After many years in the making, I’m thrilled that my new book, Information Design Unbound: Key Concepts and Skills for Making Sense in a Changing World (Bloomsbury Visual Arts, UK), co-authored with Michael Babwahsingh, is now in production and will be out in early November. The book presents a fresh perspective on information design for beginners and instructors to approach and teach this practice more expansively. Our writing journey has been a huge learning experience, from getting the right structure to deciding what content to include and which one to leave out. As the world, technology, and design education are in constant change, the book is rooted in the fundamental pillars of information design rather than on the well-known artifacts (such as information graphics, data visualizations and signs) or on how to use the latest tools.
The book provides a foundation to teach information design as a hybrid profession. We cover the basics to develop the mindset – optimistic, empathic, ethic, human-centered, system oriented – and the core skills – visual thinking, research, sensemaking, and design – needed to practice effective information design across a scale of challenges, from communications to systems.
With more than 400 images, the book features the work of more than 65 contributors from around the world and several instructive diagrams. 13 case studies illustrate the wide variety of information design work and dive into the invisible steps of the process. To help students understand the ins and outs of the work, one of our main goals was to articulate and shed light on how information designers figure things out. This is why all case studies show rough sketches and how research was used to inform problem definition, content selection and organization, and design decisions.
Additionally, the book includes 36 exercises to help readers put concepts into practice without requiring special software. Exercises also allow readers to develop metacognition, or awareness of their own thinking, by providing opportunities to think critically about the field and the implications of their work through both individual reflection and group discussion.
We are extremely grateful to all the contributors who shared their projects and who took the time to speak with us about their work.
Stay tuned to learn about the behind the scenes of the book in my next posts. In the meantime, check out more about the book and pre-order your copy!