Info Design: An Overview

An info design is usually described as a plan or graphic specification for the creation of an entity or system, the end product or outcome of that plan or graphic specification in the form of an electronic or physical product, or even the abstract or concrete result of such plan or graphic specification. The word ‘design’ itself designates a thing created, by definition. So an info design, therefore, refers to the output or product of some planning, work or creative effort. The verb ‘design’ designates the procedure of designing, however it does not imply the end product itself.

A design is said to be most effective if it addresses and fulfills the user’s needs and objectives. That means it should be able to satisfy the end users that will use it. It has to be able to satisfy their needs and that is where most of the work begins. Info design starts with a statement or a ‘design goal’, i.e. a description of how something should look like, how it will function, how it will be organised etc.

Once a design goal has been identified, the next step is to develop the information required for implementing it, i.e. the description of what it is that needs to be produced, by identifying which information needs to be included and by how much. This information may come from a variety of sources but it needs to be well documented and referenced. After this information design phase, the project management phase occurs where the detailed design process takes place and is reviewed by others involved in the project.

The design process is a continuous one and depends on the feedback that the end users get during the developmental process. Info products are a special case because they can change over time (up-to-date information) and therefore require a more controlled and formalised process to achieve the goal. Some of the stages involved in the development and documentation of such products include;

A good design will attract interest, improve brand awareness, create a sense of trust and satisfaction and increase sales. It will also lower costs, generate repeat customers and be easy to market. In essence it will improve the product’s performance and output in areas which are of particular importance to your business. Information products are a perfect example of how a well planned, well implemented process can deliver what you really need.

Info product design has the potential to be a powerful and highly effective tool in marketing and promoting your product. The most important factor however is that your design delivers on all its promises, i.e. it does not detract from current sales but rather promotes and builds upon them. So before committing to a particular design agency, ask for samples and get feedback from clients as well as prospective buyers. Remember to take all aspects into account when approaching a professional designer.