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The Practical Guide to Information Design

Book Description

The definitive, behind-the-scenes guide to mastering information design

Finally, in one usable format, here's your single-volume resource for designing clear projects that really work for your audience. The Practical Guide to Information Design provides all the tools, resources, and best practices that designers need to create highly successful print and digital information design projects.

A brilliant combination of practice and theory, this highly visual book covers the principles of design, perception, and usability, complete with step-by-step examples that feature the work of today's leading professionals. Comprehensively illustrated with hundreds of valuable graphs, maps, tables, line drawings, and photos, The Practical Guide to Information Design features:

  • Complete descriptions and comparisons of various formats

  • A range of helpful exercises to reinforce covered material

  • Handy summary boxes, bulleted lists, captions, and examples

  • A wealth of useful resources for professionals and students

  • Table of Contents

    1. Cover Page
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright
    4. Contents
    5. Acknowledgments
    6. Introduction
      1. More examples of information design's value
      2. All that and more: What's in the book for you
      3. Is this book for you?
      4. Awareness building: An exercise for life
      5. From the audience's perspective
    7. Section I: audience: Identifying the Audience
      1. CHAPTER 1: How humans (almost) universally perceive
        1. PART 1 : Perception principles
        2. PART 2 : Body/mind basics: How the eye/brain sees, perceives, reads
      2. CHAPTER 2: Usability and how to achieve it
        1. CASE STUDY: Drug label design relied on research at the mall
        2. CASE STUDY: Finding the tasks in a Web site
        3. CASE STUDY: Task-based focus groups help to redesign car manuals
        4. CASE STUDY: Surveys and recipe tests lead to a usable cookbook
        5. CASE STUDY: Universal how-to graphics, minimum of type
        6. CASE STUDY: Dealing with conflicting audiences’ needs
        7. CASE STUDY: Keeping the audience in touch
        8. CASE STUDY: More about how to use personas
        9. CASE STUDIES: Three ways to prepare the audience for a redesign
    8. Section II: word design: How to Design Understandably
      1. CHAPTER 3: How to work with type and layout
        1. “What's in it for me?” reader asks; answer quickly, the clock's ticking
      2. CHAPTER 4: How to write clearly
        1. How to write information for your audience
        2. How to write information for most audiences
      3. CHAPTER 5: How to use color meaningfully
        1. Color can show similarities
    9. Section III: picture design: How to Design Meaningful Graphics
      1. CHAPTER 6: How to make pictures that inform
        1. Photos must be in focus
        2. Photos must have a focus
        3. Photos must mean something
        4. Photos must show what you're telling
        5. Photos must tell what you're showing
        6. Connecting the dots is tougher than it should be
        7. Pictures must show up close to where you talk about them
        8. Pictures must point readers into text (if they point at all)
        9. To flop or not to flop
      2. CHAPTER 7: Design, label, and caption diagrams clearly
        1. Where to begin
        2. Find logical increments
        3. More about avoiding distortion (keeping out the riffgraph)
      3. CHAPTER 8: Clear forms improve users' experience
        1. A taxing case study
        2. How to evaluate a form
        3. Look inside, not just out
      4. CHAPTER 9: How to help people find their way clearly
        1. Editing the viewer's experience
        2. Tell just one thing, not everything
        3. Walk the walk: “You are there”
        4. Guiding graphics principles
        5. What's the question?
        6. Favor accuracy and authority over flash
        7. Speak with a hierarchy of color and weight
        8. More about constraints … and compromise
        9. Use “heads-up” orientation
        10. More lessons taught
        11. Must-haves for wayseekers on the Web
        12. The value of symbols in wayfinding
        13. Numbers, color, and photos help to flag “here’“
        14. Show time, not just distance, when it counts
        15. Consider environmental context
        16. Wayfinding or anatomy? Project combines them
        17. A place to park, but no place to start
        18. Analyzing an information system
        19. Watching the signs
        20. Navigating a Web site
        21. State-of-the-art Web-design guidelines
        22. Be curious; embrace the question
    10. Bibliography/resources
      1. Chapter 1: How humans (almost) universally perceive
      2. Chapter 2: Usability and how to achieve it
      3. Chapter 3: How to work with type and layout
      4. Chapter 4: How to write clearly
      5. Chapter 5: How to use color meaningfully
      6. Chapter 6: How to make pictures that inform
      7. Chapter 7: Design, label, and caption diagrams clearly
      8. Chapter 8: Clear forms improve users’ experience
      9. Chapter 9: How to help people find their way clearly
      10. Useful information-design web sites, products
    11. Index
    12. About the Author