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A Unified Theory of Information Design: Visuals, Text and Ethics

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... Findings indicate that typeface form is indeed a visual design element of the same type, in terms of basic parameters and effects, as color and shape. Typeface form is of course physically integrated with the letters and words that make up a text but this is merely one more indicator that the traditional rhetorical dichotomy between visuals and written text needs to be reconsidered [9]. The remainder of this article will revisit previous studies in light of our overall findings, discuss other interesting trends in the data from this study, suggest directions for further research, and review implications of this study for practical visual design and visual design teaching. ...
... To make this determination, participants were asked, for each typeface design, to make three choices from a menu of twelve possible emotional responses, in alphabetical order, as shown inFigure 3. To create these twelve options, we used the primary shades of emotion postulated by Amare and Manning [7], [8], [9] and chose two near-synonym labels for each primary emotion (1, 2, or 3) and two near-synonym labels for each secondary, composite emotion (1+2, 1+3, and 2+3): amused or unrestrained (1), agitated or challenged (2), organized or focused (3), rested or calmed (1+3), stimulated or diverted (1+2), and determined or concerned (2+3). The alphabetical order of the menu options served to scramble our postulated emotion spectrum and reduce the likelihood of order-of-mention bias. ...
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Various studies have correlated specific visual characteristics of typefaces with specific overall emotional effects: curvilinear forms and open letter shapes generally feel “friendly” but also “formal” or “informal,” depending on other factors; large contrasts in stroke widths, cap height, and aspect ratio generally feel “interesting,” but also “attractive” or “aggressive,” depending on other factors; low-variety and low-contrast forms generally feel “professional” but also “reliable” or “boring.” Although the current findings on typeface personality are useful, they have not indicated a systematic explanation for why specific physical typeface forms have the specific emotion effects that they do. This paper will report results of an empirical study in which 102 participants indicated their immediate emotional responses to each of 36 distinct typeface designs. Results support correlation between specific typeface features (variety vs. contrast vs. pattern) and specific emotional parameters (amusement vs. agitation vs. focus), explaining findings of previous studies, suggesting various classroom approaches to purpose-driven typeface selection.
... Based on Peirce's triadic model Amare and Manning (2013) discussed a "Unified Theory of Information Design." The three corners in their triangular model of this theory represent the primary categories of visual-communication goals: to evoke feeling (decoratives), to provoke action (indicatives), and to promote understanding (informatives). ...
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The academic discipline Information Design (ID) has incorporated important influences from more than fifty already established disciplines. After many years I have now been able to divide the many “external contributors” into the following six groups of supporting sciences. Primary supporting sciences are: 1) Design disciplines, 2) Communication disciplines, and 3) Information disciplines. Secondary supporting sciences are: 4) Language disciplines, 5) Cognitive disciplines, and 6) Art and aesthetic disciplines. This book will soon be uploaded at the IIID Public Library < http://www.iiid.net/public-library/iiid-library/ > (almost at the bottom of the page). In the meantime you can send your e-mail-address to me./Rune Pettersson
Chapter
As a technical aesthetics, information visualization design includes two main methods: scientific “experimental induction” and humanistic “conceptual speculation”. This paper reflects on the data rights, technically aesthetic limitations, and lack of spiritual value in the current information visualization design. This article suggested changing the goal of information visualization from interpretative to exploratory function and developing “given” data into “participatory” data - CAPTA. It drives information technology with design aesthetics, brings “concept speculation” into each information visualization process, and encourages the creation of a humanized knowledge generator to catalyze social dreams.
Article
Technical writing allows reduction of the negative impacts of technical communication barriers by unification and standardization of documents, collection of user product requirements, and study of the user experience to develop scenarios for improving the user-friendliness of a product (usability and human factors), instruction design, and increasing the readability of technical documents through the use of simplified technical language, information style, and information design.
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Information design has practical as well as theoretical components. We may view information design as a combined academic discipline. Here the whole is greater than the parts. So far information design has incorporated facts, influences, methods, practices, principles, processes, strategies, and design tools from many other fields. However, we also need to borrow and incorporate theoretical approaches from already existing theories. This essay presents seven theories applied to information design.
Article
Most sentence diagramming follows either the Reid-Kellogg (noun|verb)approach or some variant of Chomsky's syntax-tree (NPVP) approach. Both methods violate principles of effective visual design: graph lines should be implied wherever possible, aligned to an organizing grid, and diagram details should be scalable. Not surprisingly then, traditional sentence diagramming is not often used or useful to analyze sentences from actual communication. This paper will describe a more visually sound approach to sentence diagramming, demonstrably useful to writers and editors working in 21st century media. The structure of a realistically complex sentence can be shown on a smartphone screen, using any standard keypad.
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Article
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Information design has practical and theoretical components. As an academic discipline we may view information design as a combined discipline, a practical theory, or as a theoretical practice. So far information design has incorporated facts, influences, methods, practices, principles, processes, strategies, and tools from a large number of disciplines. Information design also needs to incorporate theories, or parts of theories, from other disciplines. This essay presents seven information design theories with more than hundred facts, hypotheses, and postulates.
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