What makes good Information Design?


Information design specifically addresses concerns of data overload and meaningfulness by visually representing data in simplified, coherent, beautiful manners. Unifying complex information with intuitive graphic design is becoming an increasingly popular trend. When done well, infographics connect the complex details contextually in easily understandable ways. They paint better pictures and tell bigger stories.

David McCandless says: “… these seem like the key components of a good infographic / data visualisation / piece of information design. Information needs to be interesting (meaningful & relevant) and have integrity (accuracy, consistency). Design needs to have form (beauty & structure) and function (it has to work and be easy to use).

You may disagree. I welcome your input. I may not have got it right. Something surprised me about doing this though. In information design, it seems, if you have just two elements, you get something tolerable and cool. i.e.

integrity + form = eye candy
interestingness + function = experiment
(I’m not entirely sure about these combos)

But if you combine three elements without the fourth, things suddenly FAIL:
interesting subject, solid information, looks great, but is hard to use = useless.
amazing data, well designed, very easy to read but isn’t that interesting = boring”

Source: Information is beautiful