer, and the founder of the online community JavaRanch. In this interview, she and Nicky Bleiel discuss her new book, Badass: Making Users Awesome.

Bleiel, Nicky. Society for Technical Communication (2015). Articles>User Experience>Information Design>Cognitive Psychology


Barriers to DITA Adoption

As an independent consultant working mainly with small businesses I find that my clients are reluctant to commit to DITA for a number of reasons. As DITA authoring tools become more user-friendly and more readily available some of these barriers will begin to fade. But in general terms, the more DITA tools that become available, and the easier they become to use, the better for everyone.

Farbey, David. Blockhead Blog, The (2009). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


The Basics of Navigation

You can have all kinds of great attractions on your site, but if your visitors don't know how to get to them, they'll just collect dust on the server. Worse yet, if visitors find your site's navigation confusing or convoluted, they'll simply give up and head off to explore the rest of the Web, never to return. So, good navigation design is an essential ingredient for any successful Web site.

Timberlake, Sean. EFuse (2000). Design>Web Design>Information Design


A Beginner’s Guide to Design Patterns

Ever wondered what design patterns are? In this article, I’ll explain why design patterns are important, and will provide some examples, in PHP, of when and why they should be used.

Bautista, Nikko. NETTUTS (2010). Articles>Information Design>Web Design


Being Shallow

Information Architects are often put on the defensive by spears flung by brethren in related disciplines. In taking the accusations seriously and accepting truths within them, Grant Campbell reveals greatest strengths in shallowness, insularity, and being 'relegated' to history.

Campbell, Grant. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Articles>Information Design>Professionalism


The Benefits of ebXML for e-Business

The ebXML specifications have matured rapidly over the past year. New components and capabilities have extended the architecture for service oriented architectures (SOA). Learn about this new comprehensive release of ebXML that is available from OASIS.

Webber, David. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>Business Communication>XML


Better Content Management through Information Architecture

Content Management Systems promise so much: content is easier to publish, easier to update, and easier to find and use. Lots of promises, but do CMSs really deliver? Masood Nasser examines why Content Management Systems often fail and shows how Information Architecture can come to the rescue.

Nasser, Masood. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Articles>Content Management>Information Design>Content Strategy


Better Structuring and Designing   (members only)

There is something to be learnt from the way a good architect works: before beginning with the planning, he takes a look at the site and the future inhabitants of the building, and asks them for their requirements and desires. He takes the general conditions imposed by building regulations and the budget into consideration, and designs the construction in such a way that the inhabitants can use it optimally. And this is exactly how we as information architects should also go about our business.

Oehmig, Peter. tekom (2006). Articles>Information Design


Beyond Bookmarks: Schemes for Organizing the Web

A clearinghouse of web sites that have applied or adopted standard classification schemes or controlled vocabularies to organize or provide enhanced access to Internet resources.

McKiernan, Gerry. Iowa State University (2003). Resources>Directories>Information Design>Controlled Vocabulary


Beyond the Screen: Narrative Mapping as a Tool for Evaluating a Mixed-Reality Science Museum Exhibit   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article describes the authors' work as formative evaluators of a mixed-reality science museum installation, Journey with Sea Creatures. Looking beyond the focal point of the screen to the spatial and temporal surroundings of the exhibit, the authors employed a technique they call retrospective narrative mapping in conjunction with sustained on-site observations, follow-up interviews with museum visitors, and the development of personas to better understand the user experience in multimodal informal learning environments.

Kitalong, Karla Saari, Jane E. Moody, Rebecca Helminen Middlebrook and Gary Saldana Ancheta. Technical Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Information Design>Education


Bibliographie Informationsdesign

Zur Entwicklung seiner Anliegen nimmt IIID weltweit Kontakte mit Informations-Designern, Beratungsorganisationen und Forschungsinstituten, Universitäten, kommerziellen Unternehmen und design-fördernden Institutionen auf. Organisation des jährlich stattfindenden Symposiums 'Vision Plus' und Veröffentlichung der dort gehaltenen Präsentationen.

Freenet.de. (German) Resources>Bibliographies>Information Design


The Big Cocktail: Cognitive and Humanistic Traits of an Information Designer   (PDF)

This paper describes how our experience in striving to hire Information Designers led us to identify the very basic cognitive and humanistic traits that make up a successful technical communicator. It also shows how, once identified, such traits can be used to unveil hidden potentialities which can help turn a non expert candidate into a successful and gratified Information Designer and communicator. This paper focuses mainly on psychological traits, not on technical skills, that have been extensively discussed in a series of other papers.

Zace, Sokol. STC Proceedings (2001). Articles>Information Design>User Experience>Cognitive Psychology



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