An info design is a systematic approach or blueprint for the production of an actual object or system, or even for the execution of such a plan or blueprint in the most effective form of an output, product or procedure. The word ‘design’ actually derives from the word ‘insider’ which means ‘one who gives himself / herself’. The term is usually used when one wants to refer to an artistic human process which often involves the manipulation of data and knowledge to create new and useful objects, processes, etc. However, the term info design can also apply to the discipline of information technology, particularly in the case of computer graphic design, which deals with the creation of technical user interface controls. This article will therefore concentrate on the more specific term info design as used in the context of computer graphic design.
Information design can be thought of as a way of organising the art and science of visual information, especially if we allow it to be understood in the broadest possible sense. A visual information design process generally focuses on representing in a meaningful and understandable way the data and other information that have been input during the design process. In a sense, information design can be seen as an extremely involved process, which is necessarily time consuming and often very complicated. A large part of the information design process involves the use of many different disciplines, including computer graphics, typography, interaction design, psychology, marketing and so on.
Info design can be applied in various contexts, including advertising, graphics design, web design, software design, multimedia design and visual communications, to mention only some. In a broad perspective, the discipline can be seen as a generic description of any work that attempts to represent and convey information in a meaningful way. In particular, it can be used to describe the process by which visual information is produced for communication, education, business and other purposes. A common example of an info design course would be the Production Department of Advertising.
The basis of info design is the production of effective and efficient designs, using either computer graphics or manual drawings. The process can also be divided into two main sub-processes: Planning and conceptualisation. In planning, the designer seeks out the end result, with the help of illustrations, photographs, etc., and then works out the details such as the colour scheme, typography, image placement, lighting and so on. At the same time, conceptualisation involves the idea and creation of the final visual presentation.
Although the knowledge needed to undertake a particular project is not as extensive as those needed for other fields, the information technology industry is home to many individuals who are qualified in various areas. These include web designers, photographers, printers, manufacturers, software engineers, print shop technicians, graphic designers, communication professionals and others. Info design education is available at a variety of colleges, vocational training centres and technical institutes. Usually, students take a two-year college diploma program (bachelor’s degree) or a one-year associate degree course (typically). Both types of programs provide students with the knowledge to begin work in the design process, but in different industries.
For the most part, the duration of a typical info design training course is between eight and twelve weeks. Students are taught the basics of HTML, CSS, Java, web design and graphic design, among other things. Once these basic skills have been mastered, they may choose to specialize in a particular field. Specialization requires a more intense study program and additional study time and often takes longer to complete. Generally, it is advised that a student opts for an information design training program after having completed four to six months of related study.