In the history of civilization, humans have continued to advance and develop. From nomadic beings seeking agriculture sites, to the industrial revolution, to the present information age. How to manage, structure and even visualize information and communicate its meaning is the essence of information architecture. Information architecture attempts to connect information directly with the viewer, by eliminating instructions, making learning and understanding self-explanatory or obvious with quick visual study. Information has connections to primary, secondary, tertiary, parallel, and simultaneous methods of learning and understanding. Quickly accessing information and creating different and diverse paths to knowledge creates networks of connections. Information architecture is a structuring of ideas, concepts and facts through words, graphics, charts, and diagramming, and communicating them into the world. Information architecture makes visible relationships, communicating time, space and people!
Map the visible with the invisible! Create Information Architecture!
Activity 1 – Express Yourself
In this activity you will make a poster….of your life! First start with an outline of each year since you were born. Think of the most important event of each of those years, then a second, and then a third level of events that happened. Think of what you like most in life. Think of what your interests and hobbies are. Make a linear, circular or organic expression of the timeline of your life. Make peak points stand out. Make secondary and tertiary events smaller in font or photos. Connect events with lines, label each year, add photos, graphics, awards, favorite books, etc. Share your poster with a friend.
Celebrate the good times!
Activity 2 – Create an Activity Information Diagram
Choose a three dimensional real time activity that you do every day like brushing your teeth, walking your dog or answering the phone. Stop and analyze in detail each of the steps that you do to participate in this activity. Break the activity into the smallest possible moments and tasks. Using graphics- shapes, lines, arrows, numbers, letters of differing color, size and thickness - diagram the steps and label them 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. Without labeling your poster, ask someone to read your diagram. Is the activity understandable? Are the steps communicated?
Activity 3 – Map a Day in Your House
Remember making footprints in the sand at the beach, or in freshly fallen snow? In this activity you will need a floor plan of your house showing all of the rooms. You should use colored lines to show where you walk when you get up in the morning, where you spend your afternoon, and your evening. Be sure to draw a line that follows all of your footsteps. Next create a key of other things that you do during this time. Some of the other things you might do include looking out the window, answering the phone, getting dressed, cooking food, eating, playing, and reading. Be sure to make a symbol for thinking and use it when you are thinking about something! Complete your map, part diagram, part floor plan, and part symbol chart. Wake up! Get out of bed! Brush your teeth! Get dressed! Get mapped!
Activity 4 – Data Visualization
“By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.” (David McCandless)
How can we visualize information? There are many ways to organize data to make numbers, quantities, surveys, readily understandable. Take a look at the Chart Journey to see ways to graphically portray amounts. Take a look at some Education Info Graphics to see how more comprehensive issues are presented. Take a look at elements of infographics. Pick a topic you would like to visualize. Collect the data. Determine how best to visualize the information to make it readable, understandable and memorable! Post your infographic to the gallery!
Activity 5 – Data Virtualization
Today the world collects data 24/7. The amount of information collected is mind boggling; but reading the statistics and making sense of them is even more difficult. Data Virtualization is an emerging field that designs processes to collect, combine, and curate massive amounts of information. Information Technologists design systems to gather and combine data from an array of sources, locations, and formats into a single stream of data. They use coding platforms to set up gates and check points to merge information from different parties, make the information accessible, on diverse platforms, browsers, and systems. A Data Virtualization platform saves time and money while providing flexible and simultaneous access from different parties to select and curated information.
- Information architecture is:
- Primary information is:
- Information architecture is the design of communicating:
- Information architecture can reveal:
- The information age:
- Adobe Museum of Digital Media
- Animation Explanations
- Brue Mau Design
- Celestial Mechanics
- Chrome Experiments
- Common Craft Animation Explanations
- Create an Interactive Infographic
- Creating Infographics Video
- Data Virtualization is Critical
- David McCandless TED TALK: The Beauty of Data Visualizations
- Edward Tufte: Visualizing Information
- Exhibit architecture Websites
- Flight Patterns
- Fun Periodic Table of the Internet
- History of the Internet
- History of the Internet from Online Classes
- Infographics: Steps to Successful Communication
- Information is Beautiful
- Infosthetics: Data Driven Graphics
- Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything
- Local Data Collection APP
- Make Your Own Tag Cloud
- Many Eyes
- Nicholas Feltron, Information Visualization
- Pew Internet and American Life Project
- Snake Oil Supplements Interactive
- Studio Lab
- TEDed Visulizing Complex Ideas
- The Leonardo, Art + Science +Technology
- United Nations Environment Programme
- Urban Observatory
- Video Mathematics of History
- Video The Beauty of Data Visualization
- Visual Communications Lab
- Visual Complexity
- Visualizing Time