Information design

Information Design at Mälardalen University has been a candidate programme since 1998, comprising the three specialisations Informative Illustration, Spatial Design and Textual Design. The study programme began with the programme Technology illustrator (today Informative Ilustration). Then the textual aspect was developed in the programme Technology Editor (today Textual Design) and in 1997 the programme Information Scenography was started (today Spatial Design). A third of the courses that are part of the three programme specialisations constitute common basic courses such as Introduction to Information Design, Communication and the Media (from the autumn semester 2013 Planned Communication), Cognitive Processes, Rhetorics and Narrative Techniques, Information Design in Practice, Science and Design, Research Processes and the Degree Project course.
Information Design is information through representation where we see images, spaces and texts as material for information artefacts, designed in relation to a target audience and a specific context. Information Design considers image, text and space as related or separately. The research basis for the study programme is the established research specialisation Innovation and Product Realisation (IPR), particularly the focus group Information Design Research Group.
Information Design is about designing content for communication, as well as safeguarding and examining the quality of it. Information can be understood in different ways; as an entity and thus as something static which has a meaning that is obvious to a certain target audience; or as a tool or apparatus for sending a message. A consequence of the latter view is that it posits information as changeable over time and as something that is impacted both by the context and by the individuals to whom it is addressed. Information Design takes into account each individual’s chance to understand the communicated content. The task for Information Design is to represent information in images, spaces, and/or texts in such a way that it functions as a tool or an apparatus for attracting attention and enabling people to understand the meaning of the information. Information Design as an academic subject is performed by students, teachers, and researchers within the subject.
Information Design starts out from Human-Centred Design which means that it takes into account people’s different conditions and also aspects such as gender, ethnicity, class, age, and disability. This means that information should be represented in relation to different people’s differing interest in and chances to understand information in the workplace, at home, or in the public space. It is encounters between individuals and information that make the latter meaningful.
The main challenge for Information Design is to adapt images, spaces and texts, as well as the interaction between them, in such a way that conditions are created for individuals to understand the content, for instance in the case of important community information; or to use the artefacts of Information Design to create environments that support work processes in different types of workplaces through images and spaces as well as texts; or to formulate instructions that will help users of various products; or to design user interfaces which facilitate Internet navigation.

More information

Please contact, Peter Selegård  head of the Department for Information Design for more information.