Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

Information Architecture IS Design

I could have just as easily listed this entry in information theory and I’ll tell you why: I have always despised the fact that in the commercial world of interactive design information architecture and design remain two very distinct camps. The distinction is bogus. There is no distinction. One of these days I would love to explain why I think that, but for today I’m just going to show you. What you’ll find at this designer’s web site is some of the unquestionably best examples of why the distinction between information architecture and design simply doesn’t exist. Newsmap is a brilliant example of Tufte-style thinking that doesn’t just give you a list of headlines from Google News. It utilizes space, color, and proportion to create greater dimensions of information. How many stories are running on the subject? How often are they being posted? You don’t just see the news, you see the news derivative qualities of the news like density and velocity. Very impressive.

Not as impressive but well-done nonetheless is Social Circles—an illustration of the organization of a listserver and the interactions of the people on it. To get a really good idea of how design affects the structure of information be sure to run through the options on the top menu.

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