Information Design Watch
March 22, 2006, 1:36 pm
In related form to Garr Reynolds’ comments on Bill Gates’ presentation style is this spoof video Microsoft Re-Designs the Ipod Packaging. What we really like about this piece, besides the soundtrack (can you identify the source?) is the sophistication of the design treatments. Despite their exaggerations, they are internally logical and appear to adhere to Microsoft’s own branding guidelines.
The video draws some interesting commentary (amid the chatter) on Microsoft’s Channel 9 site and Robert Scoble’s Scobleizer blog. Scoble reports, in his comments, that the video “was done by Microsoft marketing for an internal meeting with its designers.”
March 17, 2006, 9:53 am
From garage bands to garage film-makers, the output of “do it yourself” outsiders is drawing mainstream media attention:
“Increasingly, the new, new thing in media is getting paid for the homemade. Reflecting the surge in the popularity of user-created material, both online and traditional media companies are opening their wallets to make sure that the best of it finds its way onto their television shows and Web sites.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/13/business/media/13user.html (requires Times Select or single article purchase)
So far, the best DIY examples on the Web are found where authorship is compartmentalized. Film clips uploaded to a site like YouTube are self-contained, making them easy to classify and rank. Most successful blogs are driven by the expertise or energy of individual authors. Extracting valid content from communities isn’t impossible, as witness Amazon.com‘s reader reviews and the adventure in learning that is Wikipedia. However, one gets the sense that the buzz has jumped ahead of the business. Jerry Yang, talking about Yahoo’s cartoonish new Answers portal, says:
“I think ultimately we’re trying to field a community where people feel comfortable and productive, and that with every investment on Yahoo, they’re getting more back. How we reward, and how we implement that, I think, is still very early.”
March 17, 2006, 9:22 am
The Design Council, a UK organization that advocates good design, provides a lot of cross-disciplinary information on its sprawling Web site. If you need to reaquaint yourself with the meaning of information design or explain it to colleagues, take a look at Sue Walker and Mark Barratt’s About: Information Design article. For example, here the two explain the relationship between information design and information architecture:
“Information designers order and structure information on behalf of users. The information architect — a new role created by large websites and information systems — is part information designer, part information scientist, part information systems professional. They create the order, taxonomies and navigation interfaces that allow us to use today’s million-page websites efficiently.”
With sections like “Why it matters to business,” “Why it matters to public,” “Examples,” “Facts and Quotes,” and so forth, the article offers a number of entry points for different audiences.
Our own white paper Information Architecture for Web Sites can be found here: