The focus in this course is on practicing how information can be communicated effectively by using text and infographics, both in offline and online contexts. The following aims will be pursued:
- Students gain knowledge of key theories and research on text design, the design of infographics, and the integration of textual and visual elements in information design.
- Students can list the differences between information processing in offline and online documents.
- Students are able to translate the content and findings of scientific research into practical advice, and to apply the literature in designing their own informative blog post and infographic.
- Students can evaluate and revise existing (web) texts and infographics, as well as their own informative blog post.
In this course, you will learn how to communicate information in the most effective way. The main function of information design is that your audience will obtain the desired knowledge: what does the Lowlands lineup look like? What is the philosophy behind study association Flow? How can students register for the new academic year? This kind of information can be communicated via text; see for example the many blog posts about the latest technological developments, fashion or cosmetics. Besides text, also visualizations are used to communicate information, such as infographics, to present data in a clear and attractive way.
The challenge in information design is to find an optimal combination between textual and visual elements. Many things can go wrong here. Sometimes, people may simply ignore your information, especially in an online context, where scanning strategies are applied to find the relevant information. In other cases, your information may be understood or remembered in the wrong way. Why would that happen? And how can you anticipate as the designer of the information? How can you evaluate your informative text and infographic? These are the questions that are central to this course.
Three themes are addressed in the course: (online) text design; the design of data visualizations (with a specific focus on infographics); and the optimal integration between textual and visual elements. For each theme, we link the scientific literature to information design in practice. We analyze existing (web) texts, blogs, and infographics, where we discuss the goals, characteristics of the target group, and communicative context in relation to content, structure, style, and layout. In the second part, there is a guest lecture from a graphic designer. The final goal is that students design and evaluate their own informative blog post and infographic, based on a professional case.
The final mark for the course is based on:
- a written exam on the required reading (60%).
- a scientific report on the informative blog post and infographic that students design (40%).
To complete the course successfully, students must score at least 5.5 for both the exam and the report. Separate re-sits are provided for the exam and the report.
Connection to labour market
The course Information Design has a clear link with the labour market. Students do not only acquire knowledge about the design of effective (corporate) blogs and infographics, but also apply this knowledge in their own blog post. Furthermore, there is a guest lecture from a graphic designer.