Friday, 2 December 2016

Information Design: research and practice. Important new book

Information Design: research and practice published by Routledge
I have a chapter in this substantial and important book. My chapter focuses on the visualization of historical time, illustrated by key examples from the eighteenth century when the modern timeline was invented. We are fortunate in having not only surviving examples of printed timelines from the period but also explanations written by their makers, revealing the ambitions they had for visualisation. An important divergence is evident, between those who want to use rhetorical visual metaphors to tell a graphical story, and those who prefer to let the data ‘speak for itself’, allowing patterns to emerge from the distribution of data points across a surface. I trace this history through to modern debates about the role of rhetoric in visualisation. Does data talk, or do we need to talk on its behalf?

Weigel, Christoph. 1720. Discus chronologicus. Nuremberg. 51cm × 49cm (detail). Collection and photo: Stephen Boyd Davis.

Citation: ‘To see at one glance all the centuries that have passed’ - early visualisations of historical time. In: Black, A., Luna, P., Lund, O. and Walker, S (eds). Information Design: research and practice. London: Routledge. 3-22.

About the Book

Information Design: research and practice
Edited by Alison Black, Paul Luna, Ole Lund, Sue Walker

750 pages | 314 Color Illustrations

Information Design provides citizens, business and government with a means of presenting and interacting with complex information. It embraces applications from wayfinding and map reading to forms design; from website and screen layout to instruction. Done well it can communicate across languages and cultures, convey complicated instructions, even change behaviours. Information Design offers an authoritative guide to this important multidisciplinary subject. The book weaves design theory and methods with case studies of professional practice from leading information designers across the world. The heavily illustrated text is rigorous yet readable and offers a single, must-have, reference to anyone interested in information design or any of its related disciplines such as interaction design and information architecture, information graphics, document design, universal design, service design, map-making and wayfinding.

Part 1 

Chapter 1. Early visualizations of historical time [my chapter]
Chapter 2. Images of time
Chapter 3. William Playfair and the invention of statistical graphs
Chapter 4. Ship navigation
Chapter 5. Technical and scientific illustration
Chapter 6. The lessons of Isotype for information design
Chapter 7. Marie Neurath: designing information books for young people
Chapter 8. Future, Fortune, and the graphic design of information
Chapter 9. Some documents for a history of information design
Chapter 10. Moral visualizations 

Part 2 

Chapter 11. Graphic literacies for a digital age
Chapter 12. Visual rhetoric in information design
Chapter 13. Multimodality and genre
Chapter 14. Interactive information graphics
Chapter 15. Social and cultural aspects of visual conventions in information
Chapter 16. Textual reading on paper and screens
Chapter 17. Applying science to design 

Part 3 

Chapter 18. Does my symbol sign work?
Chapter 19. Icons as carriers of information
Chapter 20. Warning design
Chapter 21. Diagrams
Chapter 22. Designing static and animated diagrams for modern learning materials
Chapter 23. Designing auditory alarms
Chapter 24. Design challenges in helping older adults use digital tablets
Chapter 25. On-screen colour contrast for visually impaired readers
Chapter 26. Contrast set labelling
Chapter 27. Gestalt principles
Chapter 28. Information design research methods
Chapter 29. Methods for evaluating information design
Chapter 30. Public information documents 

Part 4 

Chapter 31. Choosing type for information design
Chapter 32. Indexing and information design
Chapter 33. When to use numeric tables and why
Chapter 34. Wayfinding perspectives
Chapter 35. Designing for wayfinding
Chapter 36. The problem of ‘straight ahead’ signage
Chapter 37. Park at your peril
Chapter 38. Indoor digital wayfinding
Chapter 39. Visualizing storyworlds
Chapter 40. Exhibitions for learning
Chapter 41. Form follows user follows form
Chapter 42. Information design & value
Chapter 43. The LUNAtic approach to information design
Chapter 44. Information design as a (r)evolutionary educational tool
Chapter 45. Design + medical collaboration
Chapter 46. Developing persuasive health campaign messages
Chapter 47. Information design in medicine package leaflets
Chapter 48. Using animation to help communication in e-PILs in Brazil
Chapter 49. Medical information design and its legislation
Paperback to be published 7 January 2017. Available for pre-order £50.00.

Routledge page about the book.