What makes good Inforgraphics – Juan Valesco


“You have to become an expert yourself to be able to explain this information to others” says Juan Valesco, an expert in Inforgraphics.

In this video by Gestalten, Valesco compares the work of designing an inforgraphic to the work of a writer for a newspaper, where precision, simplicity and clarity are key to its success.

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IDEO – design thinking process – in the good old days…

This video is a beautiful demonstration of the design thinking process in product design. The IDEO team received a challenge to design ‘the shopping cart or the future’ (mind you, it was quite some time ago…).

Even though this video is from quite some time ago, core aspects of ‘designerly thinking’ are right there – focusing on the customer, getting to the heart of the problem by looking at it through different lenses, being optimistic about the possibility to solve the challenge, thinking creatively and practically together.

Enjoy!

A comparison of Design Process Diagrams and attitudes

As designers, we are taught to follow the design process in order to find solutions to complex challenges. However,this process seems to be described in many diverse ways.

In this post I collected a few approaches taken to describe the design process. My aim is to better understand the emphasis and variety of angles taken in describing what may essentially be the same process. Hopefully, this will also allow me to offer an alternative way to describe the process.

#1. The Iterative “Step by Step” models

These models represent a set of actions to be followed sequentially, and suggest that the process is continues – when you reach a solution, you can probably make it better by following the process again. It is interesting to note the different actions the models highlight in the process:

Hugh Dubberly’s representations of Kobegr’s models

One 2 One Media Solutions

Global Ideas

Mint Creative Solutions

 

#2. Stepping back

The following models introduce are simmilar to the first group, however, they add arrows going back as well as arrows going forward. This implies that the steps are introduced sequentially, however, are revisited and refined throughout the process.

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Hugh Dubberly’s representations of Kobegr’s models

#3 The design process as more complex interactions between activities 

As described so nicely by Typographic Design – Form and communication (fourth edition): “…perhaps it is more helpful to think of the process as five fields of activity that overlap each other in a multidimensional environment of intellectual discourse. The process is not linear; rather, it is one of interaction and ambiguity where paths appear to meander aimlessly towards durable and innovative solutions.”

Typographic Design – Form and Communication

“A holistic approach to design requires attention to all three areas during every phase of the project. If we spend too much effort in any single area, we put our potential for success at risk.” – UX Magazine

IDEO’s model from MWO blog

#4. Partial iteration

Some models describe the prototype section as an iterative part of a linear process.

Emma Whiteside

Ponoko using a model from PBS design squad program 

Fictiv

 

#5 Re-framing the process

Design thinking process description from “Designing for Growth” by J. Liedtka and T.Oglivie, taken from Ingo Rauth’s website

#6 Highlighting user-feedback

Diana Stutz Design

 

#7 Using the term ‘design’ to express only a part of the process
In some cases, the term ‘design’ does not capture the whole process but rather refers to parts of it.

 

Brannen

Graphics and Templates

PRD UK

After exploring some of the different attitudes towards communicating the design process, I share Benton Barnett’s notion that describing the process in boxes may be a bit far from reality:

Benton Barnett

However, I’m not giving up on trying to find a way to communicate the process in a way that would be meaningful to me and will hopefully make sense to others.

* What is your design process? Did you identify different attitudes towards describing the design process? Please add your comments or send me a message so we could continue the conversation. Thanks!